The Impact of Varying Levels of Blended Teaching Readiness on Student Achievement Outcomes
Background: Blended learning combines online and face-to-face instruction and can result in significant gains for students. While many state and federal policies require the use of technology within face-to-face classrooms, teachers are left to discover the best way to incorporate technology on their own. High-quality professional development can help prepare teachers for new instructional practices and improve students’ learning. Purpose: This study aimed to examine the relationships between blended learning professional development, teachers’ self-assessed readiness to teach in a blended learning environment, and student achievement outcomes. Methodology: In this quantitative study, I surveyed 73 third-fifth grade teachers in a large suburban school district in southeast Texas to determine their level of readiness and participation in blended learning professional development. I matched 1771 students’ 2022-23 Math scores and 1120 students’ Reading scores to their teachers and used mediation analysis to test the relationships of interest. Results: I found that readiness to teach in a blended learning environment was less important for student achievement in Math and Reading than teacher participation in blended learning professional development. Math teachers with two or more years of blended learning professional development had students with scores that on average were five points higher than students who had teachers with no exposure to blended learning professional development. Furthermore, there was no mediation effect for Math achievement; however, blended learning readiness negatively mediated the relationship between Reading achievement and teacher professional development, which was contrary to my hypothesis. Conclusion: The results of this thesis suggest that any amount of blended learning professional development has a significant, positive impact on student achievement outcomes for Math. District and campus leaders should provide educators with professional development specific to blended learning as a key step toward making gains in student learning.