Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Catherine Kelly




Teachers utilize formative assessment and differentiation as tools to meet diverse needs in the classroom, maximize engagement, and promote student learning. Teachers can effectively use formative assessment and differentiation through the ability to measure student understanding and use it to drive instructional decisions, implement multiple strategies to reach more students, and note the critical challenges in meeting the needs of students with multiple learning needs and skills. Using a mixed-methods study design, the researcher studied the ways in which the introduction of small flexible grouping, based on formative assessment, affected academic achievement and students’ understanding of the essential learning outcomes and support in the learning process. Key instructional interventions including flexible grouping, formative assessment, and the role of student choice were identified and implemented in a high school social studies class. Findings indicate that many students saw a 50% or higher increase from the pretest to the posttest. Students also noted in feedback forms that the process helped them prepare for the post test and the strategy was helpful in the learning process.

Included in

Education Commons