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MS in Education Insight: 4 Models of Blended Learning

Study alongside Walden University’s The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences students with this required reading taken from the MS in Education degree course, New and Emerging Technologies.

The internet has revolutionized the world, and that includes the world of education. If you’re a teacher, you likely use the internet in your classroom, either occasionally or regularly. But just having your students go online isn’t enough to improve educational outcomes. Utilizing the internet successfully requires utilizing the right teaching strategies.

Called blended learning, the combination of traditional classroom learning with online learning is one of the newest and most vibrant fields of study in schools of education around the world. While education researchers and thinkers are still determining all the ways online learning can—and can’t—improve traditional classroom learning, experts have already developed multiple models of blended learning that can help you make your use of the internet successful.

MS in Education Insight: 4 Models of Blended Learning

In particular, Michael B. Horn and Heather Stacker’s book Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools provides four blended learning models that are so helpful they are studied by Walden University MS in Education (MSEd) students in the course, New and Emerging Technologies. As excerpted from Chapter 1 of Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, the four models recommended by Horn and Stacker are:

  • Rotation Model

    This category includes any course or subject in which students rotate—either on a fixed schedule or at the teacher’s discretion—among learning modalities, at least one of which is online learning.

    [There are four kinds of rotations that can utilize online learning.]

    • Station Rotation
      The classic example is Scholastic’s READ 180 program …. The READ 180 system, which targets students from elementary through high school whose reading achievement is below proficiency, directs classroom teachers to begin and end each class session with a whole-group discussion that engages the entire class. In between, students break into groups and rotate through three stations.

      • Small-group direct instruction, in which the teacher uses resource books and works closely with individual students.
      • Individual learning using READ 180 software to practice reading skills.
      • Modeled and independent reading, in which students use READ 180 paperbacks or audio books.
    • Lab Rotation
      Lab Rotation is similar to Station Rotation, but students walk to a computer lab for the online learning portion of the course.

    • Flipped Classroom
      In a classroom that’s flipped, students consume online lessons or lectures independently …. Time in the classroom previously reserved for teacher instruction is instead spent on what we used to call homework, with teachers providing assistance as needed.

    • Individual Rotation
      In an Individual Rotation, students rotate on an individually customized schedule among learning modalities. Either an algorithm or a teacher sets each student’s schedule.

  • Flex Model

    [Flex] refers to courses or subjects in which online learning is the backbone of student learning, even if it directs students to offline activities at times. The teacher of record is on-site, and students learn mostly on a brick-and-mortar campus, except for any homework. Students move through a Flex course according to their individual needs. Face-to-face teachers are on hand to offer help, and in many programs they initiate projects and discussions to enrich and deepen learning, although in other programs they are less involved.

  • A La Carte Model

    This model includes any course that a student takes entirely online while also attending a brick-and-mortar school. Suppose the neighborhood high school does not offer Mandarin Chinese or physics, for example. Students can take those courses online during study hall or after school, in addition to the regular classes they are taking on campus.

  • Enriched Virtual Model

    This model describes courses that offer required face-to-face learning sessions but allow students to do the rest of the work online from wherever they prefer. Some courses may meet in person Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example, and allow the students to work independently on online lessons, whether on or off campus, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Others may customize the in-person meeting requirement based on student progress.

How Can You Learn More About Modern Teaching Strategies?

If you want to improve your ability to succeed in the modern classroom, you should consider earning an MSEd degree from Walden University. In addition to giving you the opportunity to fully study the blended learning models in Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, Walden’s master’s in education program will expose you to a wide variety of research, theory, and knowledge that can help you improve your teaching ability and give you the qualifications you need to advance your teaching career.

Additionally, Walden can make earning your master’s degree in education more convenient than you might think. That’s because Walden uses an online education format for its education degrees. Instead making you travel to a physical campus, an online master’s in education program lets you study from home. And when you earn a master’s in education online, you can choose when in the day you attend class, giving you the ability to fit an M.Ed degree in with your other responsibilities.

Blended learning is increasingly common throughout the U.S. With an MS in Education from Walden, you can gain the skills you need to best utilize blended learning. In fact, your online teaching degree can give you direct experience with the types of education technology blended learning often uses—yet another advantage of enrolling at Walden.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Education degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,

Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to

Prospective Alabama students: Contact the Educator Certification Section of the Alabama State Department of Education at 1-334-353-8567 or to verify that these programs qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits.