Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Thomasina Lawson

Abstract

The 21st century has ushered Generation Z into every educational setting. Their expectations for how, where, and how fast they learn are as diverse their world views. With the use of electronic, mobile learning devices increasing each year, there is a noted deficiency in research to provide insight into how this computer-based learning is impacting students in high schools.

In this investigation, a self-paced, internet-based instructional program is utilized by students in a brick-and-mortar location with a certified teacher as well as anywhere the student has an internet connection and a computer device.

An internet based, five-part Likert scale survey was used to collect quantitative data for all five of the research questions in the study. Statistical analysis included paired-sample t-test and z-score calculations to determine the results of the hypothesis tests. A qualitative survey component was employed to further analyze two of the five research questions. The quantitative analysis indicates self-determination in a blended learning environment is greater than in the traditional learning environment with respect to competence only. Qualitative response analysis supported the quantitative data analysis for two of the research questions. Therefore, this indicated a positive perception from students in the blended learning environment for the respective areas. The qualitative responses supported the quantitative results and provided a more authentic, holistic perspective of the respective components of the research study.

The researcher recommends that practitioners in blended learning environments make a concerted effort to build awareness and develop and cultivate the noncognitive traits and soft skills that are the foundation of 21st century skills higher education that businesses and industry expect students and perspective employees to possess.

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