Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Instruction and Teacher Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Susan L. Schramm-Pate


The action research study describes the experiences of 14 elementary students using one-to-one (1:1) iPad instruction to engage in learning Spanish as a second language (L2). The student-participants used 1:1 iPads to learn Spanish over an 8 week unit of study. Data was comprised of scores from a student-participant engagement rubric scored by the teacher-participant before and after the study as well as summative structured surveys with student-participants to determine their perceptions of the iPad unit. Data were also collected in participant-researcher’s daily field notes and journal entries. Formative self-reflective journals were also kept by student-participants. Summative artifacts were collected at the end of the unit. Four themes emerged from the summative data analysis of qualitative data. Data also revealed that the majority of student-participants agreed or strongly agreed that iPads had a positive impact on perceptions of their learning, engagement in classroom activities, and connection to different learning modalities. A t-test using a teacher observation rubric of student engagement scored at the beginning and end of the study revealed a positive impact on engagement for the whole group using 1:1 iPads to learn Spanish. These positive impacts were in the areas of Structure-dependent Engagement, Critical Engagement, and Literate Thinking. Disaggregation of the data by gender indicated that males experienced a greater gain in Structure-dependent Engagement while females experienced a greater gain in Critical Engagement. Males and females showed equal gains in Literate Thinking.


© 2017, Sherri Herbst