Research Shows Blended Learning Can Boost Motivation and Productivity

Blended learning is a hybrid teaching strategy that combines technology and teacher instruction in the 21st century classroom.

In blended learning, students are given a certain level of control over the time, place, pace, or path of online instruction. Students can skip forward, rewind or pause online content. In some cases, students can choose the time of day at which they learn or even the place in which they learn - whether it's in a coffee house, library or classroom.

Emerging research shows promise for the blended learning strategy for students who have grown up consuming personalized digital content. Blended learning can empower students to learn in ways that work best for them. It also allows teachers to delve into deeper learning through small-group work, or one-on-one discussions with students who need it most.

Let's take a look at some research supporting blended learning:

  • In a comprehensive national survey of 56,346 K-12 teachers and librarians, 59 percent said their students were more motivated to learn in a blended learning environment. Forty-three percent said students were developing creativity, while 36 percent said students were developing problem solving and critical thinking skills. Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization, conducted the survey in 2012.
  • In that same Project Tomorrow survey, almost one-third of teachers in blended learning classrooms said "that they are better able to assess what their students need as result of using digital tools and resources that support their increased productivity".
  • A Spokane (Washington) Public Schools case study found laudable results from blended learning. When the district implemented blended learning in conjunction with other changes, graduation rates jumped. "Using blended and personalized learning in conjunction with other programs, including credit advancement and an inventive alternative school, as well as leveraging district-created online curriculum, the district has increased its graduation rate from 60% in 2007 to 83% in 2014," the Christensen Institute found. The Christensen Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation.
  • A Rand Corporation/U.S. Department of Education study found "that a group of middle and high school algebra students who learned via a blended learning model showcased significant gains in performance (8 percentile points). That's a great breakthrough, especially in the high-focus area of middle school and high school mathematics," according to an EdTechReview article.

"2013 Trends in Online Learning: Virtual, Blended and Flipped Classrooms." Project Tomorrow. Web. http://images.email.blackboard.com/Web/BlackboardInc/%7B9f4ac77e-48b1-418d-9bdb-ade2ae0724c3%7D_k12Trends2013_web.pdf

"Proof Points: Blended Learning Success in School Districts: Spokane Public Schools." Christenson Institute. 2015. Web. https://www.christenseninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Spokane-Public-Schools.pdf

Gupta, Priyanka. "Some Interesting Statistics & Facts on Blended Learning You Must Know." Sept. 9, 2016. EdTechReview. Web. http://edtechreview.in/data-statistics/2506-blended-learning-in-the-classroom-statistics-research

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