Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Rene Parmar

Second Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Third Advisor

Mary Ellen Freeley


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of IXL Math online software in raising student achievement on the New York State Math exam, with special focus on effects by student gender, ethnicity and disability status. The study includes an analysis of the relationship between scale scores and time spent using the IXL system, number of problems attempted, and skills mastered. This study is significant because national, state and local measures indicate no measurable improvement in math achievement with an alarming percentage of students scoring below proficient levels. Further, past studies examined teacher perception or student motivation regarding educational technology and achievement. To date, is the only study independently analyzing the effectiveness of a widely-used online learning application, IXL Math, in a Title 1 urban Middle School consisting of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and measuring the impact of the online program on students most at-risk, and whose attributes comprise the lowest third percentile of achievers.

A quasi-experimental research design was conducted by comparing two distinct cohorts of students – one using traditional paper assignments and the other completing IXL online assignments, and using statistical analysis, a determination was made that there was no significant difference in the scale scores between the two groups. Additionally, the interaction between IXL and gender, ethnicity, and disability, and its effect on math scores was analyzed. Two-way analysis of variance tests and Pearson’s correlation were conducted using SPSS software package. The major findings are discussed offering recommendations for future practice and research.