Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Carmen Session

Committee Member

Susan Kabot

Committee Member

Kimberly Durham


Mixed-methods, Motivation, Project-based learning


This applied dissertation was designed to examine the perceptions of students with disabilities on project-based learning. This study utilized a convergent mixed methods parallel design that involved merging quantitative-qualitative data using concept sampling and the Colaizzi process for phenomenological data analysis. The intent of this mixed methods study was to determine the effects of project-based learning and the motivation on students with disabilities. This study built on prior knowledge in the field of education and special education, and contributed new information to the existing body of literature to assist with developing a better understanding of the needs and concerns of students with disabilities, as well as teachers. Findings of this study can be useful in helping teachers and school administrators gain a better understanding of integrating project-based learning activities into the classroom. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from two participant populations. Student participants were administered a survey and teacher participants were interviewed. The survey was used to determine the attitudes towards a project-based learning investigation. The interviews were used to understand teachers’ perceptions of project-based learning, as well as the perceived benefits of implementing a project-based learning strategy with students with disabilities. The following research questions were used to guide this study: (a) How does project-based learning motivate students with disabilities in the general education classroom? (b) How does project-based learning motivate students with disabilities? (c) What are teachers’ perceptions of the project-based learning investigation? and, (d) To what extent do students with disabilities’ and teachers’ perceptions of PBL help explain how PBL affects the motivation, attitudes, and achievement of students with disabilities? Results of this study showed that when a project-based learning investigation was established, students with disabilities in a general education setting expressed success and were motivated to learn.

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