Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Catherine Kelly


Curriculum and Instruction


This action research aimed to determine the effects formative feedback and rubrics play on student motivation and proficiency levels in writing. This four-week intervention took place in a suburban 1st-grade classroom and an urban 3rd-grade classroom through whole group and small group instruction, collaborative conversations, student reflections, and student attitude inventories. Data was collected through the use of pre-and post-intervention writing attitude surveys. In addition, a pre-intervention, rough draft, and final draft writing sample that the teacher and student graded was utilized. Finally, data were collected during small group, reflective conversations involving student understanding and application of rubrics alongside writing samples. An increase in student proficiency was demonstrated following the use of formative feedback alongside rubrics when crafting personal narratives. Additionally, an increase in motivation was demonstrated, yet not significant enough to say that formative feedback paired with the use of rubrics increases student motivation in writing. Research should continue to identify patterns in students' confidence or attitudes towards their writing and proficiency levels over time. Furthermore, a longitudinal study involving Kindergartners-3rd grade would be beneficial to measure proficiency and motivation rates in writing over an extended period to identify patterns. This research can support educators so that we may better understand rubrics, formative feedback, and their influence on proficiency and motivation levels over time. Moreover, we can utilize the information to best inform our instruction and support systems with elementary student writers.