Phone: +1 512 471 7256
Email: cdoabler@austin.utexas.edu
Office: SZB 408B
Christian T. Doabler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Doabler's research focuses on designing and testing intensive, early mathematics and science interventions for students who are with or at risk for learning disabilities in mathematics, reading, and science. His research also includes investigating teachers' use and uptake of evidence-based teaching practices. As a Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI), he has been awarded over $22.5 million in U.S. Dept. of Education-funded research and National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research. Dr. Doabler currently serves as PI on two DRK-12 Design and Development projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The primary aims of these NSF-sponsored projects are to design and test innovative mathematics (Precision Mathematics: 2015-2019) and science (Scientific Explorers: 2017-2021) interventions for struggling learners in first and second grade. Dr. Doabler also serves as PI on an Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded Goal-1 Exploration grant (Project CIFOR: 2015-2018) aimed at investigating important associations between malleable factors of instruction and student academic outcomes within an archival, multi-intervention observation dataset collected during the course of four IES-funded efficacy trials. Additionally, Dr. Doabler serves as a Co-PI on two IES-funded Goal-3 Efficacy Trials (Fusion: 2016-2020 and NumberShire Level-1: 2016-2020) designed to test the impact of Tier 2 mathematics interventions on student mathematics outcomes. He has published over 25 peer-reviewed publications, and led the design and development of four IES-sponsored Tier 2 mathematics interventions.
Ph.D. in Special Education, University of Oregon, 2010
Dr. Doabler's research focuses on designing and testing intensive, early mathematics and science interventions in the context of multi-tiered systems of support for students who are at risk for learning disabilities in mathematics, reading, and science. His other research interests include design experiments, technology-based interventions, and classroom observation systems that document evidence-based teaching practices, treatment intensity, implementation fidelity.
Editorial Review Board, TEACHING Exceptional Children(2016 - Present)
Department of Special Education Committee Representative, Office of Instructional Innovation Faculty Advisory Committee, UT-Austin: Office of Instructional Innovation Faculty(2016 - Present)
Department of Special Education Committee Representative, Undergraduate Advisory Council, UT-Austin: Department of Special Education(2016 - Present)
Department of Special Education Committee Representative, Doctoral Program Review Committee, UT-Austin: Department of Special Education(2016 - Present)
Department of Special Education Committee Representative, Research Mentoring Committee: Elisheba Kiru, UT-Austin: Department of Special Education: Sorrells, A.(2016 - Present)
Department of Special Education Committee Representative, Research Mentoring Committee: Sarah Benz, UT-Austin: Department of Special Education: Powell, S.(2016 - Present)
National Science Foundation's Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) Program: Grant Review Panel Member, National Science Foundation's Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) Grant Panel, National Science Foundation(2016 - Present)
National Science Foundation's EHR Core Research Students with Disabilities (ECR) Program: Grant Review Panel Member, National Science Foundation's Fundamental Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, Students with Disabilities Grant Panel, National Science Foundation(2016 - Present)
Editorial Review Board, Journal of Special Education(2015 - Present)
Editorial Review Board, Intervention in School and Clinic(2015 - Present)
Editorial Review Board, Journal of Special Education Technology(2015 - Present)
Kiru, E., Doabler, C.T., Sorrells, A. & Cooc, N. (2017). A synthesis of technology-mediated mathematics interventions for students with or at risk for mathematics learning disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology, Online, 1–13. doi:10.1177/0162643417745835.
Doabler, C.T., Smith, J.L., Nelson, N., Clarke, B., Berg, T. & Fien, H. (2017). A guide for evaluating the mathematics programs used by special education teachers. Intervention in School and Clinic.
Doabler, C.T., Stoolmiller, M., Kennedy, P., Nelson, N., Clarke, B., Gearin, B., Fien, H., Smolkowski, K. & Baker, S. (2017). Do components of explicit instruction explain the differential effectiveness of a core mathematics program for students with mathematics difficulties?. Assessment of Effective Intervention.
Doabler, C.T., Nelson, N., Kennedy, P., Stoolmiller, M., Fien, H., Clarke, B., Smolkowski, K., Gearin, B. & Baker, S. (2017). Investigating the longitudinal effects of a core kindergarten mathematics program on teachers' use of evidence-based teaching practices. Learning Disability Quarterly.
Shanley, L., Clarke, B., Doabler, C.T., Kurtz-Nelson, E. & Fien, H. (2017). Early number skills gains and mathematics achievement: Intervening to establish successful early mathematics trajectories. Journal of Special Education, 51, 177–188. doi:10.1177/0022466917720455.
Strand Cary, M., Clarke, B., Doabler, C.T., Smolkowski, K., Fien, H. & Baker, S. (2017). A practitioner implementation of a Tier 2 first grade mathematics intervention.. Learning Disability Quarterly, 40, 211–224. doi:10.1177/0731948717714715.
Clarke, B., Doabler, C.T., Kosty, K. & Kurtz-Nelson, E. (2017). Testing the efficacy of a kindergarten mathematics intervention by small group size. AERA Open, 3(2), 1–16. doi:10.1177/2332858417706899.
Doabler, C.T., Clarke, B., Stoolmiller, M., Kosty, D., Fien, F., Smolkowski, K. & Baker, S. (2017). Explicit instructional interactions: Exploring the black box of a tier 2 mathematics intervention. Remedial & Special Education, 38(2), 98–110. doi:10.1177/0741932516654219.
Nelson, N., Fien, H., Doabler, C.T. & Clarke, B. (2016). Using education technology to differentiate and intensity instruction to support student learning outcomes. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 48, 293–300. doi:10.1177/0040059916650639.
Fien, H., Doabler, C.T., Nelson, N., Kosty, D., Clarke, B. & Baker, S. (2016). An examination of the promise of the NumberShire Level 1 gaming intervention for improving student mathematics outcomes. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9, 635–661. doi:10.1080/19345747.2015.1119229.
Clarke, B., Doabler, C.T., Smolkowski, K., Kurtz-Nelson, E., Baker, S., Fien, H. & Kosty, D. (2016). Testing the immediate and long-term efficacy of a tier 2 kindergarten mathematics intervention. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9, 607–634. doi:10.1080/19345747.2015.1116034.
Clarke, B., Doabler, C.T., Smolkowski, K., Baker, S., Fien, H. & Strand-Cary, M. (2016). Examining the efficacy of a tier 2 kindergarten intervention. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 49, 152–165. doi:10.1177/0022219414538514.
Doabler, C.T., Clarke, B., Kosty, D., Kurtz-Nelson, E., Fien, H., Smolkowski, S. & Baker, S. (2016). Testing the efficacy of a tier-2 mathematics intervention: A conceptual replication study.. Exceptional Children, 83(1), 92–110. doi:10.1177/0014402916660084.
Doabler, C.T., Clarke, B., Kosty, D., Baker, S., Smolkowski, K. & Fien, H. (2016). Effects of a core kindergarten mathematics program on the mathematics achievement of Spanish-Speaking English learners. School Psychology Review, 45(3), 343–361.
Doabler, C.T., Nelson, N. & Clarke, B. (2016). Adapting evidence-based practices to meet the needs of English learners with mathematics difficulties. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 48(6), 301–310. doi:0.1177/0040059916650638.
Smith, J.L.M., Doabler, C.T. & Kame'enui, E. (2016). Using explicit and systematic instruction across academic domains. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 48(6), 273–274. doi:10.1177/0040059916652626.
Smith, J.L.M.., Saez, L. & Doabler, C.T. (2016). Using explicit and systematic instruction to support working memory in reading and math. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 48(6), 275–281. doi:10.1177/0040059916650633.
Promoting Scientific Explorers Among Students with Learning Disabilities: The Design and Testing of a Grade 2 Science Program Focused on Earth's Systems
A robust understanding of disciplinary core ideas and practices is necessary for obtaining jobs in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields and making every day informed decisions. Despite these occupational and practical affordances, few effective instructional tools exist for the science classroom. Moreover, early elementary school teachers have limited materials at their disposal to promote a rich knowledge of science among the full range of learners.
Therefore, the primary aim of this $2.5 million, 4-year project (Scientific Explorers) is to iteratively develop and rigorously test the promise of a core science program aimed at promoting an early foundation for learning science among all second grade students, including students at risk for or with learning disabilities and dyslexia. Specifically, the Scientific Explorers program will be designed to improve students' knowledge and understanding of disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts related to Earth's Systems in the Next Generation Science Standards. A second aim of this project is to develop and empirically validate a science assessment that measures students' knowledge and application of disciplinary core ideas and practices related to Earth's Systems. The final year of the project will involve a rigorous pilot study aimed at establishing the feasibility and efficacy of the Scientific Explorers program in approximately 40 second grade classrooms from two different geographical regions (Texas and Virginia). The pilot study will also formally assess the technical adequacy (reliability and validity) of the early science achievement measure.
Christian Doabler at the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk (MCPER) serves as the Principal Investigator of the project, with Sarah Powell (MCPER) and Vic Sampson as the Co-Principal Investigators. MCPER Associate Director Greg Roberts and Anna Mari Fall serves as the project's methodologists. Bill Therrien at the University of Virginia serves as a Co-Principal Investigator.
The project, which started on July 1, 2017, is funded through the National Science Foundation's Discovery Research PreK-12 program (DRK-12).
Precision Mathematics: Using interactive gaming technology to build student proficiency in the foundational concepts and problem solving skills of measurement and data analysis.
Proficiency with measurement and data analysis is essential for obtaining occupations in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. However, mounting evidence from national math assessments suggest that students from low-income and minority subgroups experience early and persistent difficulties in these critical mathematics areas.
Precision Mathematics is a 4-year Full Design and Development (DRK-12) project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The primary aim of this $3 million project is to develop and test Precision Mathematics, a math intervention designed to teach at-risk first and second grade students key concepts of measurement and data analysis identified in the Common Core State Standards Initiative. To increase student mathematics achievement at each grade level, the intervention will include (a) a technology-based component that will provide students with individualized instruction and (b) hands-on activities that will offer opportunities for students to interact with their teacher and peers around critical measurement and data analysis concepts.Based on its technology-based and collaborative problem-solving activities, the intervention is expected to serve as a potentially powerful approach for engaging at-risk learners in important early STEM learning. The project will involve over 700 students who are at-risk for mathematics difficulties and from groups traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields. Findings generated by the project are anticipated to contribute to the knowledge base on effective mathematics instruction and the role of technology in serving the needs of at-risk learners. This project employs a design science approach to develop, formatively test, and iteratively refine Precision Mathematics. Empirical evidence related to the feasibility, usability, and promise of the intervention to improve student mathematics achievement will be collected. These data sources serve as a formative influence on the development and evaluation of the intervention.
Christian Doabler serves as the Principal Investigator / Project Director of the Precision Math project. Ben Clarke serves as the Principal Investigator at the University of Oregon. Nancy Nelson and Hank Fien are Co-Principal Investigators at the University of Oregon. Keith Smolkowski at Oregon Research Institute serves as a Co-Principal Investigator and the lead methodologist. The project timeframe is July 2015 to June 2019.
A Randomized Control Trial of a Tier 2 First Grade Mathematics Intervention (Fusion)
The purpose of this $3.5 million dollar, 4-year Goal-3 project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is to test the efficacy of a first-grade mathematics intervention called Fusion aimed at developing understanding of whole numbers for students at risk for mathematics learning disabilities. According to results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 42% of fourth graders performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics. Students who perform poorly in mathematics early in school are at risk for continuing to struggle in mathematics throughout elementary school and beyond. There is preliminary evidence that developing in-depth understanding of the whole number system can support learning of future mathematics concepts for students at risk for mathematics learning disabilities. More research is needed on the efficacy of such an approach at a large scale, as well as whether differences in intervention intensity are related to improved student outcomes. This project seeks to fill this gap by studying the efficacy of the Fusion Tier 2 intervention for students at risk for mathematics learning disabilities in classrooms using a response to intervention model.
Christian Doabler serves as a Co-Principal Investigator on the project. Ben Clarke and Hank Fien at the University of Oregon serve as Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator, respectively. The project timeframe is July 2016 to June 2020.
A Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial to Assess the Efficacy of the NumberShire Level 1 Gaming Intervention for Improving Math Outcomes for Students With or at Risk for Math Learning Disabilities.
The purpose of this $3.5 million, 4-year project, funded by the Institute of Education Science, is to determine the efficacy of the NumberShire Level 1 gaming intervention, aimed at improving mathematics achievement for first-grade students with or at risk for mathematics learning disabilities. Intervention to strategically accelerate math learning in early elementary school can help prevent costly remediation in later grades. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (2013), 45% of all fourth-grade students with disabilities scored below the basic level. More research is needed on the efficacy of early learning interventions covering critical early math content such as whole number concepts. This project seeks to fill this gap by studying the efficacy of one such gaming intervention, NumberShire Level 1, for improving mathematics achievement for first-grade students.
Christian Doabler serves as a Co-Principal Investigator on the project. Hank Fien at the University of Oregon serves as the Principal Investigator. Nancy Nelson Walker and Ben Clarke at University of Oregon serve as the Co-Principal Investigators.
Exploring Alterable Variables in Tier 1 and Tier 2 Instruction: A Collaboration Across Interdisciplinary Fields of Observational Research (Project CIFOR)
The primary aim of this 2-year, Goal-1 Exploration project (award amount: $700,000) funded through the Institute of Education Science (IES) is to examine data from four prior IES-funded projects to determine the malleable variables in classroom instruction that are associated with improvements in student achievement in reading and mathematics. There is little research on the evidence-based practices that teachers can use when working in multiple content areas with a range of learners who have varying levels of achievement. In recent years, direct observation has become a primary measurement tactic in identifying the factors that underlie effective teaching practice. The use of classroom observation data from four large, complex datasets and sophisticated statistical modeling strategies are allowing the CIFOR project team to:
1. identify features of effective reading and mathematics instruction that can be incorporated into the design of reading and math interventions;
2. generate evidence for improving professional development for teachers; and
3. contribute to the development and use of classroom observation measures that document the types of variables that correlate with student and teacher performance outcomes.
Christian Doabler serves as the Principal Investigator on the project. Nancy Nelson and Scott Baker at the University of Oregon, and Mike Stoolmiller at Michigan State University serve as Co-Principal Investigators. The project timeframe is July 2015 to June 2017, with a no-cost extension year from July 2017 to June 2018.
The NumberShire Integrated Tutor System: Supporting schools to scale up evidence-based education technology to improve math outcomes for students with disabilities
The purpose of this five-year project is to develop and test the effectiveness of the NumberShire Integrated Tutor System that will be utilized to optimally scale up implementation of an evidence-based education technology tool, NumberShire 1 (NS1), in first grade classrooms. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services, Office of Special Education Programs. Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities. The award amount is $2.5 million and the project timeframe is July 2016 to 2021.
Christian Doabler serves as a Co-Principal Investigator on the project. Lina Shanley at the University of Oregon serves as Principal Investigator. Nancy Nelson, Hank Fien, Ben Clarke, Scott McMammon, and Patrick Brott at the University of Oregon serve as Co-Principal Investigators.
The Measurement of Science Instruction: A Descriptive Study of Elementary Classrooms
Science practices and content knowledge are critical. A robust understanding of core science concepts and practices is necessary to obtain jobs in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. Beyond the importance of science for future vocations, basic science practices and knowledge are needed to make every day informed decisions (NRC, 2012). Yet, despite these needs, mounting evidence indicates that learning difficulties in science occur as early as kindergarten and remain persistent across the later school years (Morgan et al., 2016). This evidence clearly suggests that early science instruction should be a major focus of educational research and practice. However, little is known about the enacted science curriculum of elementary classrooms. Consequently, the field has few, if any, empirical resources to lean on for designing effective core science programs for the full range of learners and intensive science interventions for students at risk for or with learning disabilities (LD).
Therefore, the primary purpose of this Level 2 UT-Austin Small Grant Program proposal is to conduct a descriptive study that describes the enacted science curriculum of elementary school classrooms. Specifically, the project proposes to measure the content coverage and instructional practices of core science instruction provided in second grade classrooms.
The project is funded through the College of Education Small Grants Program; College of Education, Office of the Dean, University of Texas at Austin. The award amount is $9,983.
Christian Doabler serves as the Principal Investigator.
Promoting Quantitative Thinkers: Development of an Intensive Grade 4 Mathematics Intervention on Statistical Concepts
The purpose of this Summer Research Assignment (SRA) proposal is to develop a mathematics intervention that is designed to promote the development of mathematical proficiency with statistics for Grade 4 students with mathematics difficulties (MD). Specifically, the proposed intervention, referred hereafter as Quantitative Thinkers (QT), will comprise five prototype lessons that target early statistical problem solving and thinking. The QT lessons will be invariably coupled with (a) empirically-validated principles of mathematics instruction and (b) grade-level mathematics concepts and skills that align with state and national standards (e.g., Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Mathematics [TEKS] and Common Core State Standards - Mathematics). Design of the prototype lessons will be embedded in a robust line of research activities.
This SRA is funded by the College of Education, Office of the Dean, University of Texas at Austin, Award. The award amount is approximately $22,000.
Christian Doabler serves as the Principal Investigator.
A Randomized Control Trial of a Tier 2 Kindergarten Mathematics Intervention (ROOTS)
Recently, students in the United States have demonstrated low levels of mathematics performance compared to national standards and the performance of students from other countries. Signs of potential low performance and risk for mathematics disabilities can appear early in students' schooling. Without intervention in early elementary school, these difficulties are likely to persist over time and become more challenging to remediate. One approach to improving mathematics achievement is to deliver effective instructional programs to students at risk for mathematics disabilities as they enter kindergarten. Few experimental studies exist for evaluating the efficacy of mathematics programs used in kindergarten classrooms for students at risk for mathematics disabilities or future poor performance in mathematics.
The purpose of this $3.5 million dollar, 4-year Goal-3 project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) was to test the efficacy of a kindergarten mathematics intervention called Fusion aimed at developing understanding of whole numbers for students at risk for mathematics learning disabilities. The project evaluated two versions of the ROOTS intervention to investigate the relationship between group size and student outcomes. The first version considered to be a high intensity version placed two students in each intervention group; the second version considered to be a low intensity version placed five students in each intervention group.
Christian Doabler served as a Co-Principal Investigator on the project. Ben Clarke and Hank Fien at the University of Oregon served as Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator, respectively. The project timeframe was July 2012 to June 2017.
Development of a Game-based Integrated Learning and Assessment System to Target Whole Number Concepts (Project NumberShire - Level K)
Students who perform poorly in mathematics in the early elementary grades are likely to continue to perform poorly in mathematics in later grades. These findings indicate that a successful start in mathematics is critical to later mathematics achievement.
The purpose of this $1.5 million, 3-year project, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, was to develop NumberShire-K, a browser-based, educational video game in which first-grade students learn and apply the mathematical concepts and skills of whole numbers. NumberShire-K will include research-based instructional components that are beneficial to students with or at risk for math disabilities (MD). There were two major aims of the project: (a) to develop a fully operational education intervention targeting whole number concepts, which employs gaming technology for students with or at risk for MD for use in a tiered service delivery model, and (b) to assess the feasibility and the promise of intervention effectiveness.
Christian Doabler served as a Co-Principal Investigator on the project. Hank Fien at the University of Oregon served as the Principal Investigator. Scott Baker, Ben Clarke, and Nancy Nelson Walker at the University of Oregon served as the Co-Principal Investigators. Marshall Gause at Thought Cycle, Inc served a Co-Principal Investigator.
Development of a second grade game-based integrated learning system to target whole numbers and operations in base ten and operations and algebraic thinking: Phase 1
The purpose of this 6-month, Phase-1 SBIR project was to develop a prototype of NumberShire Level 2 intervention. NS-Level 2 is a browser-based, educational video game in which first-grade students learn and apply the mathematical concepts and skills of whole numbers. NS-2 include research-based instructional components that are beneficial to students with or at risk for math disabilities.
Christian Doabler served as a Principal Investigator and a Co-Director on the project. Nancy Nelson Walker at the University of Oregon served as a Principal Investigator and a Co-Director on the project. Marshall Gause at Thought Cycle, Inc served a Co-Principal Investigator.
The project was funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, Small Business Innovation Research Program - Phase 1. The award amount was $463,561.
Development of a second grade game-based integrated learning system to target whole numbers and operations in base ten and operations and algebraic thinking: Phase 2
The purpose of this 3-year, $1.5 million Phase-2 SBIR project was to develop a prototype of NumberShire Level 2 intervention. NS-Level 2 is a browser-based, educational video game in which first-grade students learn and apply the mathematical concepts and skills of whole numbers. NS-2 include research-based instructional components that are beneficial to students with or at risk for math disabilities.
Christian Doabler served as a Principal Investigator and a Co-Director on the project. Nancy Nelson Walker at the University of Oregon served as a Principal Investigator and a Co-Director on the project. Marshall Gause at Thought Cycle, Inc served a Co-Principal Investigator.
The project was funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, Small Business Innovation Research Program - Phase 2. The timeframe for the project was 2012 to 2015.
"Must Read" Paper of the Year: 2015: Learning Disability Quarterly, Council for Learning Disabilities (2016 - 2016)
Maryam Nozari, Ph.D., expected 2019 (Committee Member)
Cognitive Mechanisms underlying Mathematics Difficulties
Mathematics Intervention
Psychoeducational Assessment
Year | Semester | Course |
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2018 | Summer | SED f393: 5-Appld Rsch In Sed/Rehab Coun |
2018 | Spring | SED 378T: Tchg Math To Studnt Disabil |
2017 | Spring | SED 378T: Tchg Math To Studnt Disabil |