Effects of explicit, strategic teacher directed instruction with iPad application practice on the multiplication fact performance of 5th grade students with learning disabilities
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It is critical that students develop computational skills with basic facts to attain more advanced mathematical skills (e.g., algebra and fractions). A limited ability in accuracy and fluency with basic facts by students with learning disabilities (LD) who have Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals in mathematics can hinder their performance with more advanced mathematical skills. Thus, it is imperative to provide effective instruction to help students with LD to improve their basic fact skills. Explicit, strategic instruction has been highly recommended as an effective method for helping students with LD to improve basic fact skills. In addition, recent studies reported tablet computers such as iPads have potential for teaching basic fact skills. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of explicit, strategic teacher-directed instruction with iPad application practice on the multiplication fact performance of 5th grade students with LD. A single-case, multiple probe design across participants was applied for this study. Four 5th grade students with LD who had IEP goals in mathematics received fifteen 1:1 intervention sessions in multiplication facts (×4s and ×8s). Digits correct per minute in daily probes, use of a doubling strategy in strategy usage tests, and perspectives of students toward the intervention were measured. Results showed that all students improved their performance with multiplication fact proficiency; one student achieved the mastery level while the three other students approached mastery. All students also maintained the intervention gains, two weeks following the intervention. Additional findings showed that students increased their use of the doubling strategy to solve facts and were able to answer facts automatically following the intervention. Social validity interviews revealed that the intervention was viewed favorably by all students by their expression of positive perspectives toward using the doubling strategy and an iPad application to practice.