The role of written feedback in enhancing students’Mathematics learning in Tanzanian lower secondary schools: An intervention study at a lower secondary school in Bukoba municipality, Tanzania

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Geoff Tennant

Second Supervisor/Advisor



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This study examines the roles of written feedback in enhancing students‟ mathematics learning in Tanzanian lower secondary classrooms. Black and Wiliam (1998) pointed out that improved learning occurs when teachers use assessment evidence to establish skills and knowledge possessed by students. This can be achieved through giving meaningful feedback to students (Chappuis & Chappuis, 2007). An intervention study was conducted; the participants were the teachers and 7 students each from one form one and one form two class. Before the intervention, students filled out a questionnaire and the teachers were interviewed. The intervention, which included participant observation, involved the researcher teaching alongside the normal class teacher, prioritizing written feedback as a formative assessment tool. After the intervention the teachers were reinterviewed and the pupils were individually interviewed. Additionally, written feedback in students‟ exercise books was analyzed, before, during and after the intervention. The findings before the intervention indicated that written feedback was often very brief without any apparent direction given. Reasons identified for not giving longer feedback include: inadequate teachers‟ skills, large number of students and heavy teaching load. Findings indicated that during the intervention, students demonstrated an appreciation of the written feedback received, and stated that it aided their learning. Teachers indicated an increased level of skill and awareness in giving written feedback. The recommendations arising from this study include the need for teachers to undergo in-service training on how to conduct formative assessment, including provision of effective written feedback. Further research is recommended on how students can be effectively trained to conduct peer assessment, including giving written feedback to each other, in order to maximize written feedback without increasing teachers‟ workload.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library