School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Elgen Hillman


Alternative Education, At-Risk Students, Blended Learning, Traditional Learning


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education


The purpose of this non-experimental, causal-comparative study was to examine the impact of a blended learning format on the academic achievement of at-risk 9 - 12 grade students in a rural Northeast Georgia school system. After obtaining IRB approval and district curriculum director and superintendent approval, data was obtained for evaluation. Student Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) eighth-grade scores from the content areas of math, language arts, science, and social studies were obtained and served to control for previous achievement. Students in the control group received instruction in the traditional face-to-face classroom with content instruction designed and provided by the classroom instructor. Students in the experimental group received content instruction through online programming with supplemental support from the alternative school instructor. At the conclusion of each semester, students were tested using the Georgia End-of-Course Test (EOCT) corresponding to each class completed. Results were statistically analyzed with an ANCOVA for each content area. Findings indicated that student performance is positively influenced by the academic areas of language arts, science, and social studies for students enrolled in blended learning programming. Conversely, student performance increased for the area of math when instruction was provided in the traditional face-to-face learning format. Results are reported, and implications for future research are provided.