Educator perceptions during implementation of blended learning : a high school case study




Cooper, Beth Ann

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Implementation of blended learning in K-12 education advanced rapidly without significant research to guide leaders in decision making and planning. Studying blended learning through the Implementation Stages framework developed by the SISEP Center allows educators to evaluate best practices for implementing this innovative instructional strategy and to determine necessary components for scaling the model. This qualitative case study at a Texas public high school offers a view of educators’ perceptions during the implementation of The University of Texas at Austin High School’s digital curriculum in a blended learning pilot. Three research questions drive this study: (1) What are educators’ perceptions of blended learning during installation and initial implementation stages? (2) How do educators define student success during blended learning implementation stages? (3) In which areas can educators’ perceptions during installation and initial implementation of blended learning inform district decisions regarding full implementation? The study incorporates a qualitative methodology built from a constructivist approach, recognizing the value of individuals’ meaning making processes to form a collective picture. Three data sources consisted of surveys, interviews, and document reviews. An organized process to code information into themes generated areas for focus while answering each research question with rich, thick description. The findings showed that educators discussed four key themes when reflecting on the blended learning implementation including (a) training and support, (b) aligned goals; (c) educator access; and (d) personnel and mindset. They revealed four themes for ways of defining student success consisting of (a) mastery of core standards; (b) student access; (c) learner personalization; and (d) 21st century skills. Four integrated themes emerged to guide district leaders in decision-making processes to determine whether to move forward with full implementation of the pilot project. These areas for focus include (a) power of the people; (b) aligned integration; (c) personalization pursuits; and (d) blended bandwagon. Although the case study district chose not to scale the pilot project to full implementation, the case offers insight into the processes and areas for focus in decisionmaking and guiding future research in the area of implementation of innovative programs and blended learning


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