Blended Learning

Definition 

Learning occurs in both a supervised face-to-face learning community AND in an online setting (it can, but does not have to, include community-based learning experiences). In a blended learning program students have a measure of control over the path, pace and timing of their learning. The Christensen Institute defines blended Learning as "a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part online, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home; and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience."

Features 

  • Personalization

Designer's Tips 

If you're new to blended learning implementation, start by defining goals. How will blended learning serve your short and long term vision? Then, take inventory -- and not just on your equipment, but on your team: What is their current technical skill level -- and comfort level -- with troubleshooting device issues? Managing a blended classroom? Scaffolding the introduction of a new platform for students? Next, consider building a mini-roadmap for implementation. If you had to describe your implementation milestones over three different stages -- where the final stage was your ideal implementation -- what would each stage look like? What resources, personnel, tools, and platforms are needed for each stage? Finally, do some outreach to learn what you can from other schools that may be a few steps further along in implementing blended learning. What devices do they use, and why? Did they switch from another device previously? If so, why? With which platforms have they had the most success? What were the biggest challenges along the way, and how did they overcome them? This type of fact-finding will help guide your decision-making.

Tips for a Short Implementation Time-Line 

For practitioners the challenge is in finding the right mix of digital and direct instruction for every student at different points along their pathway to graduation.

Curated Resources: This collection of resources from the field includes models and exemplars, as well as “DIY” guidance to facilitate your exploration of this term. 

iNACOL: Blended Learning Teacher Competency Framework

Description 

This handbook describes the teacher competencies necessary to succeed in a blended learning environment, organizing them into mindsets, qualities, adaptive skills, and technical skills.

Authors 

Allison Powell, Beth Rabbitt, Kathryn Kennedy

Resource Type 

  • Report

Publishing Organization 

iNACOL

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Competency-Based Education (CBE)
Mastery Learning
Proficiency-Based Education (PBE)
Blended Learning

iNACOL: How to Start an Online Learning Program

Description 

This is an A-Z guide and toolkit for starting online learning programs, addressing such challenges as finding funding, creating policies, budgeting, staffing, designing administrative systems, developing curriculum, enrolling students, and ensuring quality.

Resource Type 

  • Website

Publishing Organization 

iNACOL

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Blended Learning

Mean What you Say: Defining and Integrating Personlaized, Blended and Competency Education

Description 

Those stuggling to keep pace with the rapidly evolving field of personalization will find this report helpful, as the authors seek to clarify and integrate the core ideas of personalized learning, blended learning, competency education, and standards. Designers of mastery learning systmes will find the included 12 Elements for Designing Instruction & Curriculum to Support Children's Learning useful as well.

Resource Type 

  • Report

Publishing Organization 

iNACOL

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Competency-Based Education (CBE)
Mastery Learning
Proficiency-Based Education (PBE)
Blended Learning
Personalized Learning Plan

A Peek Inside Summit's Personalized Learning Software

Description 

This article provides a guided tour of the student-facing software Summit Public Schools uses to manage all aspects of their Personalized Learning Plans (PLP) for students, from content delivery to assessment to reporting. In addition, you will find an in-depth look at how teachers and students use the PLP and supporting resources. This resource is especially helpful to designers thinking about how to make performance data available to students in an empowering and powerful way. 

Authors 

Alex Hernandez

Resource Type 

  • Blog Post

Publishing Organization 

EdSurge

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Grade Composition
Grade Reports
Promotion Plan
Anywhere-Anytime Learning
Blended Learning
Self-Directed Learning

Christensen Institute: Blended Learning Models and Definitions

Description 

This brief article provides quick definitions of four common types of blended learning models: rotation, flex, a la carte, and enriched virtual.

Resource Type 

  • Website

Publishing Organization 

Christensen Institute

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Asynchronous Learning
Blended Learning
Flexibly-Paced Learning
Self-Paced Learning

Memoir Course & Module Overviews

Description 

This model performance-based course, emphasizes is organized around a set of formative and performance assessments that support students in undertaking a deep exploration of the genre of memoir. The course was designed as student-facing, so that students can move at their own pace. This link takes you to a Course Overview, the 3 Module Overviews, a Sample Lesson and a Performance Task on "Photo Writing."

Authors 

Catherine Ullman Shade, Antonia Rudenstine

Resource Type 

  • Document

Publishing Organization 

reDesign

Type of Organization 

  • reDesign

Terms 

Blended Learning
Flexibly-Paced Learning
Self-Paced Learning
Student Voice & Choice
Learning Assets
Modules
Units

Project Foundry

Description 

Project Foundry is a rich database of free resources on project-based learning, but beyond that, it provides a learning management platform specifically designed for project-based learning. The tools available on the platform are robust and can provide a foundation for designer's looking for a starting place in the design of performance tasks and projects.

Resource Type 

  • Website

Publishing Organization 

Project Foundry

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Blended Learning
Learning Assets
Learning Management System (LMS)

WISE: Web-based Inquiry Science Environment

Description 

WISE, which stands for Web-based Inquiry Science Environment, is a research-focused, open-source inquiry-based learning management system that includes a student learning environment, project authoring environment, grading tool, and user/course/content management tools. 

Resource Type 

  • Website

Publishing Organization 

Berkeley College

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Blended Learning
Digital Teaching Environment
Learning Assets

Re-engineering Information Technology

Description 

This issue brief lays out the design considerations for the next generation of information technology systems to support mastery learning systems. Technical characteristics of this student-centered approach that must be built into the information systems include a) providing transparency into what students know and need to accomplish, b) robust user tracking and reporting of performance, c) differentiated instruction and curriculum, and d) options on how students can demonstrate learning.

Authors 

Liz Glowa

Resource Type 

  • Report

Publishing Organization 

iNACOL, CompetencyWorks

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Student Information System
Blended Learning
Grading & Reporting System
Learning Management System (LMS)

Tech. Tools Lag our Competency-Based Aspirations

Description 

As the title makes clear, this blog post discusses the current mismatch between what mastery learning system designers need, and what tech developers are currently producing. It describes how even the most innovative products are generally too limited in scope, too tied to old models of assessment and grading, or fail to fully integrate the assessment, grading, tracking and programming components that are highly interdependent in personalized, mastery learning schools. 

Authors 

Julia Freeland

Resource Type 

  • Blog Post

Publishing Organization 

CompentencyWorks

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Performance-Based Grading
Proficiency-Based Grading
Student Information System
Rating System
Scoring Rubrics
Blended Learning
Grading & Reporting System
Learning Management System (LMS)

Blended Learning Leaders are over the Honeymoon--and Rolling up their Sleeves

Description 

As schools become more mature in their implementation of edtech to support personalization, their use and priorities shift. This article describes how six such schools, veterans in the blended learning movement, are designing version 2.0 of their models.

Authors 

Alex Hernandez

Resource Type 

  • Blog Post

Publishing Organization 

EdSurge

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Blended Learning

Making Mastery Accessible: Guide to Selecting Learning Assets

Description 

Identifying or developing high-quality learning assets to support mastery learning remains challenging, particularly at the secondary level. This design guide is organized as a set of check-lists that can be used to evaluate the quality and appropriateness of online learning assets. Using the checklists will help you reflect on issues such as the appropriateness for your students' knowledge and skills, alignment with your school's competencies and standards, the existence of embedded formative and summative assessments, and the asset's progress tracking capabilities.

Authors 

Antonia Rudenstine

Resource Type 

  • Tool

Publishing Organization 

reDesign

Type of Organization 

  • reDesign

Terms 

Blended Learning
Playlist
Course Management System (CMS)
Digital Teaching Environment
Learning Assets
Learning Management System (LMS)
Scope and Sequence

Technology Enabled Personalized Learning

Description 

This report documents findings and recommendations from a 2014 summit on technology-enabled personalized learning. The challenges explored include: data; content and curriculum; technology architecture; human capacity; and research and development.

Authors 

Jill Abbott, James Basham, Steve Nordmark, Mark Schneiderman, Steve Umpstead, Kathy Walter, Mary Ann Wolf

Resource Type 

  • Report

Publishing Organization 

Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University

Type of Organization 

  • Non-Profit

Terms 

Student Information System
Blended Learning
Learner Profiles
Learning Assets
Learning Management System (LMS)
Personalized Learning