Investigating the effect of assessment feedback on student's learning and performance in mathematics: a case of two community secondary schools in Moshi Municipality, Tanzania


Alex Mlemba

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Winston Edward Massam

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Nicholas Wachira


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Performance in basic mathematics in secondary schools at CSEE has been on decline for many years. Several factors such as family support, myth, beliefs about mathematics as well as teaching and learning strategies have been associated with this poor performance. Assessment feedback being at the centre of formative assessment is among the factors that directly influence teaching and learning process. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of assessment feedback on students learning and performance in mathematics in form three secondary classrooms in Moshi Municipality. The study explored the nature of assessment feedback used by teachers, perceived effect of feedback on students leaning and performance as well as the challenges hindering teachers to provide effective feedback to their learners. The sample consisted of 24 form three students involved in FGD and two mathematic teachers from two community secondary schools. This qualitative case study design used classroom observation, interviews, focus group discussion and document analysis as methods of collecting data. Findings of this study revealed that, task level feedback, evaluative in nature dominated mathematics classes. This task level, evaluative feedback either verbal or written has no significant assistance to the learners in learning and improving their performance. However, the study found that, the nature of assessment feedback used by teachers is contributed by various factors like large classes, teacher‟s feedback illiteracy, overloaded curriculum content and teacher‟s heavy workload. The study recommends that, the curriculum used to train pre-service teachers should be revisited in order to incorporate the content about assessment feedback, professional development programmes for in-service teachers based on effective feedback practices and deploying more mathematics teachers in community secondary schools to reduce the teacher-students ratio. These will enable teachers to provide effective feedback which in turn will enhance students learning and improve their performance in mathematics at CSEE.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library