All blended learning programs first had to meet the definition of blended learning from Innosight Institute: any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised face-to-face location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.
From there, all programs are categorized into six models of blended learning:
- Face-to-Face Driver: The face-to-face teacher delivers most of the curricula. The teacher deploys online learning on a case-by-case basis to supplement or remediate a student’s education, often in the back of the classroom or in a technology lab.
- Rotation: Within a given course, students rotate on a fixed schedule between learning online in a one-to-one, self-paced environment and sitting in a classroom with a traditional face-to-face teacher.
- Flex: Uses an online platform that delivers most of the curricula. Teachers provide on-site support on a flexible and adaptive, as-needed basis through in-person tutoring sessions and small group sessions.
- Online Lab: Relies on an online platform to deliver the entire course, but in a brick-and-mortar lab environment. These usually provide online teachers, and paraprofessionals supervise. Often students in an online lab program also take traditional courses and have typical block schedules.
- Self-Blend: Students choose to take one or more courses online to supplement their traditional school’s catalog.
- Online Driver: Uses an online platform and teacher to deliver all curricula. Students work remotely and face-to-face check-ins are sometimes optional and sometimes required.
Information on each organization was compiled through cold calls, interviews, research, and in some cases site visits.
The 40 organizations profiled in the report offer a total of 48 blended learning programs. Each program surveyed gives information on:
- Geographic location and student demographics
- Grades served and enrollment numbers
- Operator type
- Revenue per pupil
- Technology services and content providers used
- Subjects taught
- History and context of the program
- Typical schedule
- Results of the program
- Future plans
Trends and wish lists
Though the report makes sure to note that the survey is not a “top 40” list, nor a comprehensive market analysis, it does say that the sample provided a large enough data set to “indicate strong patterns in the distribution of content providers and technology tools across the emerging blended-learning landscape.”
For example, K12 Inc., has the biggest presence, with five implementations of its Aventa Learning products, three implementations of its K12-branded courses, and one implementation of the A+ program by American Education Corporation, which K12 acquired recently.