Date of Award

Fall 1-10-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology and Special Education

First Advisor

David E. Houchins

Second Advisor

Kris Varjas

Third Advisor

Eliseo Jimenez

Fourth Advisor

Tracy McKinney

Fifth Advisor

Brendan Calandra

Sixth Advisor

Paul A. Alberto


Students with high incidence disabilities in the public school system often perform multiple grade levels below their typically-developing peers in mathematics achievement. These students exhibit lower levels of on-task behavior that limits their access to effective instruction, thus requiring instructional interventions that personalize learning, differentiate materials, and ultimately promote academic engagement. In recent years, the use of technology-mediated and computer-assisted instruction has shown to have positive results with students with disabilities. Blended learning, an intervention that combines face-to-face instruction with computer-based instruction, has been shown to improve the on-task behavior and achievement of students with disabilities. In Chapter One, a systematic review of the literature was conducted in an effort to locate blended learning math studies for secondary-level students with disabilities and to assess the scientific rigor of those studies. Twelve intervention studies were synthesized and categorized in three major areas: (a) online- and computer-based curricula for independent practice/instruction, (b) media-based interventions with video prompting, and (c) strategy instruction. Blended learning intervention studies that found positive results in math achievement and on-task behavior of students with disabilities utilized a station-rotation format. Additionally, studies that met the high standards of special education research (CEC, 2014) saw stronger gains for student math achievement. In Chapter Two, blended learning was implemented with three middle school students with emotional behavior disorders in a therapeutic setting. Using a multiple baseline across participants single case design, this study examined the relationship between blended learning mathematics instruction and student on-task behavior, teacher engagement, and mathematics achievement. Both student and teacher engagement increased with the use of station-rotation blended learning. Math achievement, measured through the AIMSweb curriculum-based math probes, improved for two of three student participants. Social validity questionnaires revealed that students and teacher enjoyed the blended learning intervention; however, continued use depended on properly functioning technology. Future research in the area of blended learning math instruction should strive to accurately measure on- and off-task behavior under the computer-based condition. Additionally, researchers should develop measurements of math achievement that accurately assess the content that is taught during instruction.


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