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Overview

Blended learning combines, or blends, traditional face-to-face instruction with digital, online learning. Students often have access to one-to-one technology or computer labs, where they spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of their class time working on digital platforms or on digital work. In addition to integrating online learning, blended learning models often mix additional instructional formats, called modalities, that personalize learning for students. Modalities commonly include the following:

  • Online LearningStudents use online learning software to work independently in the classroom or computer lab.
  • Small Group Instruction – The teacher provides targeted instruction to a small group of students.
  • Peer Learning – Students work together (on- or offline) to learn, work on projects, and create work products.
  • Independent Learning – Students work alone to learn, work on projects, create work products, and undertake assessments.
  • Goal Conferencing Students set goals and discuss progress with teachers or peers.
  • Tutoring Students work with a peer or a tutor to learn, work on projects, and create work products.

Leveraging various modalities in a single class session can help teachers tailor learning to young people’s individual needs, as well as put them in greater control of their learning. The degree of tailoring and student control varies depending on the specific approach to blended learning that is adopted by a community. While there are many possible approaches to blended learning models, three are most common in K-12 schools: 

Station Rotation – Students rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, with each student visiting each station for the same amount of time. Often used in one class period or learning block.

 

Individual Rotation – Students rotate through stations individually and on a fixed schedule where students may or may not experience every station. Often used within a longer learning block. 

 

Flex – Students learn through self-paced, online, personalized playlists and have greater autonomy over the sequencing of learner tasks. This model benefits from longer learning blocks or dedicated days.

 

What Makes This Innovative?

Customization

Modalities customize learning for every student based on data, student choice, and teacher skill.

Rigorous Learning

Online learning leverages high-quality content that meets the unique needs of learners.

Anytime, Anywhere Learning

Tech-enriched tools afford students more flexibility in when and where they learn.

Blended Learning Models on the Exchange

The blended learning models on The Exchange utilize a variety of approaches to blending modalities.

Grades PK-Higher Ed

The Modern Classrooms Project

The Modern Classrooms Project empowers educators to meet every student’s needs through its blended, self-paced, mastery-based instructional model.

Grades 7-12
Intrinsic Schools

PODs

PODs flex time, space, and people to provide opportunities for deeper and broader learning that is more personalized to achieve stronger and more equitable outcomes.

Grades 4-12
Gradient Learning

Summit Learning

The Summit Learning program is a research-based approach to teaching and learning designed to drive student engagement, more meaningful learning, and strong student–teacher relationships that prepare students for life beyond the classroom.

Grades 5-Algebra 1
New Classrooms

Teach to One 360

Teach to One 360 is a holistic, personalized learning model that provides teachers with the ability to tailor classroom math instruction to each student’s unique strengths and needs while leveraging technology.

Resources from Transcend and Beyond

The following resources can help deepen your understanding of blended learning and support the design and implementation of a high-quality model, whether it’s one from The Innovative Models Exchange or one your community designs.

Blended Learning Overview
Transcend

This primer summarizes research findings and provides implementation guidance on various blended learning models, such as station rotation, individual rotation, and flex. It also includes school examples.

Blended Learning Universe
The Clayton Christensen Institute

The BLU is a comprehensive blended learning hub that makes resources, research, curated programs, and implementation strategies easily accessible for anyone seeking to start their journey to personalized, student-centered learning.

Blended Learning Resources & Guidance
The Learning Accelerator

TLA’s Blended and Personalized Learning at Work is an open-access information hub that summarizes research findings and observed school-based practices and tools. This resource is example-rich and includes many downloadable artifacts and multimedia as well as guidance around implementation.

Personalized Learning Toolbox
Dallas Independent School District

The PL Toolbox is a non-evaluative coaching and development tool for Dallas ISD teachers and leaders that ensures district alignment on personalized learning implementation. This resource functions as implementation guidance and includes videos, scaffolded observation tools, and rubrics for educators.