Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Michael M. Grant

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods action research was to determine if increased interactive Schoology-based modules could alter learner perceptions concerning the lack of meaningful learning (learner-instructor, learner-learner, learner-content) in the culture unit of instruction in an Advanced Placement Human Geography (APHG) classroom. A series of instructional modules were facilitated through the learning management system (LMS) Schoology to students (n = 16) in APHG at a southeastern U.S. high school. The interactions were designed to enhance interaction based upon the criteria provided by Piaget’s (1981) social constructivist theory, specifically Moore and Kearsley’s (2011) systems approach and Miyazoe and Anderson’s (2010) interactive equivalency theorem. These approaches sought to create meaningful interactions as described in Vygotsky’s (1978) zone of proximal development.

This study addressed four research questions: (1) What are learners’ perceptions of the learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions presented via the Schoology interactive modules in their culture unit of instruction? (2) What barriers are reported by students that hinder meaningful learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content learning while using Schoology? (3) Do students’ perceptions change after receiving increased interactive lessons presented through the Schoology interactive modules? (4) To what extent does student learning, as measured by a culture unit assessment, increase or decrease after the LMS driven instructional innovation?

As a mixed methods study, quantitative and qualitative information, namely pre- and post surveys, panel group discussions, and interviews, served as the basis of the evaluation. Results indicated significant variances in the pre- and postsurvey as well as significant improvement from the pre- to posttest. Overall, significant differences were found in the general interactivity, learner-instructor, learner-content, and learner-learner subscales. This signifies that the interactivity in the teacher-created modules was interactive. Limitations such as the novelty effect and the non-generalizability of the results exist in the study.

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