Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Belkis Choiseul-Praslin, Ph. D

First Committee Member

Brittany Auernig-Roan, Ed. D., Ed. S

Second Committee Member

Justin Low, Ph. D., NCST




By Cheryl D. Barrett

University of the Pacific


Academic achievement of students with disabilities has long been a concern in special education, and this work addresses the academic achievement gap between students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their typically developing peers. This study aimed to increase mathematical achievement in fluency and calculation skills for students with ASD using GoNoodle. Additionally, this study intended to extend evidence about existing research on the efficacy of GoNoodle as an appropriate academic intervention tool for students with disabilities.

Participants of this study were middle-school-aged students with autism as a primary diagnosis. Extant data was used for this study and the researcher established protocols and data collection tools to increase fidelity in the intervention procedures. During intervention sessions, participants were rated on a 4-point Likert scale with a score of 1 being ‘no participation’ (i.e., the participant chose to not participate and sit at their desk instead); a score of 2 being walking in place only; 3 being running in place only; 4 being both walking and running in place during each segment of the intervention. Their WJ-IV fluency and math calculation tests measured participants' mathematical achievement.

Results of this study derived from descriptive analysis, paired samples t-test, Pearson’s product-moment correlation, and social validity survey. Descriptive analysis assisted with grouping participants into ASD classification levels. Results showed the numbers of students in each ASD classification level were uneven, therefore excluded from further analysis. The paired sample t-test provided a mean difference between the three timeframes for the WJ-IV scores. Participants showed an increase in the pre-mid (medium effect size) and pre-post (large effect size) timeframes, but a decrease during the pre-mid timeframes. Pearson’s results were all found to be not statistically significant when considering GoNoodle to have an impact on mathematical achievement. Scores did improve, but not enough for statistical significance. Finally, a social validity survey analyzed participants’ perceptions of the use of GoNoodle to ascertain the value of the online tool. Analysis indicated that 100% of the participants provided a positive response to the GoNoodle Mega Math Marathon intervention being fun (n = 25) and an overall positive response (88%) to the intervention tool in general (n = 22). 92% of the participants indicated that they would like to do more GoNoodle activities, thought it was exciting and enjoyable, and felt that they learned new math skills after engaging in the intervention (n = 23). Moreso, 88% of the participants had a positive response to feeling healthier after engaging with the GoNoodle Mega Math Marathon program (n = 22).

This tool proved to be a promising strategy for students to be engaged, interested, and excited about learning mathematical skills within this specific population of participants. More research is needed to address the educational gap and to provide better opportunities for living a healthy lifestyle and building an era of productive members of society.



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