Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Alice Eichholz

Abstract

Multiple approaches have been used in U.S. community colleges to address the learning needs of postsecondary students who are underprepared in basic skills math. The purpose of this exploratory interview study was to gain a deeper understanding of community college basic skills math learning through instructors' lived experiences using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach and its technology tool, a computerized pen. The conceptual framework for this study used Knowles's adult learning and Kolb's experiential learning theories with UDL principles. The central research questions investigated the professional development and teaching experiences of community college basic skills math instructors in their basic skills math curriculum in the California Community College system using a Smartpen. Interviews were conducted with 4 instructors, 2 of whom also participated in the 2011-2012 community college pilot project of the approach. The analysis consisted of coding and theme development in relation to the experiential learning process and the instructors' andragogy practices. This study identified 4 themes for use in understanding the instructors' experiences teaching with a Smartpen: instructor preparation, technology use and savvy, student needs, and instructor flexibility/adaptability. The study findings are of interest to community college basic math skills instructors, who can use these findings to inform their teaching preparation and teaching approaches, improving pedagogy and helping their students successfully complete their math courses.