Date of Conferral







Barry Birnbaum



U.S. middle schools are increasing offering blended learning curricula that integrates virtual and face-to-face instruction, but the effectiveness of this mode of instruction at the middle school level has not been adequately explored. This investigation provides additional data to the current body of knowledge related to blended learning as a viable option for middle school students. The theoretical framework for this investigation derives from Lev Vygotsky's social development theory and Jean Piaget's constructivist theory of knowledge. The central research question focused on the difference in achievement scores between 6th grade students participating in a virtual course as compared to the 6th grade students participating in a face-to-face course, and the difference between the overall scores of the thirty-five 6th grade students in the two respective courses as compared to the thirty 7th grade students. A causal-comparative research design was used. An ANOVA was conducted and the achievement scores of the total sample size of sixty-five 6th and 7th grade students at a charter school located in the U.S. state of Maryland were analyzed. The 6th grade students scored higher than the 7th grade students in virtual learning. In both grade levels, achievement scores were higher for students who had taken the virtual course, illustrating the merits of virtual learning for middle school students. This study provides data that may influence organizational leaders' decision making regarding whether to use a blended learning model at the middle school. This study supports virtual learning and can contribute to positive social change by supporting the creation of more blended learning middle schools in Prince George's County