Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

School Psychology

Major Professor

Christopher H. Skinner

Committee Members

Merilee McCurdy, Mari Coleman-Lopatic, Tara Moore

Abstract

The acquisition of basic math facts is a necessity for elementary school students as it fosters skill development as math concepts increase in difficulty. Specifically, by the end of the fifth grade, students are expected to have mastered all basic one-digit by one-digit multiplication problems. Many students, however, do not become fluent with multiplication facts, particularly the most difficult basic facts (i.e., digits 6-9). The current study was designed to determine if a computer-based learning trials program could enhance automaticity with difficult multiplication facts. Further, we investigated whether the computer program targeting difficult facts could enhance fluency across all basic multiplication facts.

A multiple-baseline across student design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention. Three students participated in the study where they were assessed on their automaticity for each difficult multiplication problem as well as their overall basic multiplication fact fluency. Visual analysis of results suggests that the computer program enhanced the number of rapid and accurate responding for these difficult multiplication problems across at least two students. Visual analysis was supplemented with statistical analysis, which suggested that the intervention enhanced automaticity on difficult facts with two of the three students. With respect to fluency across all problems, these data provided no evidence that the computer program targeting difficult problems enhanced fluency, as the data on fluency was not interpretable because of high within-student variability.

Survey data revealed that students found the intervention acceptable. Findings of the current study have theoretical and applied implications. Study limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

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