Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Kay A. Keiser


This study examined sixth grade students’ math performance under two models of instruction: traditional and blended. Blended instruction requires face-to-face learning with an instructor, but allows students to do a portion of the work independently online. Traditional instruction takes place with an instructor present at all times. One area of interest in this study was the level of procedural knowledge acquired under the two different models of instruction. Results from three different assessments indicated no significant difference between the two groups of students. An additional area of interest was students’ preferences in teaching strategies in math and approaches to learning. Results indicated that 85% of the blended students and 90% of the traditional students agreed they wanted to take ownership of their learning. All together, over 70% of the students felt that having the ability to work with the teacher one-on-one or in a small group was important. In addition, 78% of students felt it was important to work at varying paces. In order to keep up with the demands of a workforce that requires critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration, students have to be at the center of their learning journey and play an active role throughout the process. This requires breaking away from the traditional model of education where teachers are the sole transmitter of information and learning is confined to 42-minute time blocks Monday through Friday. Varying the way in which students access and learn content has the potential to transform educational landscapes in terms of quality and cost. The results from this study add to the research base on blended learning at the elementary level. It also includes implications for key stakeholders to consider as they think more broadly about instruction delivery methods.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2016 Lynn Marie Spady.

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