Blended Learning's Impact on Student Performance and Engagement in a Middle School Language Arts Classroom
The purpose of this action research project was to determine if blended learning instructional practices enhance students' understanding of the content being studied and increase student engagement in a 7th grade English language arts classroom. The research questions being studied as a result of these purposes include: Is there a positive correlation between using blended learning techniques with middle school students and students' proficiency of the Iowa Core standards? Does using blended learning methods correlate to increased student engagement? Participants of the study were three sections of 7th grade language arts students from the teacher researcher's school district of rural Iowa. The population of students was diverse in academic need consisting of many students of Individualized Education Plans and 504 plans, as well as English learners. After completing a unit that used traditional teaching methods, students were summatively assessed and then began a second unit in which the teacher researcher employed the rotation model of blended learning. Quantitative data on the impact of blended learning was collected through student interest surveys. The summative assessment scores from the unit that did not use blended learning were compared to the unit that did to check for student growth.