Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

UCanFnsh: A virtual learning environment created to engage and inspire self-determination in middle school students with learning disabilities
by Rosenblatt, Kara, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, 2009, 305; 3383692
Abstract (Summary)

This study explored the efficacy of using a virtual college campus to teach self-determination skills to middle school students with learning disabilities. Teaching self-determination skills is considered best practice for students with disabilities as they transition into adulthood. Three measures, a self-determination knowledge measurement scale, a behavior rubric, and 15 multiple choice questions measured self-determination knowledge and skill application ability with 71 middle school students with learning disabilities.

The measures were used to determine whether the students who learned about self-determination skills in the virtual college setting during one training session displayed more knowledge and application of these skills than students who learned about and applied these skills in the natural setting. Empirical data revealed that overall, students made significant gains in their capacity to be self-determined in both natural and virtual settings. Students who participated in self-determination skills training in the virtual college setting displayed significantly more self-determination skills knowledge than the two control groups. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the students who learned in the virtual learning environment were also able to generalize these skills to both home and school settings after only one training session. Recommendations were made for future studies utilizing virtual learning environments to teach students with disabilities self-determination skills and increasing the use of digital media in teacher preparation programs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cross, Lee, Dieker, Lisa A.
School: University of Central Florida
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 70/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle School education, Special education, Educational technology
Keywords: Learning disabilities, Middle school, Self-determination, Special education, Transition, UCanFnsh, Virtual learning environment
Publication Number: 3383692
ISBN: 978-1-109-48024-5
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