Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Literacy Studies: Reading (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Elizabeth Stolle

Academic Year



Feedback to students has been highlighted in the literature as an area where improvements are needed. Students need high quality, specific, usable, and timely feedback. They also need guidance and tools to help them engage with, reflect on, and learn from that feedback in order to close the gap between their writing and the expected standards. In order to help students improve their writing, teachers must develop written feedback that is formative and feeds forward into future writing assignments. This project explores how effective formative feedback can be achieved within a social constructivist theoretical approach to learning, in which an understanding of feedback and how to utilize it are determined by social interactions between teachers and students. The project also explores how writing portfolios as an assignment structure – which includes multiple drafting – can facilitate the dissemination of usable, formative teacher feedback on student writing, while allowing students time to reflect on, understand, and incorporate that feedback into more proficient writing. The project provides teachers with guidelines for writing formative feedback that will help students feed forward in their writing, while also providing a sample series of assignment descriptions, student reflection resources, and suggested timeframes for creating and returning written feedback to students. Additionally, these formative elements of evaluation will assist teachers in modifying writing instruction for students to produce stronger writing proficiency, and assist students in becoming self-regulated learners.