Which blended learning model(s) do you use?

April 27, 2017 | by Jenny White

When educators create a profile of their school’s blended programs on the Blended Learning Universe (BLU), the first question they’re asked is, “What’s your model?” The Christensen Institute identifies seven distinct models of blended learning: Station Rotation, Individual Rotation, Lab Rotation, Flipped Classroom, A La Carte, Enriched Virtual and Flex. Identifying and classifying an instructional model may be less useful for individual teachers with experience, who operate according to their students’ learning needs and adjust classroom processes over time. They may not need a model to define for them which practices work for their students and when—they understand this already. When it comes to scaling effective practices, however—whether that be from math teacher to history teacher, the middle school to the whole district, or across your state—the model taxonomy proves invaluable. Models structure a set of practices into something replicable that other teachers, schools or districts may adopt at scale.

We often hear from teachers as well as school and district leaders that in a blended learning roll-out, everyone benefits from starting with a recipe. Launching blended learning with one shared model across a school is common practice because it streamlines the transition. Yet over time, individuals may inevitably tweak the recipe and make it their own. Increasingly, we are finding that experienced blended-learning teachers start to break away from their foundational model when change can help them better serve students. They may leverage multiple models in their classroom—sometimes varying the model they use by day, week, quarter or course subject. In other cases, educators may use some hybrid of two models. Do you know which model(s) your school uses?

blended learning model quiz (2)


Consider sharing your school or district’s blended learning story with the field by creating a profile on the BLU. Our team is constantly learning from educators as they refine and evolve their blended practices, so if you believe your current model doesn’t fit neatly into the existing nomenclature, we welcome you to reach out to us and share your insights.

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