Blended Learning Mock Research Project

Reflective Statement

My mock research project on blended learning, ‘The Effect of Blended Learning on Student Achievement in a 9th Grade Physical Science Classroom’ serves as summative assessment of my Research Methods course material. It is a comprehensive and cohesive endeavor that allowed me to apply content and skills learned over the course of the class. This artifact relates to other artifacts within this portfolio in that it reflects my pedagogical strategies regarding the effective use of technology in the classroom. It is a research driven artifact that uses empirical methods to validate this instructional approach that I discuss in other portfolio items. I feel that this artifact is evidence of a few concepts that I took away from my Research Methods course. It demonstrates my ability to organize, create and describe a research study, and also highlights the knowledge that I hold regarding effective blended instruction within the classroom. My mock research project displays the standard of ‘Visionary Leadership’ in that it showcases my ability to implement and evaluate technology-based instruction within a sample population, as well as demonstrating an innovative approach to sustainable change in the classroom. If I were to create the document again, I would focus my research on the flipped model classroom design in place of the blended model. Although these are both popular topics and buzz words among the instructional education community, flipped models have recently been privileged to research that supports their effectiveness. Given the opportunity to create this artifact again, I would appreciate the opportunity to investigate this within a given context. Through the creation of this artifact, I was able to take part in the research process (albeit mock research), and apply principles and components that I had studied throughout my Research Methods course. Much was learned through the process of researching blended learning theory. I applied knowledge regarding research typology and APA formatting, and in the end synthesized both procedural and content skills gained through the course.  Given the opportunity to base this project on whatever topic I deemed relevant and interesting, I decided to select blended learning as this was an instructional strategy that I had experimented with much on my own in the classroom, but was yet to thoroughly investigate the research behind it. This project afforded me the opportunity to dig in to the topic and discover the current research supporting this approach in the classroom. The major obstacle that I encountered with this project was locating relevant resources to use in researching blended learning. Although there is much debate and dialogue regarding the use of blended learning at both secondary and post-secondary institutions, surprisingly there had not been a substantial amount of empirical research conducted on the topic at the time of this paper. Locating and tracking down literature to use for research ended up being a much more rigorous process than originally thought.