Date of Award



© 2019 Francis Xavier Tweedie

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Heather Wilmot

Second Advisor

Peter Harrison

Third Advisor

Karen Swoboda


Secondary school mathematics proficiency continues to be a point of concern, as the current National Report Cards continue to show insufficient change. For middle school students, grades six through eight are formative years, as they begin to shape emotional connections and make a decision about their ability and motivation to do mathematics. These early decisions are paramount to how they approach mathematics learning in later grades. Student motivation is a critical function of students’ affective domain, engagement in the classroom, and their self-belief for learning. Teachers play a significant role in this process by providing supportive and effective learning environments to stimulate student motivation and engagement.

Through exploration and qualitative analysis, this exploratory case study examined the impact Adaptive Intelligent Tutorial Systems (AITS) has on the behaviors, beliefs, and motivation of students to learn mathematics in a local middle school, from the perspectives of the teachers. This study was guided by three research questions. The leading question examined the type of instructional approaches that affected middle school students’ affective domain for learning mathematics. The second question explored the factors that affected middle school students’ motivation and self-belief to learning mathematics when incorporating an Adaptive Intelligent Tutorial Intervention in the general education setting. The third question explored factors that affected middle school students’ motivation and self-belief to learn mathematics when teacher-directed approaches were employed in the general education setting. The study design employed both pre- and post-surveys and focus group, investigating the perceptions of motivation and engagement.

The researcher learned that AITS was effective when combined with other instructional strategies to support students’ learning needs. As a key component of the AITS, the instant feedback feature provided teachers with additional time to support students, as well as enabling them to self-regulate their learning, having a positive impact on their motivation and self-belief. This study provides recommendations to mathematics teachers and administrators on the value of AITS in the classroom. The researcher recommends that further studies be done with a broader student population over a longer timeframe.


Ed.D. Dissertation