Blended Learning (Everything you need to know)20 min read

Blended learning is sometimes referred to as “personalized learning,” or “differentiated instruction” or “semi-presential education”.

Blended learning, also called b-Learning, combines online and offline instruction. Students interact with the instructor and the material through both a physical classroom and an online platform.

Table of Contents

What is Blended Learning?

This type of learning can be difficult to define because it is such a broad term. However, below is currently the most widely accepted definition by scholars:

“A teaching method that integrates technology and virtual activities with traditional teaching. It uses planned activities that have a high pedagogical value. “

Blended learning uses technology to enhance, transform, and improve the learning process.

As the Internet became more accessible and distance education begins to consolidate, teachers and school administrators recognized the importance of looking for innovative teaching methods.

What you must know about Online learning

Michael Horn, a specialist in disseminating these practices, believes that blended learning is the best way to drive education network transformation.

He said that Blended Learning creates space for teamwork and critical thinking. He also stresses the importance of this approach to students, giving them both knowledge and opportunities to improve their skills for success in life.

Online Courses & Blended Learning

Blended learning is a way to combine two educational options and allow the teacher to experiment with their results.

Professionals can use online modules in conjunction with face-to-face classes, or they can design an online course to supplement classroom instruction.

Combining these methodologies contributes to a new paradigm in education, which has been much debated in recent times: the flipped learning.

Flipped learning: Evolution in Education

Flipped learning promotes active, investigative, and collaborative learning.

This model allows students to study a topic at home, go to school, prepare to debate, share their doubts, offer ideas, and be active participants in the classroom.

Scholars advocate that the student be the main character of the class. They believe in autonomy and learning with technology to maximize the effectiveness of education.

Paulo Freire and Papert:

On the other hand, it is important to remember that Paulo Freire, a teacher skilled at making the classroom interaction with television and videos, was a master at this.

In a 1996 dialogue with Papert, he stated that “we don’t need to stop school,” but rather make it more modern until a new technology-based being is born. “

Although the pace of change is slow, some schools and universities have already started to do this, which is leading to unexpected results.

Blended learning and distance education continues to grow in popularity, which we hope will lead to significant and positive educational changes.

Advantages of Blended Education for Schools and Students

The best conclusion with e-Learning was that neither one is better than the other. Both have their strengths and can be combined.

Combining online and offline learning, it’s possible to use both. The following are some of the most notable:

  • Greater time flexibility;
  • Reduces mobility requirements;
  • Reduces costs
  • It encourages integration between participants and a subsequent exchange of experiences.
  • Facilitates student assessment;
  • Allows fieldwork and visits at places of interest;
  • Improved learning results by using more information sources

Blended Education in Brazil

Blended learning is a popular method of learning in Brazil. The subjects are taught via distance learning.

Carlos Longo, academic dean at UP and director for the Brazilian Association for Distance Learning (“Abed”), says that the hybrid courses help professionals develop leadership skills, problem-solving, and technology-connected with a changing world.

Longo says information acquisition can be made through a dynamic Learning Management System (LMS), including e-books, games, video lessons, and e-book.

Most Common Types of Blended Learning

Blended learning is a combination of online and face-to-face learning, which means that your students may have already been doing blended learning for many years. 

The Blended Learning Types You’ve Probably Heard of:

1. Station Rotation Blended Learning:

Station-Rotation blended learning is a model that allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, where at least one of the stations is an online learning station.

This model is more common in elementary schools, as teachers are familiar with rotating in stations and centers.

2. Lab Rotation Blended Learning

The Lab Rotation model for blended learning is similar to “Station Rotation.” It allows students to rotate through stations according to a set schedule in a dedicated lab computer lab, which allows for flexible scheduling with teachers enabling schools to make full use of existing computer labs.

3. Remote Blended Education (also known as Enriched Virtual Learning)

In enriched virtual blended Learning, the student focuses on completing online coursework while only meeting with the teacher intermittently/as-needed. 

An enriched virtual blended learning model allows students to work with and learn from teachers online, but not in a traditional classroom setting.

4. Flex Blended Education

Blended learning includes the ‘Flex.’ It is a type in which online learning forms the backbone of student education, even though it sometimes directs students to offline activities.

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Students follow a flexible, individualized learning plan that combines all learning modes. Face-to-face support is provided by the teacher of record and other adults on an as-needed basis.

That includes activities such as small group instruction, group projects, and individual tutoring.

5. Flipped Classroom

The most well-known form of blended learning is the ‘Flipped Classroom.’ Students are taught content at home and then practice using it at school with support from teachers and peers. That allows for the ‘flipped’ of traditional roles in each space.

6. Individual Rotation Blended Education

Individual Rotation allows students to rotate between stations, but according to their schedules or teacher’s software algorithms.

Students do not have to rotate to all stations, unlike other rotation models. They rotate only to the activities on their playlists.

Types of Blended Learning you don’t know of:

7. Project-Based Blended Learning

Blended project-based learning is a method in which the student uses online learning (either self-directed access or courses) and face-to-face instruction to create, iterate and publish project-based learning products and assignments.

8. Self Directed Blended Learning

Self-Directed blended learning allows students to use online and face-to-face learning to guide their inquiry, reach formal learning goals, and connect with mentors digitally and physically.

Learning is self-directed, and therefore, the roles of physical teachers and online learning are not as important. There are also no formal online courses.

Self-Directed blended learning presents teachers with a challenge: assessing the success and somehow, denying the authenticity of the learning experience.

Students face the challenge of finding models of products, processes, and potential to spark their learning. They also need to be able to recognize what is working and why and also make adjustments as necessary.

While some students can fly with little support, others require clear and measurable pathways to follow independently.

9. Inside Out Blended Learning

Inside-Out blended Learning experiences are designed to “finish” or “end up” beyond the classroom but still need and benefit from the unique benefits of both the digital and physical spaces.

The Inside-Out and Outside-In models are less concerned about the nature of “online learning” than the emphasis on opportunities, platforms, spaces, and people beyond school walls.

The ‘online’ components can include self-directed inquiry as well as formal eLearning courses. 

Outside-In blended learning requires expert guidance, learning feedback, and content teaching. There is also a need to receive psychological and moral support through face-to-face interactions.

Each of the three “areas” is well-designed and plays to its strengths.

10. Outside Blended Learning

Outside – Blended learning experiences are designed to start in non-academic digital and physical environments but end inside a classroom.

That could refer to traditional assessment forms and letter grades or more traditional teaching and learning. 

Each of the three “areas” is well-designed and plays to its strengths. They complement each other.

Although the pattern is outside-in, unlike Remote blended learning, there’s still a need for support, guidance, teaching, and support through face-to-face interactions every day.

11. Supplemental Blended Education

This model allows students to do either 100% online learning to complement their face-to-face learning or completely face-to-face learning experiences to augment the online learning.

The big idea here is supplementing critical learning objectives that are met entirely in one space. The ‘opposite space’ provides students with specific supplementing experiences that they cannot or did not have in the previous space.

12. Blended Mastery-Based Learning

Students alternate between face-to-face and online learning (activities, assessments projects, etc). Based on the achievement of mastery-based learning goals.

The design of assessment is essential in mastery-based learning experiences. The ability to use digital and face-to-face tools for assessment is powerful but also complicated depending on the learning designer’s mindset.

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Blended Schools

Top Blended Education High Schools in the U.S

study.com has ranked the top high schools in America with blended learning programs. It uses a proprietary formula to weigh important factors like student/teacher ratios and accessibility.

Blended learning has been integrated into schools across the country over the past 20 years to modernize and enhance classroom academic instruction.

1. Huntley High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Huntley, IL
  • Enrollment: 2,863
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 18:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex

The Alpha Courses Blended Learning Program at Huntley High School was established in 2011. It now has nearly half the student population. Flex learning allows for differentiated instruction.

Students have more control over where and when they learn, which helps them better prepare for college and work environments.

If they have demonstrated competence, students can meet with their teachers face-to-face and finish work at their own pace. HHS is a high school in Huntley, Illinois, that has experienced rapid growth since the 2000s.

2. Flower Mound High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Flower Mound, TX
  • Enrollment: 2,650
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 17:1
  • Blended Learning Model: A La Carte, Enriched Virtual

The largest high school within the Lewisville Independent Schools District, Flower Mound High School, draws students from seven elementary and three middle schools.

Students can learn at home or in school with the blended learning option. While students can work remotely, they also have the benefit of classroom instruction.

The Virtual Learning Academy allows students to take courses online and work on their own. These students can still get guidance via email or other messaging options from their instructors.

3. Oyster River High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Durham, NH
  • Enrollment: 714
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1
  • Blended Learning Model – Station Rotation, Flipped Class

Oyster River High School students have opportunities for virtual learning opportunities. Students can either take part in their online courses or become full-time students online.

Station rotation is a benefit for students who attend classes. That means they can move from one center to the next to complete tasks at each station. One or more stations may also include online learning.

Oyster River High School uses a flipped-classroom strategy. That means that students can learn outside the classroom and use the knowledge or skills through class assignments.

4. Downingtown High school East

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Exton, PA
  • Enrollment: 1,721
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1
  • Blended Learning Model: Flex, Flipped Classroom, Enriched Virtual

Downingtown East High school is the best-blended learning high school in Pennsylvania. It has many options for blended learning inside and outside the classroom.

Full-time students have the option to learn online. Blended classes allow students to combine online learning and in-class instruction.

Blended Schools:

5. Marcus High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Flower Mound, TX
  • Enrollment: 2,478
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 17:1
  • Blended Learning Model – A La Carte

Marcus High School is in the same area as Flower Mound High School. It also has access to the Lewisville ISD blended curriculum, which allows students to study independently online.

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Students can still contact their teachers, and they can also meet in person or via online methods.

6. Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

  • Type: Private
  • Location: Rockville, MD
  • Enrollment: 950
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 8:1
  • Blended Learning Model – A La Carte, Flex

This Maryland private school is open to students from junior kindergarten through 12th grade. Charles E Smith Jewish Day school is the only Jewish day school with more students in this age group.

This private school was founded in 1965 and has maintained a low student-teacher ratio to ensure that every student receives the attention and help they need.

The school uses Flex to enable online learning and actively incorporates technology into classes and assignments.

7. Summit Public School, Shasta

  • Type: Public Charter
  • Location: Daly City, CA
  • Enrollment: 325
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 22:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex

This public school was opened in 2013 and had been embracing technology and blended learning since then. Each student is given a personalized learning plan that focuses on their academic goals.

Students can complete their courses quicker by incorporating online instruction into class schedules.

Students also get mentoring from their teachers, and they meet regularly to make sure that they stay on track and achieve their educational goals. Shasta teachers don’t just teach subjects.

They teach students the skills to learn on their own.

8. Natick High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Natick, MA
  • Enrollment: 1,624
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1
  • Blended Learning Model – A La Carte, Flipped Class

Students at Natick High School have many online course options. Each student who takes one of the 350 courses is assigned a teacher to ensure they complete their work on time.

The teacher supervises the learners as they work independently in a classroom. They may work on other campus campuses if they have demonstrated strong academic performance through online studies.

Natick High School is unique in that every student has a MacBook.

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9. Mountain House High

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Mountain House, CA
  • Enrollment: 823
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 25:1
  • Blended Learning Model: A La Carte, Enriched Virtual, Flex, Flipped Classroom

Mountain House High School has been able to promote blended learning from the moment it opened. The school is a brand new school, and the emphasis has been on innovation rather than instruction.

The school adopted philosophies that promote learning and second chances. Students can even redo material. Every student can focus on their individual goals.

They can choose from a combination of online and class studies or all of their courses online.

Blended Schools:

10. iSchool High at University Park

  • Type: Public Charter
  • Location: Lewisville, TX
  • Enrollment: 290
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 24:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex

iSchool High at University Park encourages independence and flexibility through a unique structure that emphasizes individual learning.

They don’t have to attend a specific class; students can visit a classroom taught by the teacher they are interested in and get assistance or work independently.

Students are encouraged to study in small groups with their classmates. They are expected to master the material until they feel they have.

11. Kaneland High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Maple Park, IL
  • Enrollment: 1,316
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex

Kaneland High School’s blended education approach enables students to study online. Students have access to computer labs and teachers who can help them with their studies.

This school focuses on teaching students how to take and understand the course material. That helps students do well on standardized tests.

12. Preparatory Course at KIPP San Francisco College

  • Type: Public Charter
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Enrollment: 312
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 26:1
  • Blended Learning Model – Station Rotation, Flipped Class

KIPP San Francisco College Preparatory offers two blended learning programs. Students use Chromebooks to learn and work independently. They also have small-group instruction with teachers.

The flipped classroom model was first introduced in science classes, and it is now expanding. Blended learning is a method of using instructional videos outside the classroom.

Students focus on their assignments when they are not in class.

13. Indiana Area High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Indiana, PA
  • Enrollment: 668
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 14:1
  • Blended Learning Model – A La Carte

Indiana Area High School offers online learning and in-class learning in a variety of subjects. To promote this educational approach, the school is expanding its course offerings.

Some courses focus on computer use, while others require that students attend in-class instruction. Other courses have a set number of days, while others are almost entirely online.

14. Pasco eSchool

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Spring Hill, FL
  • Enrollment: 125
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 2:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex

Pasco eSchool offers independent online learning as one of its blended learning options. The students work in computer labs, and their teachers are available to help them.

Students can choose to add on to their online learning with live instruction or webinars. Students can also use the Cohort Credit Recovery Program (CCRP), which offers lab instruction.

Blended Schools:

15. Tahoma: Summit Public School

  • Type: Public Charter
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Enrollment: 275
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 21:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex

The Summit Public School in San Jose is a small school that has only 275 students. It is similar to other Summit high schools and emphasizes independent learning. However, each student will focus on their learning goals.

Their approach emphasizes independent study. Students set their schedules and don’t have to rush for extra help. They also don’t feel rushed by students who are still learning the material.

To ensure that students are making progress in their studies, they have mentors and are closely monitored.

16. Cactus Shadows High school

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Cave Creek, AZ
  • Enrollment: 1,714
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 26:1
  • Flipped Classroom – Blended Learning Model

Students can work online in a lab setting and ask for help from teachers when needed. Students can schedule tutoring to help them with specific parts of the curriculum.

Cactus Shadows’ blended learning program was launched in 2006 and is available to all high school students.

17. Casco Bay High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Portland, ME
  • Enrollment: 389
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 14:1
  • Flipped Classroom – Blended Learning Model

Casco Bay High School encourages home instruction via videos and other resources. A group of teachers can work with students to complete specific learning projects while they are at school.

That gives students teachers access to the knowledge and skills they have learned to understand the material.

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18. Summit Preparatory Charter High School

  • Type: Public Charter
  • Location: Redwood, CA
  • Enrollment: 412
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 24:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex
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Summit Preparatory Charter High School follows a similar mandate to the other schools on this list. Their program is built around individual goals and learning plans.

Teachers mentor students to ensure that no one is left behind. All students benefit from group mentoring.

19. Gettysburg Area High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Gettysburg, PA
  • Enrollment: 940
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Blended Learning Model: Enriched Virtual, Station Rotation

Gettysburg Area High School offers an extensive online education program. Students begin their course by reporting to class and meeting their teacher to discuss their goals and clarify their expectations.

They can then work on the material at their own pace or from anywhere else. Their teacher is available to them during this period and can be reached when they require additional help.

Station rotation can also be used in certain subject areas. Students can work at stations and mix independent study with small-group activities.

Blended Schools:

20. Summit Public School: Rainier

  • Type: Public Charter
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Enrollment: 360
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 19:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex

Summit Public School Rainier follows the same flex model as other Summit high schools. This school offers extended school hours and a longer school calendar, allowing for flexibility throughout the school year.

The school has teachers who track their progress and small mentoring groups that keep them on track. Every student is given a set of goals that are tailored to meet their academic and personal interests.

Students learn independently, which makes it easier for them to master material quicker than in traditional classrooms.

21. Six Rivers Charter High School

  • Type: Public Charter
  • Location: Arcata, CA
  • Enrollment: 96
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1
  • Blended Learning Model: A La Carte, Enriched Virtual

Six Rivers Charter High School has just 96 students. However, it offers two distinct blended learning methods that are beneficial to students. Online learning is another option.

Students go to a lab, where they have support from a teacher. However, they work on their own. Their students also have the option to work remotely from home or anywhere else.

Students must complete some training on-site, although the amount may vary. This approach may mean that students only have to attend school one day per week.

22. Lewisville High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Lewisville, TX
  • Enrollment: 4,377
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1
  • Blended Learning Model – A La Carte

Students have various learning options at Lewisville High School. Some students may prefer to study in class, while others choose to go online.

Students can combine different approaches to study and work independently while still reporting to classes a few days each week.

23. Crestwood High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Mountain Top, PA
  • Enrollment: 915
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 19:1
  • Blended Learning Model: Lab Rotation

Blended learning at Crestwood High School consists of three components. Students spend time in all three learning environments within their classes.

While some time is spent independently, another portion is used to receive instruction in class from teachers. Crestwood’s third approach to learning is collaborative learning. That involves learners working in small groups.

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24. Alice M. Baxter High school

  • Type: Public Charter
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Enrollment: 220
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 24:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex

Independent learning is encouraged at Alice M. Baxter High School. Students can choose the work they want to do during their time off. Students have the option to pursue their interests, catch up on courses, or start projects.

25. Achievement First Amistad High school

  • Type: Public Charter
  • Location: New Haven, CT
  • Enrollment: 666
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 9:1
  • Flipped Classroom – Blended Learning Model

Achievement First Amistad High School introduced blended learning to some subjects. Instruction online is part of the process. Online instruction emphasizes the application of material that was learned in class with the instructor.

Amistad’s goal is for 100% of its graduating students to be accepted into a four-year college/university program.

Blended Schools:

26. Lufkin High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Lufkin, TX
  • Enrollment: 2,142
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1
  • Blended Learning Model Flex

Blended learning at Lufkin High School involves both online and in-person instruction. Online courses form the core of certain subjects.

Students are assigned to labs where they can receive support from teachers. They can also report to instruction with small students, allowing teachers to reinforce the lessons they have learned online.

27. Fraser High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Fraser, MA
  • Enrollment: 1,637
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 21:1
  • Blended Learning Model: Enriched Virtual

Fraser High School was founded in 2010 and offered over two dozen courses that use blended learning principles.

To cover the material, students combine independent study through online courses with in-person classes at school. Students can study online from anywhere and at any time.

28. Morristown High School

  • Type: Public
  • Location: Morristown, NJ
  • Enrollment: 1,778
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 14:1
  • Blended Learning: Station Rotation. Flipped Classroom. Individual Rotation

Independent study is emphasized at Morristown High School. Students are advised to set academic plans and take ownership of their education.

Since its opening in 2015, the school has maintained high academic standards and offers several Honors and Advanced Placement classes.

The school’s blended learning philosophy is part of a larger philosophy that emphasizes 21st-century skills for modern citizens.

Conclusion:

Blended learning is an educational method that uses online education materials in conjunction with interaction online and traditional classroom methods.

Blended learning is very context-dependent, so it is hard to have a general definition.

A well-cited 2013 study defined blended learning as an in-person and online delivery. The online component effectively replaces some face-to-face time and does not supplement it.

It requires both the physical presence of teacher and student. However, some elements of student control can be exercised over time, place, or pace.

Although students are still required to attend brick-and-mortar schools, they can now combine computer-mediated content and delivery with face-to-face classroom activities.

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