Chad Williams

Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Michael Grant


This action research aimed to assess the impact of online homework, delivered via IXL, on thirteen 8th Grade Mathematics students' mathematical proficiency and explored their perceptions of its usefulness. The Cedar Hill Middle School students typically scored below state and national averages in mathematics, necessitating increased rigor and support. Two main questions guided the research in this study. The first question assessed the impact of online homework on students' mathematical proficiency according to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) definition, looking specifically at strategic competence, conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and adaptive reasoning. The second question investigated students' perceptions of the usefulness of online homework on their mathematical proficiency. A convergent parallel mixed-method study collected student data from multiple sources, including IXL, a pre- and posttest, student surveys, and student interviews. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive (mean, standard deviation) and inferential statistics (paired samples t-test). Qualitative data was collected through student interviews and analyzed using open, axial, and selective coding. Rigor and trustworthiness were maintained using member checking, thick, rich description, peer debriefing, and triangulation. There was a positive correlation between the IXL online homework and the posttest results, showing that IXL has an impact. However, survey results revealed that most students were neutral about the impact and usefulness of the IXL online homework assignments. Analysis of interview transcripts revealed three themes: (a) IXL has many motivating and helpful features which aided participants' comprehension, but some features were demotivating, (b) remembering and connecting IXL content and classroom instruction to the posttest varied, and (c) videos, lessons, and liking IXL helped the participants to complete assignments and understand the content in IXL. While IXL positively affected mathematical proficiency, student perceptions varied on its helpfulness for the pre- and posttest. It is theorized that the unlimited number of attempts on IXL and students' reading comprehension skills may have affected the innovation's impact. Recommendations for future online homework technology implementations should consider the number of attempts for homework completion and attempt to make more significant connections between lessons, homework assignments, and assessments.