Instructional applications (apps) are educational software programs that can be accessed via mobile technologies (e.g., iPad, smartphone) and used to help students acquire various academic skills, including mathematics. Although research suggests that app-based instruction (AI) can be effective, there is a paucity of research comparing AI, to teacher-directed instruction (TDI) or to a combination of instructional approaches (CI) involving both AI and TDI in tandem. In an alternating treatments design, we compared AI, TDI, and CI conditions during instruction targeting multiplication facts with six students with learning disabilities. Results were inconsistent across students, and no condition emerged as consistently better than the others. Students completed social validity rating scales, and all approaches were favored by at least one student. Our results support findings from previous research involving similar comparisons between these instructional formats in which no (or minimal) differences across conditions were detected. We conclude that there may not be a meaningful difference between the outcomes achieved using AI, TDI, or CI for many students. Results are discussed in terms of directions for the future research.
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Bryant, B.R., Ok, M., Kang, E.Y. et al. Performance of Fourth-Grade Students with Learning Disabilities on Multiplication Facts Comparing Teacher-Mediated and Technology-Mediated Interventions: A Preliminary Investigation. J Behav Educ 24, 255–272 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10864-015-9218-z
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