Park, J., Bryant, D. P., & Shin, M. (2022). Effects of interventions using virtual manipulatives for students with learning disabilities: A synthesis of single-case research . Journal of Learning Disabilities , 55 (4), 325–337. https://doi.org/10.1177/00222194211006336
The use of virtual manipulatives to improve mathematics performance for students in Grades K-12 with learning disabilities (LD) was examined. Virtual manipulatives are interactive visual objects and tools used to to represent and construct mathematical knowledge and concepts.
Article inclusion criteria included: 1) Use of an experimental design using quantitative data to calculate effect size; 2) Involvement of students manipulating virtual manipulatives themselves; 3) Involvement of assessment of student performance in mathematics; and 4) Inclusion of students in grades K-12 with learning disabilities.
The features of virtual manipulatives used to support students with LD and the effect size of the mathematics intervention in improving mathematical achievement for students with LD were examined.
The most common features of virtual manipulatives used in mathematics interventions were multi-representational and tutorial. Multi-representational virtual manipulatives consisted of participants connecting two or more math representations. Tutorial programs included guiding, tutoring, and feedback. Interventions that utilize virtual manipulatives had a positive effect on the mathematical performance of students with learning disabilities. Despite several studies demonstrating large immediate effects on mathematical performance, participants often had difficulty maintaining these skills.