The Investigation of Virtual Concrete-Representational-abstract Model to Teach One Digit Multiplication Word Problem to Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
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Students need to comprehend basic mathematical skills and word problem skills in elementary grades and combine old and new knowledge to be successful in future academic lives. The mathematics achievement of American students is lower than the desired level. Additionally, the low mathematics achievement is more prevalent among students with disabilities. A growing body of research supports evidence based strategies, such as concrete-representational-abstract (CRA) sequence, to teach mathematics to students with disabilities. This dissertation study extends the current body of CRA research by analyzing the effects of the CRA instructional approach enhanced with virtual manipulatives on the conceptual and procedural accuracy and efficiency of solving one-step multiplication word problems by students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). A multiple baseline design across participants was used to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention. Three elementary students with EBD participated in this study using an iPad tool created specifically for this research project. A qualitative design was also conducted to understand the perspective of participants about virtual manipulatives, the iPad application, and multiplication word problems. The results of this dissertation study revealed that the iPad was an effective tool to teach one-digit multiplication word problems accurately and efficiently, emphasized the importance of teaching conceptual and procedural understanding in elementary grades for students with EBD. Additionally, participants strongly suggested the iPad tool enhanced with virtual manipulatives was a way to improve their word problem solving skills and wanted to use this iPad tool in their classroom. Finally, limitations of the study, implications for future research, and implications are provided.