Technology, when used well, can help educators personalize and differentiate instruction. Research has shown there are advantages to using a mixture of in-person and online learning over online or face-to-face approaches alone. Studies from the Policy Analysis for California Education and the US Department of Education also show that well-designed blended instruction can be as or more effective than in-classroom learning alone. Additionally, familiarity with online learning and collaboration practices will prepare students for the workforce.
Maximizing teaching in varied modes means embracing the benefits of blended learning. Blended learning goes beyond online learning: it is the mixing of different modalities of teaching and learning to increase student achievement. This includes one-on-one, small-group, and whole-group instruction in both online and in-person environments (with the support of high-quality print and digital tools). Even if blended learning is not the main approach to teaching and learning in your school, the use of technology and learning online is here to stay—it is not just something that takes place during a pandemic.
The modern classroom incorporates many modes of teaching and learning. Leaders can leverage what they have learned and technology investments made over the pandemic to design learning experiences that incorporate a variety of teaching methods. Key to improved student outcomes will be integrating new modes of learning into daily instruction, offering choice and personalization, increasing engagement, and focusing on feedback and mastery.
Intentionally integrating various modes of learning is key to success. Different modes may include independent, remote, small group, one-on-one, and whole-group instruction.
Empowering students with voice and choice is a key component in helping them develop a mindset of self-direction and ownership. Developing ownership and agency has been shown to have significant impact on equity outcomes; see more about this in our Student Agency section. Below are some ways to personalize instruction in your program.
Increasing engagement and attendance has always been at the forefront of educators’ minds. A shift to blended learning brought about by the pandemic has offered LEA leaders an opportunity to be even more intentional about creating positive student interactions with teachers, peers, and content.
Receiving adequate feedback and developing mastery of individual concepts are essential parts of any learning experience. Providing meaningful feedback is critical, particularly in remote settings, for driving student motivation and enabling students to progress. Below are some considerations to help with integrating feedback and mastery into your educational practices: