This research will be conducted using many methods of qualitative and quantitative data with informal and formal testing, surveys, interviews, and observations. Qualitative and quantitative are the most appropriate combination to effectively provide information regarding student achievement and student engagement. The qualitative data will provide opportunities for students and teachers to express their opinions, while quantitative data will provide a statistical analysis using various collection methods (Mertler, 2016). The combination of using both methods may provide a better understanding of the problem, than using one method alone. The mix of these types of research will provide strength in the research and confidence of formed conclusions.
Teachers will form a committee the summer of 2018 to develop resources needed to implement research design in for the school year of 2018-2019. The teachers will range in experience from five years to twenty, all teaching BIM across different middle school campuses within the district. During this time, teachers will create daily assessments, pretests, and post-tests, for students to take throughout the year. The daily assessments will be both formal and informal consisting of class games, exit tickets, and discussions. The students will take a pre-test at the beginning of each software Unit taught and then compare the results to the post-tests at the end of the Unit. These tests and daily assessments will be compared across campuses to provide an understanding of student achievement in a blended learning environment versus a traditional classroom. In addition, the teachers will also produce anonymous Likert scale surveys and open-ended questions in Google forms to be conducted at three points throughout the year, beginning of the year, mid-year, and end of the year. It is critical to keep willing participants information confidential for the study to remain ethical (Mertler, 2016). These surveys will provide insight of student’s opinions of their level of engagement, and their student achievementprogressing throughout the year.
During the fall of 2018-2019, the teacher committee will determine which classes will be selected for the study. The teachers will examine previous student records to develop traditional classes and blended classes with similar demographics, gender, and achievement level. Per district policy and with administration approval, the teachers will compose a formal letter to be delivered to students and parents of these classes to inform them of the study and determine which students agree to participate in the study. Then using the pool of students participating in the study, focus groups will be formed. As these groups are formed, interview questions will be conducted to collect consistent data across all campuses.
The teacher committee will conduct another meeting at the end of the school year. This will be an opportunity when teachers can openly compare standardized tests, daily assessments, interviews, classroom observations, and surveys. The data will be organized to directly compare the results of how students were affected in blended learning classrooms against the traditional classroom model. Teachers will be able to divide the data further into two categories of student achievement and student engagement. These results will then be shared districtwide and a future plan will be put forth to make changes to the following year, based on the data obtained.Hopefully, the data will lend information that will benefit students engagement and achievement.
Mertler, C. A. (2016). Action research: Improving schools and empowering educators (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN-13: 978-1483389059