Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Susan Boser, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Melissa Swauger, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Alex Heckert, Ph.D.

Abstract

While secondary education districts are beginning to implement hybrid and blended learning programs, little research exists that provides insights and guidance into the challenges and organizational change associated with that implementation. One of the first secondary schools to implement blended learning, Cumberland Valley School District provided the site for this mixed methods case study. The research examined the process of implementing hybrid education in a secondary educational environment, and how students, parents, teachers, and administrators experienced and perceived changes in organizational culture and structure. In addition, this study examined challenges and barriers faced by stakeholders, and how the organizational system addressed these challenges in the view of stakeholders.

This mixed methods study used surveys, focus groups, interviews, and classroom observations to gather data about the organizational structure, culture, and barriers. The findings suggest that while the implementation was initially motivated by extrinsic resources, the school district and stakeholders continued the implementation pilot because they were motivated by the new and progressive nature of blended learning. The analysis also identified that the stakeholders faced numerous challenges during the second-year implementation, with communication throughout the organization presenting the biggest challenge. Despite this, though, stakeholders identified many program successes including student engagement, technology, and flexibility of learning. The qualitative data showed that these successes warrant implementing blended learning in other school districts, and insights from the research provide recommendations for enhancing the implementation process.

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