Using the virtual-abstract instructional sequence to teach addition of fractions

Res Dev Disabil. 2017 Nov;70:163-174. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2017.09.002. Epub 2017 Sep 23.


Background/aims/methods: Limited literature examines mathematics education for students with mild intellectual disability. This study investigated the effects of using the Virtual-Abstract instructional sequenceto teach middle school students, predominantly with mild intellectual disability, to add fractions of unlike denominators. Researchers used a multiple probe across participants design to determine if a functional relation existed between the Virtual-Abstract instructional sequence strategy and students' ability to add fractions with unlike denominators.

Procedures/outcomes: The study of consisted of three-to-nine baseline sessions, 6-11 intervention sessions, and two maintenance sessions for each student. Data were collected on accuracy across five addition of fractions with unlike denominators problems.

Results/conclusions: The VA instructional strategy was effective in thestudents to add fractions with unlike denominators; a functional relation existed between the VA instructional sequence and adding fractions with unlike denominators for three of the four students.

Implications: The Virtual-Abstract instructional sequencemay be appropriate to support students with mild intellectual disability in learning mathematics, especially when drawing or representing the mathematical concepts may prove challenging.

Keywords: Fractions; Mathematics; Mild intellectual disability; Single case.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Education of Intellectually Disabled / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability*
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Mathematics / education*
  • Students