Nicole Foran

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

Dr. Randy Hetherington

Second Advisor

Dr. Nicole Ralston

Third Advisor

Dr. Jacqueline Waggoner

LC Subjects

High school girls, High school students--Attitudes; High school students--Testing; High school students--Examinations; Academic achievement--Evaluation


Providing instructional feedback and assessing student learning are integral components of the educational process. Yet teachers report that in their preservice education programs and subsequent inservice professional development, they receive very little instruction specifically dedicated to feedback and assessment practices. Research reveals that feedback and assessment remain at the center of debate in academia, and teachers report that assigning grades and giving effective academic feedback are major contributors to overall job dissatisfaction, especially given the high-stakes role grades play in students’ academic, athletic, college admission, and future employment opportunities (Feldman, 2019; Guskey & Bailey, 2001). While much has been learned about effective assessment practices, there is still much to learn about how students experience feedback and grades. The pressure to achieve impacts students’ motivation to learn, academic self-efficacy, self-esteem, and overall health and wellness, and female adolescents are at greater risk of mental-health issues due to grades and academic pressure than their male counterparts (Saviola et al., 2020; Villeneuve et al., 2019). The purpose of this mixed-methods case study was to better understand the effect of feedback and assessment practices on female students in an urban, faith-based environment. In phase 1 of this research, two surveys were distributed electronically. The first survey asked teachers to rate their self-perceived skills with assessment practices. The second survey asked students to describe how they respond to teachers’ instructional feedback. The second phase of this research involved semi-structured interviews where ten students described their experience with teacher feedback specific to an assignment they chose. The findings of this study were summarized in three areas: (1) teacher training in assessment versus their perception of assessment skill, (2) giving academic feedback versus experiencing academic feedback, and (3) considering students’ emotional connection to their work in overall feedback and assessment strategies. This study contributed to our understanding of teachers’ formal training versus perceived skills in feedback and assessment, how female students experience feedback, and the impact that teachers’ instructional comments and final grades have on female students’ academic self-efficacy and self-esteem.


Copyright retained by the author.