Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Middle and Secondary Education

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction, PhD

Committee Chair

Karp, Karen S.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Brown, Elizabeth Todd

Committee Member

Brown, Elizabeth Todd

Committee Member

McGatha, Maggie B.

Committee Member

Valentine, Jeffrey C.

Committee Member

Ronau, Robert N.

Author's Keywords

education; mathematics achievement; student assessment strategies; formative assessment; assessment as learning


Despite the documented advantages of formative assessment (FA) strategies in elevating student achievement, much of the relevant research is dated and undermined by questionable design and inattention to K-12 settings. In order to fill these voids, this quantitative study tested the effect of a self- and peer-assessment-training instructional sequence, developed with recommendations from past research and employing explicitly described assessment measures and criteria, on middle school students’ assessment accuracy and subsequent mathematics achievement. The researcher hypothesized a correlation between measurable growth in assessment accuracy and gains in achievement, as well as a reciprocal effect of self- and peer-assessment ability. The subjects for this study were drawn from the population of 7th-grade students at a low-achieving urban middle school in a metropolitan area in the Midwest. The students were convenience- and purposive-selected and assigned to treatment and control groups; the treatment group contained 39 students and the control group contained 41 students. Data were collected before and after 10 hour-long self- and peer-assessment training sessions, which were conducted with the treatment group over a 3-week period. This study had an independent variable with two groups, treatment and no treatment, and three dependent variables, achievement, students’ ability to accurately self-assess, and students’ ability to accurately peer-assess. All variables were assessed numerically and analyzed using a multivariate statistical procedure. Statistical tests revealed a positive effect of peer- and self-assessment training on students’ mathematical achievement and ability to accurately self-assess. The intervention did not increase the accuracy of students’ peer assessments, contradicting the foundational conjecture that self- and peer-assessment ability would rise commensurately. Nevertheless, the gains in self-assessment accuracy and student achievement produced by the intervention indicate that teachers should adopt assessment training in classrooms. Ultimately, this study contributes a clear and demonstrably effective instructional sequence; exemplifies successful strategy implementation; and freshly affirms the connection between student assessment practices and achievement.