Date of Award

Spring 3-30-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Belle Booker-Zorigan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Angelo Letizia, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Megan Cavalier, Ph.D.


There is a large assortment of digital applications and websites available for students to use in completing their math assignments. The problem is how and why they are using these applications. This study looked at the different applications and websites used by students, including Slader, Wolfram Alpha, Symbolab, Desmos, and Photomath. The study then explored why students used these applications and websites. The idea of plagiarism in mathematics was presented to the students in this study. The review of the literature included the concepts of plagiarism and cheating and illustrated that students have a history of using tools for accomplishing tasks. Nine students participanted in the research. These students were found through surveys and then were interviewed by implementing a phenomenological approach. The data was then analyzed using a Modified Van Kaam method. This method required the construction of textural and structural descriptions for each individual and composite descriptions for the group. The themes that developed from these interviews included confidence building, learning, and easy access. The results showed that most students justified their use of the digital applications and websites because they were learning from them. Students felt that these items were tools available for their learning. Each each case, the student did not feel that they were committing plagairism. Students stated that they planned to continue using digital applications and websites to complete their math assignments.