Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

James A. Therrell, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Donna Eastabrooks, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Patricia B. Easley, Ed.D.


Instructors in higher education, except those in teacher education, generally do not have any prior pedagogical training nor are they generally required to have such training. Formative assessment is an essential component to creating effective teaching and learning. Most research in methods of formative assessment primarily stems from pedagogical research for the PK‒12 learning environment. Consequently, collegiate instructors typically do not know how to use methods of formative assessment in higher education to gather evidence of learning during the teaching and learning process or why it may inform their instruction and have an impact on student learning; hence, achieving student learning outcomes becomes problematic (Asghar, 2012; Jensen, 2011; Scott-Webber, 2012). The purpose of this study was to explore the current pedagogical methods of formative assessment used in higher education and answer the research question: How are collegiate instructors using methods of formative assessment to inform their instruction? The research design for this study was a hermeneutic phenomenological design using Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle (Gadamer, 1975). This design began with a preunderstanding of what constitutes formative assessment based on research-based best practices currently applied in teacher preparation programs (Gadamer, 1975). Interviews and a focus group were conducted with instructors from two different institutions across a variety of disciplines to gather data on their experiences from their perspective. One recommendation resulting from this study was to provide faculty development and training in effective teaching and learning strategies to non-education collegiate instructors to fulfill the mission of educating students (Fullan & Scott, 2009; Giridharan, 2016).

Included in

Education Commons