Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


David Weintraub

Committee Member

Matthew Delaney


biology, educational assessment, high school students, program evaluation, FSA, EOC, exams, standards, assessments


During the 2018-2019 academic testing season, the biology department of a Title I central Florida high school experienced a significant 6-point increase in the biology portion of the Florida Standards Assessment end-of-course exam, which demonstrated noteworthy gains over any other subject area. The high school implemented a preparatory testing boot camp to meet the concerns of teachers in need of additional instructional material during extended 4-hour holding periods throughout the altered testing schedule, as well as address the need for additional instruction for the students taking the state exams.

This study looked into the practices of the biology department during the boot camp implementation in order to glean a deeper understanding of how the department’s instruction may have contributed to the students’ exceptional progress in that subject area versus other subjects that also offered boot camp instruction. The study serves to assist administration, faculty and staff identify areas of opportunity for improvement in instructional delivery in all subject areas of the boot camp for future testing seasons.

The purpose of this qualitative study was to conduct a modified program evaluation of the biology preparatory boot camp guided by the Stufflebeam evaluation model that incorporates the evaluative elements of context, input, process, and product to gain insight into the biology department’s boot camp instructional delivery practices. This research aimed to answer what perceptions were held by the faculty regarding the efficacy of the biology department’s end-of-course preparatory boot camp and what ways the biology boot camp can be improved. The population of this qualitative study was narrowed to one of six subjects that included the biology department, as well as the administrators. Data were collected using a semistructured interview of the participant via video telephone and document analysis of the 2018-2019 testing scores. Data were analyzed via content analysis, and the Stufflebeam evaluation model was used to compile findings from the feedback of the participant and the document analysis.

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