Achievement and Self-Efficacy of Twice-Exceptional (2E) Students Using Mobile Applications
Salinas, Josephine Jeanette
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Twice-exceptional (2e) students have exceptional abilities and disabilities, which present challenges for educators to serve their needs in schools. Their abilities may overshadow their disabilities, thus camouflaging their disability. Conversely, their disabilities may overshadow their abilities, thus camouflaging their ability; each may neutralize the other so that neither is addressed. The purpose of the study was to explore perceptions of teachers and licensed clinicians working with 2e students when using mathematics mobile applications to address achievement and self-efficacy. For this study, IXL Math, a mathematics mobile device application-based subscription site, was used to support achievement and self-efficacy of 2e students. IXL Math was chosen for multiple reasons including popularity, real-time analytics for teachers, and alignment to state standards. The four-week study examined pre- and post-descriptive statistics from Patterns of Adaptive Learning to evaluate self-efficacy, Adaptive Diagnostic Assessment of Mathematics (ADAM) to evaluate achievement, and usage reports from IXL Math. Classroom observations were used to build a foundation of code and theory, and interviews with teachers and licensed clinicians were used to explore their perceptions and interpretations from the coding analysis. The research question explored the extent to which mobile applications affect achievement and self-efficacy among 2e students. Conceptually, this study was framed within a social learning theory due to the interconnectedness of the classroom environment, perceptions in learning, and the performance outcomes. Data collected through classroom observations, interviews, standardized achievement scores, usage reports, and self-assessments were used to evaluate the research question. Participants were five students, two teachers, and two licensed clinicians from a small private school. A single case-study research design was used to explore patterns, themes, and relationships in the data. The results of the study explored the achievement and self-efficacy of 2e students using IXL Math, however, further exploration is needed of mobile device applications to support 2e students. The teacher training, clinician support, and small teacher-to-student ratios appeared to be helpful for students struggling to regulate their emotions while using IXL Math. The novelty of IXL Math and the extrinsic motivations of reward boards and SmartScore appeared to outweigh the intrinsic motivation of learning as the reward. Further recommendations involve more in depth critique of mobile device applications to support achievement and self-efficacy of 2e students.