Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

John Mendes, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Patricia Akojie, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Becky Copper, Ed.D.


achievement goal, authentic assessment, authentic outcomes-based assessment, competency-based assessment, goal orientation, goal structures, patterns of adaptive learning, performance-based assessment, performance task, portfolio, project-based assessment, simulations, teacher self-efficacy


The purpose of this study was to determine middle school teachers’ attitudes towards authentic outcomes-based assessments and to relate teachers’ perceptions of patterns of adaptive learning to authentic assessment scores of middle school students. Multiple learning theories were used to shape the conceptual framework. The correlational portion of this study was designed to seek relationships between the participants’ perceptions of patterns of adaptive learning and their students’ mean authentic assessment scores. The descriptive survey portion of this study was designed to gather middle school social studies teachers’ opinions of authentic outcomes-based assessments used to evidence mastery of intended learning outcomes. The Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient was used to examine correlations, and descriptive statistics were used to describe teachers’ perceptions of authentic outcomes-based assessments. The results of the correlational portion of this study were nonsignificant in that patterns of adaptive learning do not predict authentic outcomes-based assessment scores. Insights that stemmed from the descriptive survey portion of this study included middle school teachers’ opinions of the resources, scoring practices, format preferences, and alignment of authentic assessments used to replace state standardized assessments. Implications that were formed based on the findings from this study included revisiting school culture and methods of evaluation. The results of this research study warrant additional research across multiple grade levels, content areas, gender, and professional roles to heighten awareness about patterns of adaptive learning and authentic assessment.