A science achievement gap between students with disabilities (SWD) and students without disabilities continues to persist, impacting academic and occupational outcomes. Traditional science instruction and the abstract nature of science concepts are a barrier to science achievement for students with disabilities. The current research study examined the effect of extended reality (XR; Browser-based 360° virtual reality) on closing the science achievement gap between students with and without disabilities in inclusive biology classrooms using a one group pretest-posttest design. The researcher expands on existing research by utilizing a larger sample size, with free and easily accessible XR technology implemented in 9th grade Biology 1 classrooms and analyzing its effect on the science achievement gap. Findings from the one-way MANOVA showed no statistically significant result. However, analysis of the means indicated a slight difference between students with and without disabilities. While the results were not statistically significant and the study was underpowered due to limited participant numbers, the moderate effect size (partial eta squared=.075) suggests a meaningful difference between SWD and students without disabilities, indicating a need for further research. Based on the social validity surveys, students and the teacher found the XR intervention beneficial in learning biology content. However, the students and their teacher recommend using XR as a supplement to traditional teaching. The researcher provides implications for research, practice, and XR developers, as well as suggestions to develop plans for scaling the current research for the future pursuit of grant funding.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Education; Exceptional Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Kohnke, Shalece, "The Effect of Extended Reality on the Science Achievement Gap Between Students With and Without Disabilities" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1810.