Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Christopher Bogianes


Teachers are encouraged to provide and equitable learning environment in their classrooms. This can be a struggle due to the emphasis on standardization. The purpose of this mixed methods, action research study was to examine the impact of providing students with choices for how to demonstrate their learning (SC) on their sense of accomplishment (SoA) in a high school English Language Arts course. The research question that guided this study was, "How does elevating student choice for demonstrating learning through Project Based Learning (PBL) impact students' sense of accomplishment in the secondary English classroom?" Using a Project Based Learning (PBL) instructional approach, students were provided opportunities to make choices related to their methods of collaboration and demonstration of mastery over a six-week period as they engaged in a PBL unit focus on characterization in the Shakespearean play Hamlet. Based on the analysis of data generated by a pre/post intervention survey, semi daily questionnaires, and teacher observations, providing students with meaningful choices can lead to a greater SoA for students. Intrinsic motivation was found to be a pivotal outcome and an emerging framework for increasing intrinsic motivation for students to learn in the classroom was identified. Implications for teachers of English and those working in high school classroom are discussed.


© 2019, Lauren Ashley Gehr