“Learning is more effective when it is active rather than passive process.” Euripides
According to Christensen Institute blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns: (1) at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; (2) at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home; (3) and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience. There are four different models: Rotation, Flex, A La Carte and Enrichment Virtual Model. There is a difference between blended learning and technology integration, learn more about that from my previous blog post.
Truly understanding the difference within the blended learning models will help make choosing and implementing blended learning in your classroom easier.
Rotation: Students are rotating through stations with at least one station being online. (Most often used)
Flex: Students main way of learning is online. (taking multiple classes)
A La Carte: Some students (not a whole school) take a class that is entirely online but is done inside the school they attend.
Enriched Virtual Model: Students attend class and then do coursework online, on their own time.
In my experience, most teachers use one of the four sub-models based on the rotation model. Below I define the differences between the sub-models.
- Station Rotation: (Most used and easiest to manage)
- Takes place in one classroom
- Usually three stations: 1. Teacher led 2. Online Instruction/Practice 3. Student collaboration
- Students rotate on a fixed schedule to the different stations that is managed by the teacher (Ex 15 mins per station, the teacher rings a bell and the students move.)
- Students rotate through all the stations but do different activities based on level
- Each station is the same content area (ex. everyone is doing math)
- Teacher led station can be instructions or conferencing
- Lab Rotation:
- Rotation happens through multiple lab/rooms within the school building
- Students rotate among lab/rooms
- Each lab/room is usually a different content area
- One lab/room is online learning
- Individual Rotation:
- Students rotate on an individual schedule based on their pace and needs.
- Students don’t have to rotate to all the different stations in the room. They go to stations based on their needs as a learner.
- Typical stations that are set up are: Online area, small group/direct instruction area, group work area and individual work area.
- Flipped Classroom:
- Online delivery of instruction and content is done through video that the students watch at home. Best practice and research shows videos should be no more than 10 mins.
- During class students are working on an active learning strategy such as injury or project based learning.
- Sometimes flipped and another sub-model of rotation is used. (Ex: I used flipped and station rotation)
- Misconception: Homework practice online is flipped learning. (Ex: students using adaptive learning software such as dreambox or a teacher assigning problems for students to do using a learning management system like Edmodo – These are NOT flipped classrooms)
Now that you understand the differences between the blended learning models, chose the one that best fits your classroom. Next week I will share some tips and tricks of managing a blended learning classroom.