Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Personalized learning in the United States experienced a resurgence in the educational landscape as a result of increased technology access and computing power. The availability of affordable technology, software solutions, and access to the Internet led to the infiltration of technology into personalized learning approaches and provided a new platform for personalized learning advocates. Engagement and student agency were components of personalized learning attracting many educators to reinvest in personalized learning opportunities. This study focused on a rural, western Kentucky school district that piloted personalized learning through a blended learning environment. The study sought to measure engagement levels of both low at-risk and high at-risk students in a secondary school using an observation protocol. The dataset included 68 low at-risk and high at-risk student engagement observation scores from two types of learning environments; blended and traditional. The study used a two-way ANOVA and descriptive statistics analysis. The analysis did not result in significant statistical differences, the descriptive statistics showed engagement scores were slightly higher in blended learning environments providing support for personalized learning as an alternative learning environment for both high and low at-risk student populations. The study suggests implication for secondary schools that blended learning environments engage students as much as traditional learning environments. This study further suggests that personalized learning offers schools, teachers, and students flexibility to differentiate learning through pace, place, and path without sacrificing student engagement. In other words, this study supports the use of personalized learning, specifically blended learning strategies for low and high at-risk student populations in secondary schools.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

at-risk, personalized learning, blended learning

Dissertation Committee Chair

Robert Lyons

Committee Member

Vladyslav Krotov

Committee Member

Stephanie Sullivan

Document Type