Report: 2013 Trends in Online Learning Virtual, Blended and Flipped Classrooms

The term “digital conversion” is becoming increasingly prevalent in school site and district office conversations about how to improve student achievement, enhance teacher effectiveness and stimulate new levels of parental engagement in schools. As discussed in Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up 2012 National Report on the digital learning views of educators and parents, teachers are on the front lines of all of these digital conversions.

The current national conversation about digital conversions sets the framework for this year’s discussion on the latest trends in online learning. In this latest update report, “2013 Trends in Online Learning Virtual, Blended and Flipped Classrooms,” Project Tomorrow has partnered with Blackboard Inc. to examine the trends using an inside-out perspective on the classroom and the use of a variety of online learning strategies with students. In particular, we focus this year on the insights and experiences of four key stakeholders: administrators who have implemented online courses within their schools and districts, online learning teachers in virtual, blended or flipped classrooms, parents with personal online learning experiences, and the students who continue to be enamored with the potential of online learning to transform their educational experience.

This year’s key findings include:

• Administrators are widening their scope regarding the value of online classes to include learning opportunities for administrators, teachers and other support staff in addition to students.

• Virtual, blended and flipped learning teachers are using more digital content with their students than other teachers.

• Online learning teachers see significant value in the role of digital tools and resources to improve student success as well as their own personal productivity.

• Parents who have taken an online class for their own work or job training have high expectations for their child’s school to provide similar learning opportunities.

• Students are increasingly seeing online learning as a gateway to a new education paradigm where they are in control of the learning process.

Project Tomorrow in collaboration with Blackboard provides these annual trends updates to stimulate discussions around how to more effectively enable, engage and empower new online learning environments.