Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Howard Poole

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah Summy

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Leneway


Special educators are required to process paperwork mandated by federal regulations for students with special needs. The Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1997 (IDEA ’97, Public Law 105-17) requires the evaluation of students with special needs occur as frequently as their non-disabled peers. An annual review is also mandated for each student’s individualized educational program (IEP), in order to reevaluate the future goals and objectives of the IEPs. A student identified as needing special education services is one who needs specially designed instruction and this instruction must meet the specific individual needs of that student. IDEA ‘97 mandates the need for an individualized educational program (IEP) for all eligible students and requires special educators to develop the IEP. Other responsibilities for the special educators include developing the triennial IEP, annual IEP, progress reports, parent letters of notification, transition plans, and more. In conjunction with federal regulations, this study asks whether the use of technology can ease the process of developing the IEP. Can the IEP, using the computer software package, issue a more federally compliant document or IEP? Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Further, selected special educators were evaluated over their use of the computergenerated document versus the Traditional paper and pencil modality. Is time beneficial in using the electronic IEP as opposed to the Traditional modality? Further, are attitudes different among special educators, in regards to writing IEPs, according to the modality used? The three modalities studied include: 1. a computer software package entitled IEP Writer. 2. another computer software package entitled Tranquility and 3. the Traditional paper forms and pencil modality of writing the IEP. The two software programs use similar modalities to create the IEP.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access