Comparing the effects of drill-based interventions on multiplication fact acquisition

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Adams, Sarah Ruth
Sander, Janay B.
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Math facts are foundational for later math skill development but have been identified as a common skill deficit among students in early schooling (Gersten, Jordan, & Flojo, 2005). Drillbased interventions effectively target and improve foundational academic skills (Burns, 2005), however, there is limited research examining drill-based interventions within the context of math facts and also a gap in the use of theoretical frameworks to guide such research. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of incremental rehearsal (IR), traditional drill (TD), and strategic incremental rehearsal (SIR) on multiplication fact retention, maintenance, and fluency outcomes with 36 fourth and fifth graders. The study also examined intervention efficiency and treatment acceptability. Additionally, the instructional hierarchy was used to inform intervention procedures as well as discuss outcomes. Results showed no differences in retention (p = .710; W = .01), maintenance (p = .231; W = .04), and treatment acceptability (p = .348; W = .03) across the interventions. There were significant differences between pre-test and post-test fluency for IR (p < .0125; ηp2 = .14) but no differences in fluency among IR and TD (p = 1.000), IR and SIR (p = .966), as well as TD and SIR (p = 1.000). Furthermore, TD was shown to be most efficient intervention overall (p < .05; W = .39). The findings from the present study were discussed within the context of previous research as well as implications for practice, future research, limitations and conclusions.