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Aughton, Harold (2017) INTER-INSTITUTIONAL COLLABORATION POLICIES: BUILDING A BLENDED LEARNING NETWORK. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Pennsylvania’s public school districts and institutions of higher education share similar challenges with demographic shifts, diminishing public funds, and increased expectations to prepare students with limited resources. Over the past 30 years, Pennsylvania rural school districts have had to learn to do more with less, leaving little in district budgets’ for courses beyond the established curriculum. The problem may be that children living in these less densely populated areas have fewer educational opportunities to prepare for college and attend at lesser rates than their peers in more urban and suburban areas. Historically, the lack of funding in small rural school districts have often times left academic leaders and teachers without adequate resources to prepare students for college and/or careers. Policy practices of the past focused on the consolidation of rural schools that were unable to sustain operations, and address pedagogical issues due to the financial limitations of the local tax base. While the technologies of the early 1900s loosely connected rural students to formal education by mail. By the end of the 20th century, advances in broadband technologies enabling rapid and large transfers of data eliminated the obstacles that encumbered earlier forms of distance and online education. Regrettably, financial struggles in these less-densely, populated areas still persist. In Pennsylvania, one study found that the poorer the district, the more difficult it was for the district to purchase digital content and train teachers and staff to implement blended learning courses (Kolat, 2014). Another study recommended legislators to develop policies that encouraged collaboration between schools, especially for rural districts that cannot afford to start their own online programs (Murin & Watson, 2012). The literature is void of research that examines local level administrative policies to support blended learning within and among institutions in rural locales. The most recent research illustrated how some organizations are perhaps collaborating and moving beyond BL classrooms and forming blended learning networks (BLNs) among and with other institutions (Watson et al., 2014). The aim of this study was to examine the inter-institutional collaboration policies used to build a BLN through a mixed-method case study.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Aughton, Haroldhaa25@pitt.eduhaa25
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcClure, Maureen W.mmcclure@pitt.eduMMCCLURE
Committee MemberTananis,
Date: 18 May 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 April 2017
Approval Date: 18 May 2017
Submission Date: 3 May 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 166
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: blended learning, blended learning network, online learning, distance education
Date Deposited: 18 May 2017 19:27
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 19:27


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