Date of Award:

12-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Ben Lignugaris/Kraft

Abstract

Previous research has shown that implementing graphic organizers and giving the needed instruction to use and study content information increases academic gain of students with learning disabilities. In the present study students actively engaged in using graphic organizers, which helped them demonstrate their learning on multiple choice questions. On the multiple choice test, the overall mean gain for the experimental group was 45%. The control group's overall mean gain on the multiple choice test was 30%. While the posttest scores for students in the graphic organizer group were significantly higher than posttest scores of students in the control group, few students mastered the material. On a short answer test in which students answered definition, compare and contrast questions, students in traditional instruction outperformed students who received graphic organizer instruction. On the short answer test the mean gain for the experimental group across question types was 17% and the mean gain for the control group was 21%. These results are discussed relative to the available research on graphic organizers.

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