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Innosight Institute Report Classifies Blended Learning

The Innosight Institute has released a new report, "Classifying K-12 Blended Learning," in an attempt to help educators and others talk about the new phenomenon.

With feedback from approximately 100 education experts and 80 organizations, the paper identifies four categories of blended learning, as well as several sub-models.

According to the report, "Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace and at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home."

The four categories include:

  • The rotation model;
  • The flex model;
  • The self-blend model; and
  • The enriched-virtual model.

The rotation model, which comprises the sub-models station rotation, lab rotation, flipped classroom, and individual rotation, includes blended environments in which students rotate through a fixed schedule of various learning modalities, at least one of which is online, that may be set by the teacher. Examples of schools and districts using the rotation model include KIPP LA Empower Academy, Rocketship Education, Stillwater Area Public Schools, and Carpe Diem Collegiate High School and Middle School.

The flex model, in use at the San Francisco Flex Academy, includes programs "in which content and instruction are delivered primarily by the Internet, students move on an individually customized, fluid schedule among learning modalities, and the teacher-of-record is on-site," according to the report.

The Quakertown Community School District uses the self-blend model, in which students take one or more classes entirely online and others in a traditional classroom setting.

In the enriched-virtual model, "students divide their time between attending a brick-and-mortar campus and learning remotely using online delivery of content and instruction," according to the report. This model, in use at the Albuquerque eCADEMY, differs from the self-blend model in that it is a whole-school experience.

The Innosight Institute is a non-profit think tank that focuses on "disruptive innovation to develop and promote solutions to the most vexing problems in the social sector," according to information released by the organization. The authors of the report, Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker, write a monthly column about blended learning for

To read the full report, visit

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].