Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Dale M. Brethower

Second Advisor

Dr. Galen Alessi

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Brinkerhoff


The present study attempted to determine the effects of process and outcome feedback information on student performance when this information was given to the instructor of those students. This feedback included information on student performance, teacher performance, or a combination of both. An educational evaluation, systems analysis, and behavior analysis perspective are taken in the present study.

The study was conducted in an educational setting. Twelve student teachers who were instructors of educational programs in the classrooms were subjects. Each student teacher taught one to three instructional groups on a daily basis. For each student teacher the lowest performing instructional group was selected as the targeted intervention group with the remaining groups serving as controls. Student teachers were randomly assigned to one of three feedback conditions: (a) process, (b) outcome, or (c) process and outcome. Data were recorded on the accuracy of the children's responses on Instructional-Program-Based Tests, children requiring remediation, the number of positive changes seen, the number of group responses per minute, the accuracy of the children's responses during group instruction, and the accuracy of the student teachers in correcting errors during group instruction. Student teachers received feedback at the beginning of each week on the performance measures targeted for their intervention group.

The results indicated that children in targeted feedback groups had increased accuracy on the Instruction-Program-Based Tests while children in control groups showed little increased accuracy, no increased accuracy, or decreased accuracy on the tests. The results also indicated that process feedback was more effective in increasing individual human performance than either outcome or process plus outcome feedback. The least effective type of feedback was the combination of process and outcome. The effects on low-performing children in feedback groups were dramatic with only one child showing a decrement in the accuracy on the Instruction-Program-Based Tests.

These results are opposite the results reported by another study in an industrial setting. The differences in setting, worker experience, and task complexity are suggested as possible explanations for the differing results. Process feedback might be more effective while learners are acquiring a new and complex repertoire whereas outcome feedback might be more effective in obtaining good performance involving previously acquired skills.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Campus Only