Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dina Anselmi

Second Advisor

David Reuman


Numerous studies have established that feedback is among the most effective ways to improve student achievement. However, not all studies have defined feedback in the same way, so the effectiveness of feedback has depended on how it has been defined and the context in which it was provided (Hattie & Timperely, 2007). This study investigated the effects of a feedback intervention on student academic performance, metacognition, and motivation. The students in the study came from two sections of a high school world history class at an inter-district magnet school in Hartford, Connecticut. All feedback was provided by the same teacher over the course of a 4-week instructional unit. Students in the experimental group received elaborated written comments that detailed strengths in their work along with one specific area for improvement, but grades were withheld until the end of the instructional unit, whereas students in the control group were given brief written comments about their work along with grades after each assignment in the instructional unit. The effectiveness of the feedback intervention was assessed by having students take a knowledge-based test before and after the intervention. Metacognition and motivational variables (self-efficacy, achievement values, test anxiety, extrinsic and intrinsic goal orientation, and control of learning beliefs) were also assessed at both time points. Student perceptions of the usefulness of feedback were also collected before and after the unit to assess the level of engagement students had with the feedback they received. As predicted, the feedback intervention found significant effects for academic performance and some measures of motivation, but found no effects on metacognition, most measures of motivation, and perceptions of feedback. Implications of the study’s findings are discussed in terms of processing feedback as a multidimensional skill.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford, CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology.