What is Blended Learning?

  • Blended learning is a model that is relatively new in the education world. Blended learning takes the best of face-to-face learning in a classroom and marries it with the best of online learning. The great thing about this model is that it is so flexible that it can really be transformed to meet the needs of any classroom.

    The most commonly recognized definition of blended learning comes from the Christensen Institute.

    • in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace;
    • in part a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home;
    • modalities along each student's learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.  

    We use the definition above as a starting point for our blended learning sessions, but what we came to realize is that in order for blended learning to be high quality there is another piece needed in the definition.  To be successful in using blended learning to personalize learning for all students, teachers must use data to drive their instruction or what we call data-driven learning. If teachers are not using data to guide learning, then flexibility is being offered for the sake of flexibility and not to truly meet the needs of students. We created the image below to help educators understand our vision of blended learning.

    blended learning umbrella that shows data as the handle, pace, place, path and time as parts of the umbrella