Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teacher Education

Major Professor

Amy D. Broemmel

Committee Members

JoAnn Cady, Dennis Ciancio, Charles Collins, Ji-Won Son


This study investigated the implementation and outcomes of blended learning that integrated Apangea Math, an online intelligent tutor system (ITS), with face-to-face instruction for the teaching and learning of Algebra 1. It took place in a Title I urban high school where 75 ninth grade students and their teachers enacted the blended learning program for one semester. Students from the same high school who received face-to-face instruction alone during a previous semester served as a comparison group. Flow theory was proposed as an explanation for why the ITS program was expected to increase student engagement and improve student achievement.

This quasi-experimental, mixed methods study collected data via student assessments, surveys, observation forms, questionnaires, and meeting notes. Fidelity of implementation was rated based on four components: adherence, exposure, quality of delivery, and participant responsiveness. Challenges encountered and practices used when implementing the program were characterized as first-order (external) or second-order (internal) and were analyzed to reveal themes.

A mixed ANOVA conducted on assessment data revealed a significant interaction effect between time (pre or post) and group (intervention or comparison) on achievement, F(1,157) = 5.25 , p < .05, partial eta2 = .032. This indicated that the intervention group’s achievement gains (M = 9.45 points) were significantly greater than the comparison group’s gains (M = 4.65 points). Furthermore, instruction that included the use of Apangea Math significantly improved achievement for students whose initial skill level was below basic, but it did not change achievement significantly for those whose initial skill levels were higher (basic, proficient, or advanced). Analysis of data by teacher suggested that Apangea Math usage contributed toward the closing of achievement gaps.

Teachers’ ratings, classroom observations, and questionnaire responses indicated that many students tended to be engaged in the online tutorial program; however, surveys showed no significant changes in students’ attitudes towards learning mathematics after they experienced blended learning for one semester. Two prevalent second order challenges were “lack of time” and “disbelief in the program,” while “establishing protocols” was the most frequently mentioned beneficial practice. Implications for administrators and teachers are discussed, and future research is recommended.

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