Blended and flipped learning: deeper dive



In Unit 1, you explored:
  • the history of blended and flipped learning
  • some benefits of using these instructional methods
  • the links to student-centered learning and social and emotional learning
In this unit, we will delve more deeply into the different models of blended and flipped learning and learn how teachers can start their journey toward developing a blended learning environment.
Start by watching the following video that introduces the most common models of blended learning.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should:
  • Understand examples of blended and flipped learning models.
  • Understand what it takes to develop a blended learning environment.
  • Understand where to start in order to develop a blended learning environment.

Blended learning models

What do blended and flipped learning models look like?

As we know, blended learning is when instruction and learning take place in a blend of traditional and online environments.
The first two of the six commonly accepted blended learning models have a strong emphasis on either traditional or online learning.
Model 1: The brick-and-mortar or face-to-face driver model Traditional classroom instruction and activities are the main focus with technology only brought in as a supplementary resource.
Model 2: The online learning or online driver model This relies heavily on technology and sometimes does not include any in-person instruction with teachers working as facilitators. The remaining four models merge traditional and online learning and are sometimes considered the ‘true’ blended learning models.
Model 3: the rotation model This model is similar to the learning stations model. Students rotate on a fixed schedule from one learning modality to another with at least one station as an online learning component.
Station rotation
Lab rotation
Flipped Classroom
Individual rotation
All students rotate through stations in their classroom on a fixed schedule.
One of the stations is in a computer lab, so is away from their classroom.
Online learning replaces homework and most instruction is delivered online.
Students have individual rotations, so may not visit all stations.
Model 4: The flex model Although in this model instruction is done primarily online, the significant majority of learning takes place in the classroom. Teachers are available to enrich students’ online learning experience and provide face-to-face support to individual students, as and when required.
Model 5: The self-blend or à la carte model Students complete some courses in a face-to-face environment at a brick-and-mortar campus and other courses online. These online courses may be completed either on-campus or away from campus, so there is some flexibility.
Model 6: The enriched virtual model Instruction generally takes place in a traditional classroom setting but students have the choice of where, when, and sometimes how, to complete the remaining activities.

Additional Resources

To find out more, read the following articles:
Or watch the following video to learn more about blended learning models.

What does it take?

Any shift in the pedagogical or instructional approach needs to be planned. It is important that we consider what it would take to shift our own practice, in our own classrooms, with our own students.
In an ideal situation, blended learning would involve all stakeholders. Developing an institutional framework to embed digital education allows school leaders and administrators to consider the following.
  • The drivers of change - why move to a blended or flipped model?
  • Institutional factors - these include ethical, legal, cultural, pedagogical, managerial and physical factors.
  • Organizational preparedness - this can be summarized by the 4 Cs: competence, commitment, communication, and collaboration.
  • Alignment of stakeholders expectations - stakeholders include administrators/leaders, teachers, students, parents/guardians/carers.

Where to Start?

Taking the first step on the journey to creating a blended and flipped learning environment can be the hardest.
If you are inspired to include blended learning in your classroom, here are some reflective questions to consider before you start:
  • Have you used blended and/or flipped learning before?
  • How confident are you in your understanding of what blended and flipped learning are?
  • What resources do you have at your disposal?
  • In your school, is blended learning going to be a school-wide approach or a teacher approach?
  • What do your students need?
If you are right at the beginning of your blended learning journey, here are a few great ideas to get you started:
  • Have a look at your lesson plans and think about how you can teach part of them with technology; for example, include a video that students can pause, rewind and watch again, as required.
  • Tap into technology that exists in the classroom, even if that means utilizing student cell/mobile phones.
  • Utilize school email accounts to send students an article to read.
  • Add some group working activities to your unit plan. This can be as simple as sharing a Google doc or OneNote and asking groups of students to contribute by responding to questions or stimuli.
  • Add a virtual quiz, maybe using a program like Kahoot.
  • Offer virtual office hours, so students can privately ask questions or express concerns.
  • Create a wiki for students to contribute to. This could be a glossary of key terms or space for revision notes.

Further reading

To find out more, read the following articles.