Ann MathenaFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


David C. Nelson


Digital Learning, Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment for Maryland Educators (FAME), Standards-Based Grading, Standards-Based Report Cards, Understanding by Design (UbD)


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Other Education


The purpose of this transcendental, phenomenological study was to understand the impact of online grading and standards-based report cards on elementary teacher instruction at a suburban school system. This research study examined teacher instruction and assessment, sharing obstacles, and resources necessary for the effective use of standards-based instruction and grading. The population for the study included 74 teacher participants from elementary schools. Data included information obtained from interviews, focus groups, and document collection. Data analysis included analyzing transcripts and coding information based on identified themes. Formal data analysis completed through using Moustakas’ seven steps, analyzed the experiences, identified significant statements from participants, clustered the statements into themes, synthesized the themes into a description of the experiences, and constructed a description of the essence of the experience. Results from the study included the need for consistency in grading through the use of rubrics, use of Understanding by Design (UbD) for teacher planning of instructional, use of formative assessment with teacher feedback for student learning, and articulating student learning goals to students through success criteria and learning progressions created through Formative Assessment for Maryland Educators (FAME). Teachers use Google Educators for collaboration, eliminate percentages in grading, and strive for consistency through grade level/departmentalized teaming. Recommendations for further research include analyzing the development of FAME learning progressions, and implementing a Digital Learning Plan.