Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Technology Leadership and Innovation

Committee Chair

Scott R. Bartholomew

Committee Member 1

Nathan Mentzer

Committee Member 2

Greg J. Strimel


Formative assessment is a widely accepted practice in education today aimed towards high student achievement (Gielen & De Weaver, 2015). Despite its’ acceptance, there remains some confusion, as well as contradictory ideas, around the best practices of formative assessment and, explicitly, feedback through formative assessment (Shute, 2008). There is specifically a lack of clarity on the impact of individual elements of providing and/or receiving formative feedback on student achievement. Further, the influence of this feedback, if provided to/from peers in formative settings, is not fully understood (Liu & Carless, 2006). These ideas are important to understand so as to help clarify and improve the implementation of formative assessment in current educational practices in order to lead to higher student achievement. This study focused on the use of graphic design projects in secondary education and investigated the impacts of elements of formative peer feedback to identify potentially significant influences related to student performance. A clearer understanding of the influence of providing and/or receiving formative peer feedback on student achievement may lead to better educational practices that result in the improvement of student performance. In this study, a quasi-experimental approach was used to investigate the impact of different elements of formative peer feedback in a middle school classroom as students participated in a four-week graphic design project. Students were assigned to research the impact of various topics relating to world-conflict and, following this research, design a slide that was visually appealing while accurately representing the information found during their research. At the midpoint of the project, students participated in formative peer assessment using an Adaptive Comparative Judgment (ACJ) software engine to facilitate the comparisons and the feedback. The students’ classes were divided into three intervention groups, which all participated in the ACJ sessions: one group only provided feedback, one group only received feedback, and one group both provided and received feedback. The results of providing and/or receiving formative peer feedback on student achievement, during this middle school graphic design project, are reported with the student perceptions of the impact of providing and/or receiving formative peer feedback. Additionally, the impact on student achievement related to the different assigned topics for the assignment are provided.