The sample of programs studied was large enough to indicate trends in blended-learning usage.
The term “blended learning” encompasses a number of different instructional models in use across the country, but who has the time to compare and contrast these programs for an analysis of what blended learning means today? A new report does just that, and it also collects instructors’ opinions of this type of learning.
The report, titled “The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning: Profiles of Emerging Models,” is part of a series on blended learning by Michael B. Horn, co-founder and executive director of education at the Innosight Institute, and Heather Clayton Staker, a senior research fellow for education practice at the institute.
Horn is also co-author of the 2008 book Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, and the reports are intended to study K-12 blended learning and measure its potential to become a disruptive technology in education. (See “Report: Blended learning could hit or miss.”)
The report describes the blended-learning programs of 40 organizations that have combined face-to-face and online instruction, to help education leaders better understand the many possibilities that blending learning offers.
“The introduction of online learning into the schoolhouse is very new. Consequently, no comprehensive database yet exists to document its adoption school by school. That makes this research groundbreaking,” Staker told eSchool News.
Staker began by interviewing a panel of online-learning researchers from academia, consulting firms, and the investment community. These experts identified more than 60 organizations they thought might be leading the way with blended-learning initiatives. From those, she selected the 40 organizations that were “most engaged in blended learning.”
Programs range in operation from state virtual schools and charter management organizations to individual charter schools, independent schools, school districts, and private entities.