The Fundamentals Of Blended Learning

fundamentals of blended learning

Blended learning is increasingly finding traction in education. According to a study conducted by the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN), 78% of respondents in a study either offered blended learning (i.e., a “blend” of both electronic and in-person learning), or planned to within the following school year.

The video below, narrated by Michael Thompson of Education Elements, goes in depth regarding the meaning of blended learning, the four popular models of blended learning (lab rotation, flex rotation, class, and pod), as well as some of the possible results of blended learning.

YouTube video

We’ve highlighted some of the video’s main takeaways below:

What are the fundamentals of ‘blended learning’?

The fundamentals of blended learning involve “leveraging digital content to provide students with skills and practice; meanwhile, the teacher focuses on depth and application of concepts to teach higher order thinking skills.” It exists somewhere on the spectrum between distance and traditional learning, removes lectures from the pinnacle of instruction practices, allows for greater differentiation, and creates an environment where (a) students get individualized, self-paced instruction, (b) teachers can provide differentiated small group instruction based on weekly or daily data, and (c) school can operate at a lower cost per pupil, which then allows them to reallocate resources.

What are the 4 popular models of blended learning?

In lab rotation, students move in and out of the classroom to a computer lab — the data from the lab informs the classroom instruction.

In class rotation, small groups rotate among stations. For example, they may meet with a teacher at one station, spend the duration of two stations on a computer, and perform guided practice at a final station.

In flex blended learning, students work mostly on computers while the teacher and/or co-teacher can pull out students in small groups for seminars, interventions, or direct instruction.

In pod blended learning, the teacher essential creates a “school within a school.” The teacher can act as an adviser, behavior specialist, or instructor depending on the needs of the students.

If you’re interested, check out this post on 100 resources for blended learning.

What results are we finding within classes that use blended learning as the primary learning model?

Students in blended learning classes are more engaged with online content. They enjoy the real time feedback provided through small group instruction and the ability to control their lesson pacing. They feel that large classes are actually smaller because of their experience with a teacher in small groups.

Teachers find it much easier to plan for instruction tailored to small groups; additionally, working in small groups feels more rewarding because the students are more engaged. Finally, they are surprised by the ease of classroom management.