Blended learning on the rise

Blended learning on the rise

Today more than 4 million students participate in some kind of formal online-learning program, one that is often blended into the traditional schoolhouse. A new study released by Innosight Institute, “The Rise of K–12 Blended Learning: Profiles of Emerging Models,” profiles 40 pioneering blended-learning organizations across the country, categorizes them by model, and documents their effectiveness in reducing costs and improving academic performance. Here are some highlights of the report’s suggestions to policy makers about how to shape the playing field to get the best results.

¦ Eliminate the cap on the number of students who can enroll in online or blended-learning programs or courses.

¦ Eradicate rules that restrict class size and student-teacher ratios.

¦ Abolish geographic barriers to which online courses students may take.

¦ Remove “school site” definitions that limit blended-learning models by specifying that a portion of student learning must occur in traditional school buildings and the rest must occur off-site.

¦ Move to a system in which students progress according to their mastery of academic standards or competencies as opposed to seat time or the traditional school calendar.

¦ Lift the rules governing certification and licensure to let schools slot paraprofessionals or capable non-state-certified teachers into appropriate assistive or instructional roles.

¦ Allow schools to arrange staffing and redefine teachers’ roles according to teachers’ effectiveness and students’ needs.

¦ Facilitate assessments that can be made at any time.

For the complete report, visit