The Influence of Blended Learning on Post-Secondary Readiness and Academic Achievement in Mathematics: A Personalized Approach to Learning
Personalized learning through blended learning is emerging as an educational practice with promising potential to close the academic achievement gap in high school mathematics and produce post-secondary ready mathematics learners. National data indicates mathematics growth has stagnated over the past several decades leaving opportunity for innovation to permeate the high school mathematics classroom to influence change. Examining the influence of blended learning on post-secondary readiness and academic achievement in a large urban school district in the southeast region of Texas indicated that blended learning instruction was meeting the promise of personalized learning for all students. The sequential mixed methods study provided observable and teacher perceived characteristics evident in the blended learning classroom while quantitative data measured the influence of blended learning on post-secondary readiness and academic achievement using an independent t-test. Blended learning was further investigated using Chi-squared test of Independence and cross tabulations to investigate the relationship between blended learning and post-secondary readiness as well as academic achievement. Paired samples t-test measured the difference in PSAT scores.
Although no statistical significance was found when measuring post-secondary readiness, pockets of promise emerged when measuring academic achievement. Mean score differences were higher for students participating in blended learning when compared with students participating in traditional learning. Trends in the blended learning classroom demonstrate evidence of self-directed learning orchestrated by the teacher acting as a facilitator. Further evidence of personalization collected during classroom observations and teacher interviews demonstrated that in the blended learning classroom the needs of every student were considered instead of holding all students’ hostage to the pacing of the teacher. The promise of closing the achievement gap in mathematics has great potential as the blended learning model of instruction continues to grow in implementation in the participating district and across the United States.