Award Date

May 2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Second Committee Member

Kyle Higgins

Third Committee Member

Tracy Spies

Fourth Committee Member

Michael McCreery

Number of Pages

202

Abstract

Students with disabilities often have difficulty meeting established math proficiency levels. Without these skills, students may face increased challenges in transitioning to adulthood, including fewer post-secondary educational opportunities, limited career options, and decreased long-term income. Addressing low math skills is important to improving options for students with disabilities. Research indicates that technology-based interventions have the potential to improve academic outcomes.

The purpose of this study was to examine the math instructional technology used in secondary math classrooms with students with disabilities. The study also examined teacherperceived barriers and desired supports related to the integration of technology. A three-round Delphi method was used to collect survey data from participants. Participants were 36 secondary general and special education teachers who were identified as experts by their school principals and currently teaching secondary math to students with disabilities in co-teach and/or resource settings. Expertise criteria included a standard teaching license, experience using instructional software with students, and a minimum of three years of experience teaching students with disabilities in co-teach and/or resource settings.

The results indicated that participants most frequently used ALEKS, Kahoot, ST Math, or no instructional software in math instruction for students with disabilities. Software selection was based on software availability, software features, or no specific selection methods. Participants identified lack of time, cost, and lack of technology as barriers to implementation. The most frequently identified desired supports were training and support, additional technology, and no supports, and participants perceived technology as increasing engagement, improving math outcomes, or having an unknown impact on math performance.

These findings have implications for administrators, practitioners, researchers, and teacher preparation program developers. Instructional software continues to be underutilized in secondary math classrooms with students with disabilities, and the instructional software programs that are utilized do not have a strong evidence base. Administrators and practitioners should use a rigorous decision-making process to select and implement evidence-based instructional software to improve the math outcomes of students with disabilities.

Administrators should also provide ongoing training to teachers to support technology integration. For researchers, additional focus is needed on replication studies to strengthen the evidence base of instructional software programs. Finally, teacher preparation programs should include coverage of basic technology concepts, educational technology, software evaluation methods, budgeting, and time management.

Keywords

educational software; higher education; mathematics intervention; middle school education; professional development; teacher education

Disciplines

Education | Science and Mathematics Education | Special Education and Teaching

Language

English


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