Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Karen Burke, CSJ, EdD

Second Advisor

Kathleen Gombos, EdD

Third Advisor

Donna Baratta, EdD

Abstract

Blended learning is an instructional approach to teaching that has been part of the education field for several years. While the concept of blended learning has been around for many years, a common definition of this concept fails to exist. In the past, blended learning was considered to be the technological component that was part of the classroom lesson, however, it may also be considered a combination of instructional approaches that includes technological components.

Utilizing a qualitative approach, this phenomenological study was used to examine the perceptions of teachers and administrators with regards to their understanding of how the concept of blended learning is defined, as well as how it may affect student learning within the classroom. Furthermore, it explored the types of supports that teachers shared were needed through professional development, as well as what they believed to be the most effective approaches to support models of professional development to aid in their learning and understanding. All items were analyzed and coded by the researcher and subsequently reviewed by an independent auditor. The triangulation of data sources included survey data, interview responses, and focus group information.

Qualitative results indicated that a shared definition of blended learning does not exist amongst educators. Although a shared definition could not be found within this study, specific instructional components were discussed and identified by participants with regards to defining the instructional approach to blended learning. It is necessary to note that all participants within this study worked within a common school district. This research revealed that educators within this study have perceptions regarding how instructional components and practices support student learning and may lead to greater achievement within the classroom. Furthermore, participants were cognizant of their own teaching strengths and weaknesses and provided ideas regarding how professional development related to blended learning, along with additional focus areas, may greater support their abilities as classroom instructors.

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