Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Sandra Duncan

Committee Member

Roslyn Doctorow


asynchronous, synchronous, cooperative learning strategies, engagement, classroom culture, virtual education, and transactional distance theory


This applied dissertation was designed to determine if cooperative learning strategies increased student engagement in a virtual elementary classroom. The purposes of this study were (a) to determine whether the implementation of cooperative learning strategies increased student engagement and (b) to explore student perceptions of engagement.

In this mixed methods research, the writer utilized a sequential explanatory design. The pre-test and post-test survey used in this study was based on the Elementary Student Engagement: Student Response created by the American Institutes for Research (2023). Convenience sampling was used to select 12 students to complete both surveys. A total of 4 students completed the interview after 4-weeks of implementation of cooperative learning strategies in the virtual classroom. The researcher analyzed the quantitative data using statistical software. Themes were generated after the qualitative phase of the study. The themes that were generated were collaboration, peer support, and engagement.

An analysis of the data revealed that there was a significant statistical difference in the engagement surveys before and after implementation of cooperative learning strategies. The student participants expressed an increase of collaboration with other students after the implementation of cooperative learning strategies. Although the sample size was small in this mixed methods study, the researcher recommends the use of cooperative learning strategies to increase engagement in the virtual classroom.

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