What is Blended Learning?

The term blended learning is generally applied to the practice of combining online and in-person learning experiences when teaching students. In a blended-learning course, students might attend a class taught by a teacher in a traditional classroom setting, while also independently completing online components of the course outside of the classroom. In this case, in-class time may be either replaced or supplemented by online learning experiences, and students would learn about the same topics online as they do in class—i.e., the online and in-person learning experiences would parallel and complement one another.

The term blended learning is sometimes inaccurately applied to direct instruction classes that simply incorporate the use by the teacher of a small proportion of resources that were hosted or sourced online.

Sometimes called hybrid learning and mixed-mode learning, blended-learning implementation varies widely from school to school. In some schools, blended learning is the primary pedagogy for all students, in others it may (e.g.) be used by only a few teachers or only for elective, acceleration or credit recovery courses.

At Parish Academy, blended learning is the core of our pedagogy and we break the school day down into a number of learning modalities. Our program is designed to gradually release ownership to the student as they gain experience and confidence.

A typical school day for a 5th Grade Student might incorporate:

120 minutes direct instruction classes
60 minutes blended learning in a facilitated group
120 minutes independent study of the blended learning curriculum
60 minutes small group project based learning
60 minutes independently utilizing resources from the student's personal playlist
30 minutes independent reading for pleasure

Introductory articles on blended learning

Christenson Institute http://www.christenseninstitute.org/blended-learning-definitions-and-models/

Edweek http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/10/08/ctq_tolley_blended_learning.html

Inacol http://www.inacol.org/our-work/new-learning-models/

ASCD http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar13/vol70/num06/The-Basics-of-Blended-Instruction.aspx