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Blended and Online Learning in K-12 Traditional School Districts of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Kolat, Erica (2014) Blended and Online Learning in K-12 Traditional School Districts of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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National surveys regarding blended and online programs continue to document an increased enrollment of K-12 students. However, the overall research base for this age group remains limited. Although some states collect and report data of fully online programs, information regarding blended and online programs in traditional school districts continues to evade the research base. This study surveyed district superintendents to investigate the nature of, reasons for, barriers and benefits of implementing blended and online programs in 24 traditional public school districts of three rural counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Using descriptive statistics, two proportion z-tests, and non-parametric statistical assessments (Wilcoxon test, Mann-Whitney U test, and Spearman’s rho test), results indicated statistically significant findings regarding the nature of blended programs and online programs, differences between urban, fringe of a large district (suburban) and rural districts, as well as districts’ wealth (market value aid ratio) and the reasons districts implement blended and online programs as well as the barriers they face with regard to implementation. The final chapter discusses these findings through a disruptive innovation theoretical framework indicating evidence of blended and online learning serving as both disruptive and sustaining innovations and applies the findings from this study to provide a decision-making matrix that traditional school districts may use in planning for blended and online program implementation.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kolat, Ericaelk49@pitt.eduELK49
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.eduTROVATO
Committee MemberBickel, Williambickel@pitt.eduBICKEL
Committee MemberKerr, Mary Margaretmmkerr@pitt.eduMMKERR
Committee MemberKirk, Dianedlk31@pitt.eduDLK31
Date: 30 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 April 2014
Approval Date: 30 September 2014
Submission Date: 6 August 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 195
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: online learning, blended learning, traditional school districts, disruptive innovation theory, sustaining innovation theory
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2014 15:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:22


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