Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Open Access Thesis


Earth sciences--Study and teaching (Secondary); Blended learning;


This study analyzed the effects of differing levels of technology use in a high school Earth Science class on student performance on the Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (CTSR). Blended learning manipulates the combination of hands-on activities, classroom discussions, online discussions, interactive simulations and a variety of assessments that engage, instruct and assess student learning. Critical thinking is the set of skills and dispositions that foster problem solving, reasoning ability and selfregulation. The increasing use of technology in the classroom and fluctuation of content standards prompted this research. The results have implications for the classroom teacher of a wide range of ages and content areas as well as parents.

The control group experienced eclectic and reduced use of technology while the treatment group used a Learning Management System and an increased use of technology. Both groups had the same classroom teacher, curriculum, and assessments. The CTSR was given at the beginning and end of the semester in conjunction with a qualitative survey.

All students improved their CTSR score. There was no statistical difference in CSTR scores between treatment and control groups or between genders or age groups. This implicates that the level of technology used in a classroom does not directly impact critical thinking ability. Future studies could provide a more drastic difference in the amount of technology used or measure growth over an entire academic year.

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Science Education Program

First Advisor

Kyle Gray, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 68 pages)



File Format