Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Peggy L. Tarpley, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rachel Mathews, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Stephen C. Keith, Ph.D.


The purpose of this research was to determine whether or not teachers use systematic and direct formative assessment techniques and if implementing these techniques has an effect on teacher efficacy. The participants (N = 89) were practicing special education teachers from urban and rural school divisions across Virginia and from one graduate-level course in special education. Data were collected using portions of the Data Collection and Analysis Survey (Cooke, Heward, Test, Spooner, & Courson, 1991) and selected items from the Teacher Efficacy Scale (Gibson, 1983). The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Of the 89 surveys distributed, 32 teachers responded. The results indicated that the majority of teachers considered frequently collected data important and regularly collected data to measure student progress. The overwhelming majority of teachers did not graph the data they collected. However, the majority of teachers did respond to the data they collected. Findings also indicated that whether teachers considered frequently collected data important or unimportant influenced the frequency with which teachers used anecdotal notes and data to determine the effectiveness of instruction. In addition, there were statistically significant relationships between the frequency with which teachers collected frequency or rate data, the frequency with which teachers used data to determine when to work on the next skill, as well as the frequency with which teachers used data to determine if IEP objectives had been met and the indicators of teacher efficacy. Limitations included the low rate of return for the surveys, which may affect the generalizability of the results, and the reliance on teachers' self-reported responses. Future research should involve direct work with teachers to explore fully their collection and use of data in practice.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.