Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Katherine Norman


In an effort to improve mathematics retention and increase assessment scores, the public school district under study implemented Study Island into their Grade 9 algebra program. Study Island is a commercialized web-based program, customized to specific state standards and applied as a supplemental instructional tool. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Study Island with general education students and to determine whether the effectiveness of replacing some traditional mathematic instruction with technology was beneficial. The theoretical foundation stemmed from Bloom's work on mastery learning, which holds that children can learn if given the proper environment and tools. The research question investigated algebra students' possible academic growth through the use of Study Island software (N = 56). A nonequivalent pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design was employed to measure student mathematics achievement between students who participated in the technology program (n = 28) and those who did not (n = 28), controlling for preexisting differences in mathematics achievement. The study occurred over a 10-week period, with 90 minutes of daily mathematics instruction. Final results were determined using pre- and postcourse mathematic assessments and by applying analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Results suggested the use of Study Island had a statistically significant influence on increased mathematic assessment scores. These results support the use of Study Island by the local district to increase mathematics achievement for all students. Implications for positive social change include identifying the effectiveness of a technology treatment, which can contribute to improved student achievement and encourage non-traditional approaches to teaching mathematics.