Blended Learning

What is blended learning?

Blended learning is not the same as technology-rich instruction. It goes beyond one-to-one computers and high-tech gadgets. Blended learning involves leveraging the Internet to afford each student a more personalized learning experience, meaning increased student control over the time, place, path, and/or pace of his or her learning.

The definition of blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns:

II_disruption_figure_1_v4_matchpdf_newat least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace;

at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home;

and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.


What are the most common models of blended learning?

blended-learning taxonomyThe majority of blended-learning programs resemble one of four models: Rotation, Flex, A La Carte, and Enriched Virtual. The Rotation model includes four sub-models: Station Rotation, Lab Rotation, Flipped Classroom, and Individual Rotation. Read the definitions of the models and sub-models here.



Blended Learning Universe (beta)


The Institute maintains a Blended Learning Universe, a rapidly growing, searchable catalog of K–12 blended-learning programs worldwide.

Blended Learning Universe (beta) – Use this tool to search for K–12 blended-learning programs.

Profile submission form (beta) – Use this form to create a profile of your blended-learning program to be included in the Blended Learning Universe.


Blended Learning MOOC

There’s plenty of buzz around blended learning and its transformational potential. But what does it really mean? You can now get the inside track on this growing movement by participating in our Blended Learning MOOC—a massive open online course—taught by our own Michael B. Horn, Brian Greenberg of Silicon Schools Fund, and Robert Schwartz of the New Teacher Center.

The course is on Khan Academy and is free and open to anyone, anywhere. It is currently available in EnglishPortuguese, and Japanese—and will soon be translated into Polish and more languages.


Blended Learning Publications


Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools

October 2014

This book is the practical field guide for implementing blended learning techniques in K–12 schools. Readers will find a step-by-step framework upon which to build a more student-centered educational system along with real-world advice for creating the next generation of K–12 learning environments. Read more




Is K–12 blended learning disruptive? An introduction of the theory of hybrids

May 2013

This paper analyzes blended learning through the lens of disruptive innovation theory. It introduces the theory of hybrids and identifies sustaining and disruptive models of blended learning. Read more




Classifying K–12 blended learning

May 2012

This paper introduces a refined definition of blended learning and distinguishes blended learning from other education practices. It highlights four blended-learning models and sub-models that are appearing across the K–12 field and provides examples of schools and districts that have implemented them. Read more




The rise of K12 blended learning: Profiles of emerging models

May 2011

This paper offers 40 brief case studies of organizations that are beginning to blend online learning with supervised brick-and-mortar settings. It also provides a snapshot of the technology tools these organizations are using and the policy changes they have identified as the most helpful to advance their work. Read more




The rise of K12 blended learning

January 2011

This paper observes that online learning is sweeping across America, and it is no longer only a distance-learning phenomenon. Most of the growth is in blended-learning environments. As blended learning grows, it has the potential to transform America’s education system into one that offers more personalized-learning approaches for all students. Read more