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Employing mixed-method approach, this case study examined the in situ use of educational computer games in a summer math program to facilitate 4th and 5th graders' cognitive math achievement, metacognitive awareness, and positive attitudes toward math learning. The results indicated that students developed more positive attitudes toward math learning through five-week computer math gaming, but there was no significant effect of computer gaming on students' cognitive test performance or metacognitive awareness development. The in-field observation and students' think-aloud protocol informed that not every computer math drill game would engage children in committed learning. The study findings have highlighted the value of situating learning activities within the game story, making games pleasantly challenging, scaffolding reflections, and designing suitable off-computer activities.

Author: Ke, F.

Source: Computers & Education, Vol. 51 (4), 1609-1620.

This study compared learning for fifth grade students in two math homework conditions. The paper-and-pencil condition represented traditional homework, with review of problems in class the following day. The Web-based homework condition provided immediate feedback in the form of hints on demand and step-by-step scaffolding. We analyzed the results for students who completed both the paper-and-pencil and the Web-based conditions. In this group of 28 students, students learned significantly more when given computer feedback than when doing traditional paper-and-pencil homework, with an effect size of 0.61. The implications of this study are that, given the large effect size, it may be worth the cost and effort to give Web-based homework when students have access to the needed equipment, such as in schools that have implemented one-to-one computing programs. (Contains 3 figures and 3 tables.)

Author: Mendicino, M., Razzaq, L., & Heffernan, N.T.

Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(3), 331-358.

This study investigated the effect of students' ability and type of instructional program, structured and unstructured, on easy and difficult posttest items. Seventh-grade students worked through 14 instructional activities in The Geometer Sketchpad, a dynamic geometry program, and accessed a Geometry tutorial developed to parallel the state math standards for geometry. Low-ability students scored higher in the less structured program, whereas high- and medium-ability learners performed better in the structured program. High- and medium-ability students outscored low-ability learners by a greater margin on the difficult items than on the easy items. Although their overall performance was poor in both programs, that low-ability learners performed relatively better in the less structured, less traditional, mathematics activities is an encouraging finding for mathematics educators and designers of open-ended learning environments that feature differentiation of instruction.

Author: Hannafin, R.

Source: Educational Technology Research and Development, Vol. 52 (1), 19-32.

Discusses instructional approaches and issues relevant to the improvement of mathematical teaching techniques and achievement for students with learning disabilities. Changes in conceptions of math literacy; Cognitive perspectives on formal mathematical knowledge and learning; Comparison between new and traditional approaches in teaching. Implications for the differentiation of instruction and accessible materials.

Author: Goldman, S., & Hasselbring, T.

Source: Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 30 (2), 198-208.

This constructivist teaching experiment with 2 fourth graders examined the relationship between teaching and children's generative constructs for improper fractions. The report performs an intertwined analysis of the children's construction of this multiplicative relationship and an examination of the teacher's adaptation of learning situations (tasks) and teacher-learner interactions to fit within the constraints of the children's math activity.

Author: Tzur, R.

Source: Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Vol. 30 (4), 390-416.

The purpose of this study was to conduct a meta-study of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) studies in math for students with learning disabilities (LD) focusing on examining the effects of CAI on the mathematics performance of students with LD. This study examined a total of 11 mathematics CAI studies, which met the study selection criterion, for students with LD at the elementary and secondary levels and analyzed them in terms of their comparability and effect sizes. Overall, this study found that those CAI studies did not show conclusive effectiveness with relatively large effect sizes. The methodological problems in the CAI studies limit an accurate validation of the CAI's effectiveness. Implications for future math CAI studies were discussed.

Author: Seo, Y. & Bryant, D.P..

Source: Computers & Education, Vol. 53(3), 913-928.

Building Blocks is a National Science Foundation-funded project designed to enable all young children to build a solid foundation for math. To ensure this, we used a design and development model that drew from theory and research in each phase. Our design process is based on the assumption that curriculum and software design can and should have an explicit theoretical and empirical foundation, beyond its genesis in someone's intuitive grasp of children's learning. It also should interact with the ongoing development of theory and research-reaching toward the ideal of testing a theory by testing the software and curriculum in which it is embedded. Our model includes specification of mathematical ideas (computer objects or manipulatives) and processes/skills (software “tools” or actions) and extensive field-testing from the first inception through to large summative evaluation studies. The initial field test results indicate that such an approach can result in significant assessed learning gains consistent with the new Principles and Standards for School Mathematics of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Author: Sarama, J. & Clements, D.

Source: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Vol. 19, 181-189.

This study explored the performance of seventh-grade students with and without disabilities, educated in inclusive math classes, on a mathematics assessment aligned to state standards with graphing calculators as an accommodation. The study used random assignment of classes to condition with students nested in classes. Students did not use a graphing calculator on the preassessment but approximately half (52.5%) had access to a graphing calculator on the post-assessment. The results indicate that students with disabilities made gains from preassessment to post-assessment but students without disabilities performed statistically significantly better on the post-assessment than did students with disabilities, F(1, 35) = 4.322, p = 0.045. The results raise concern about the validity of calculators as assessment accommodations for students with disabilities.

Author: Bouck, E.C.

Source: Remedial and Special Education, Vol. 30(4), 207-215.

The challenge many teachers face is how to incorporate new technology into their classrooms that strengthens classroom learning by capitalizing on students' media literacies. Blogs, a new and innovative technological tool, can be used in math and science classrooms to support student learning by capitalizing on students' interests and familiarity with on-line communication. This study explores the emerging blogging practices of one high school mathematics teacher and his class to explore issues of intent, use, and perceived value. Data sources for this case included one year's worth of blog content, an interview with the facilitating teacher, and students' perceptions of classroom blogging practices. Findings indicate that (1) teachers' intentions focused on creating additional forms of participation as well as increasing student exposure time with content; (2) blogs were used in a wide variety of ways that likely afforded particular benefits; and (3) both teacher and students perceived the greater investment to be worthwhile. The findings are used to critically consider claims made in the literature about the potential of blogging to effectively support classroom learning.

Author: MacBride, R. & Luehmann, A. L.

Source: School Science and Mathematics, Vol. 108(5), 173-183.

36 9th graders in 2 remedial math classes were compared on their ability to generate solutions to a contextualized problem after being taught problem-solving skills under 2 conditions (standard word problems or contextualized problem on videodisc). All problems focused on adding and subtracting fractions in relation to money and linear measurement. Both groups improved their performance on solving word problems, but Ss in the contextualized problem group did significantly better on the contextualized problem posttest and were able to use their skills in 2 transfer tasks that followed instruction.

Author: Bottge, B. & Hasselbring, T.

Source: Exceptional Children, Vol. 59 (6), 556-566.

This report provides a comparison of the post-high school experiences of youth with disabilities in 1990 and in 2005, who had been out of high school up to 4 years. It examines how differences between the two time periods varied across disability categories and demographic groups and, when data are available, how these differences compared with those of youth in the general population.

Author: Newman, L., Wagner, M., Cameto, R., Knokey, A.-M., & Shaver, D.

Source: (NCSER 2010-3008). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Patriot High School (PHS) adopted a remediation strategy to help its 10th-grade students at risk of failing the Math portion of MCAS, the state's end of year competency exam. The centerpiece of that strategy was a computer-based instructional (CBI) course. PHS used a commercially available CBI product to align the course content with the competencies covered on the MCAS exam. This case study examines the overall effectiveness of the PHS strategies, and in particular, the role of CBI. Participant MCAS scores and CBI performance (measured by module-mastery data) are analyzed, and an interview with the course instructor is summarized. Finally, PHS scores were compared to the overall state MCAS scores for the same years. Overall scores of all 10th graders increased significantly compared to their 8th-grade scores, students who participated in the CBI course improved more than the students who did not. The passing rate at PHS improved from 40% in 1999 to 84% in 2001, compared to an improvement of from 47% to 75% statewide. A significant correlation was identified between the MCAS scores and the program usage data, with student CBI module mastery correlated with higher MCAS scores. Overall, the instructor was positive about the impact of the course and believed that the course gave many under-performers a chance to succeed when more traditional methods had failed.

Author: Hannafin, R. D., & Foshay, W. R.

Source: Educational Technology Research and Development, Vol. 56 (2), 147-160.

A meta-analysis of findings from 254 controlled evaluation studies showed that computer-based instruction (CBI) usually produces positive effects on students. The studies covered learners of all age levels, from kindergarten pupils to adult students. CBI programs raised student examination scores by 0.30 standard deviations in the average study, a moderate but significant effect. The size of effect varied, however, as a function of study feature. Effects were larger in published rather than unpublished studies, in studies in which different teachers taught experimental and control classes, and in studies of short duration. CBI also produced small but positive changes in student attitudes toward teaching and computers, and it substantially reduced the time needed for math instruction.

Author: Kulik, C., & Kulik, J.

Source: Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 7 (1-2), 75-94.

This study investigates the effects on students with a learning disability of embedding a drill and practice task within an arcade game-like context. We identified 30 learning-disabled and 30 nondisabled students who had conceptual understanding of addition but had not achieved automaticity in addition facts. We trained students on either a drill-and-practice game or an unadorned, straightforward drill (i.e., "plain vanilla") program. We assessed automaticity in three modes of responding - oral, computer keyboard, and written response. There was a significant interaction effect indicating that the learning-disabled students were relatively disadvantaged by repeated practice in the game format. We infer learning-disabled students' lower performance is attributed to attentional difficulties, particularly selective attention problems, when potentially distracting elements of a game environment are present.

Author: Christensen, C., & Gerber, M.

Source: Exceptionality, Vol. 1 (3), 149-165.

In the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), Congress called for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to conduct a rigorous study of the conditions and practices under which educational technology is effective in increasing student academic achievement. A 2007 report presenting study findings for the 2004-2005 school year, indicated that, after one school year, differences in student test scores were not statistically significant between classrooms that were randomly assigned to use software products and those that were randomly assigned not to use products. School and teacher characteristics generally were not related to whether products were effective. The second year of the study examined whether an additional year of teaching experience using the software products increased the estimated effects of software products on student test scores. The evidence for this hypothesis is mixed. For reading, there were no statistically significant differences between the effects that products had on standardized student test scores in the first year and the second year. For sixth grade math, product effects on student test scores were statistically significantly lower (more negative) in the second year than in the first year, and for algebra I, effects on student test scores were statistically significantly higher in the second year than in the first year. The study also tested whether using any of the 10 software products increased student test scores. One product had a positive and statistically significant effect. Nine did not have statistically significant effects on test scores. Five of the insignificant effects were negative and four were positive. Study findings should be interpreted in the context of design and objectives. The study examined a range of reading and math software products in a range of diverse school districts and schools. But it did not study many forms of educational technology and it did not include many types of software products. How much information the findings provide about the effectiveness of products that are not in the study is an open question. Products in the study also were implemented in a specific set of districts and schools, and other districts and schools may have different experiences with the products. The findings should be viewed as one element within a larger set of research studies that have explored the effectiveness of software products. Three appendixes are included: (1) Second-Year Data Collection and Response Rates; (2) Description of Sample for the 10 Products; and (3) Details of Estimation Methods. (Contains 29 footnotes, 4 figures and 24 tables.

Author: Campuzano, L., Dynarski, M., Agodini, R., and Rall, K.

Source: Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

This research project investigated the effects of computer-assisted cooperative learning in math instruction within integrated classrooms for 118 third- graders (25 with learning disabilities) and 92 fourth-graders (16 with learning disabilities). Students were grouped into cooperative learning, whole-class, or individual learning situations to learn math with the help of computer technology in class. Three computer software packages were used for students to learn math concepts, including computation, application, and problem solving skills. All the students took pre- and post-math achievement tests and participated in a learning attitude survey. Results showed that the cooperative learning group's scores on math achievement were statistically higher than those of the whole-class learning group. Also, the results of the attitude survey showed that the cooperative learning group had higher scores on preference of the learning subject, effort, accomplishment, and self-confidence than those in the whole-class learning group. In addition, a social acceptance scale administered to the general education students indicated that in the cooperative learning group the students' willingness to engage in social contact with students with disabilities was higher and their avoidance of social contact with students with disabilities was lower than the other learning groups. Relevant evaluation materials are attached.

Author: Xin, F.

Source: Rowan College of New Jersey, Special Education Department. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED412696).

Examines the effects of computer-assisted instruction on the mathematical proficiency of students with learning disabilities. Enhancement of the basic skills; Improvement of the problem solving ability in mathematics; Comprehension of math problems.

Author: Okolo, C.

Source: Exceptionality, Vol. 3, 195-211.

Examines the effects of computer-assisted versus teacher-directed instruction on the multiplication performance of elementary students with learning disabilities (LD) in the United States. Assignment of math facts to teaching format; Presentation of facts during the lesson; Independent measures; Effectiveness of teacher-directed instruction.

Author: Wilson, R., & Majsterek, D.

Source: Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 29 (4), 382.

Examines the impact of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) program-based attribution retraining on learning disabled students' attributions, persistence and mathematics computation. Measures of math attributions, persistence and skill attainment; Impact of attribution retraining on multiplication skills; Feedback provided by CAI program.

Author: Okolo, C.

Source: Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 25 (5), 327-334.

In this article, a technology-supported teaching and learning model that aims to bridge the gender gap identified in areas such as mathematics and science is proposed. Further, this model promotes collaboration between teacher educators and K-12 teachers. The focus of technology is on the use of video conferencing. This model is further tested by a government funded 3-year project using design-based research paradigm.

Author: Li, Q.

Source: Journal of Educational Technology Systems, Vol. 36 (3), 287-295.