Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. E. Francine Guastello


Students at the secondary level encounter a plethora of content-rich, content-area texts. To achieve comprehension of these content-area texts, students are required to know the meanings, relationships, and contextual interpretations of each new vocabulary word. Students, especially exceptional students (those who have an Individualized Education Plan), struggle with academic demands, challenges of tiered vocabulary, and the lack of comprehensive vocabulary instruction. Researchers have examined the outcomes of computer-assisted instruction on exceptional students’ vocabulary development using various technology. To meet the critical academic vocabulary acquisition needs of secondary students with exceptionalities, research encourages using technological applications as independent word-learning strategies. This research study, grounded within Piaget’s Constructivism Theory, as it interweaves with Mayer’s Theory of Multimedia Learning and the essential tenets of vocabulary instruction, investigates the effects of using a laptop-based intervention on the vocabulary knowledge of 11th and 12th-grade students with exceptionalities. A single-subject, non-concurrent baseline design was used to examine the impact of using a laptop-based intervention.