Clicky

New to the site? Try Quick User Guide

Educators and school leaders have various motivations and goals for implementing blended learning. While there is no one “right” answer, and indeed educators choose blended models for many purposes, common reasons include: increased student access to resources and tools outside of the boundaries of classroom walls, giving students more voice and choice in their learning, providing more effective data-driven differentiation, and extending the reach of the best teachers. Explore other perspectives from teachers, students, and administrators below.

Teacher Perspective

Education Week, "Blended Learning, Real Teaching"

"To do blended successfully, you really have to trust your students to take ownership and become a part of their own learning in a way that they might otherwise not be doing. … I’ve gotten to know my kids so much better than I ever have in the past. I can tell you not only what they know in science, but I can tell you what are their strengths and weaknesses in literacy. I feel like I’m really teaching my kids. I don’t feel like I’m teaching science anymore — I feel like I teach students,” Samantha Sherwood, Teacher at Mott Hall V Middle School, New York

Student Perspective

Relay GSE, "Why Blended Learning?"

"I think that blended classrooms are a really cool way to start teaching kids, especially because they’re a newer thing that people are doing — a newer step in education. They’re really helpful in a lot of situations. Every time that I’ve had a class that’s had a blended aspect to it, it’s been a lot more beneficial for me as a learner, and I feel like if other teachers started utilizing this new technology or this new way of teaching, not only would I do better, but I think a lot of kids would do better,” Lissa, NYC iSchool

Administrator Perspective

The Learning Accelerator, "Story of Change at Lovett"

"The idea for all of the wacky things we're doing with instruction now was really born from a need to meet our students' needs. We realized that in any given classroom, our students were at varying levels, and because our students were at varying levels, we found that giving them instruction in one way was just not working for them. We found that some of our students were disconnected from learning -- some of our students were discouraged by their own progress because when instruction wasn't tailored to the student, some of our students were left behind. The biggest piece to our model was – how do we give our kids what they need and when they need it?" Dr. Leviis Haney, Principal at Lovett Elementary School

The Research Case

Blended learning is gaining momentum in public schools across the country, highlighting a need to better understand its effectiveness. TLA produced the following report which provides insight into the recent body of knowledge around blended learning, including historical evidence for personalized learning and a summary of the implications of the K-12 blended learning research that has been promoted to date.

Clearinghouse_Thumbnail.jpg#asset:3777

Blended Learning Research Clearinghouse 1.0: May 2015

In addition, the current research conditions - along with how TLA plans to fill some of the gaps - are summarized in the “Current Conditions” section of TLA’s Measurement Agenda for Blended Learning.

As outlined in the report above, early studies - while not comprehensive - are promising. Perhaps more promising is the established body of evidence for personalizing or individualizing learning and facilitating student agency to foster self-regulated, intrinsically motivated learning, all of which blended learning can enable at scale. In addition, there is a growing number of studies that demonstrate that blended learning can in fact be successfully implemented in public K-12 school districts, and can be effective in meeting academic and non-academic goals for both student and teacher outcomes.

The current state of research suggests that we are ready to begin the “large field trial” phase of implementation, based on a foundation of robust theoretical underpinnings, and a growing crop of small-scale efficacy and implementation evidence. Therefore, those interested in implementing blended learning should proceed, and instead of waiting for perfect evidence of impact, should generate their own localized evidence, incorporating this evidence into both their practice as well as the wider research conversation in the sector.