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


Gloria Kieley

Committee Member

David Weintraub


elementary school teachers, virtual classrooms, socioeconomic status, academic ability


This applied dissertation was designed to investigate teachers’ use of virtual learning environments to teach reading and math skills to students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. The purpose of the study was to identify elements that contributed to the effectiveness of using a virtual learning environment as a teaching tool for poorly performing elementary school students from low-socioeconomic status backgrounds. The researcher conducted a case study via semistructured face-to-face interviews with 11 elementary teachers who provided instruction virtually. The participants were all employed in urban schools and had at least 1 year of experience providing instruction in a virtual learning environment.

Findings indicated that professional development, differentiation and individualization, and engaging instructional strategies were recognized as prevalent themes across the two research sites. Professional development is vital for educators to develop the skills and strategies necessary to effectively navigate virtual teaching environments. Proficiency in using technology enables educators to leverage digital tools and platforms to deliver engaging and interactive instruction, thereby fostering student engagement and learning in virtual settings. Additionally, differentiation and individualization are essential components of virtual instruction, allowing teachers to tailor their approach to meet the diverse learning needs of students. The study uncovered strategies and practices that can aid in the effective implementation of reading and math in a virtual setting.

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