Personalized learning refers to learning that is tailored to each student’s strengths, needs, and interests in order to provide flexibility and supports to ensure all students reach proficiency of the highest standards/competencies possible. As defined in Iowa’s Digital Learning Plan, personalized learning enables student voice and choice in what, how, when, and where they learn. There are many components to a personalized learning environment including students advancing upon demonstrated proficiency, demonstration of competencies requiring transfer of knowledge across content areas and/or beyond the classroom, engagement in assessment as a meaningful and positive learning experience, and rapid, personalized support based on individual student learning needs. There are many components to an environment that supports personalized learning.

Blended Learning

The Iowa Digital Learning Plan describes a blended learning environment as one where learning occurs online and in-person augmenting and supporting teacher practice.  Other descriptors of a blended learning environment include:

  • students have some control over time, place, path, or pace of learning
  • students spend some of their face-to-face time with the teacher in a large group, some face-to-face time with a teacher or tutor in a small group, and some time learning with and from peers
  • reconfiguration of the physical learning space to facilitate learning activities utilizing a variety of technology that enables learning zones optimized for collaboration, informal learning, and individual-focused study

Different models of blended learning include:

  • Rotation Model-students rotate, either on a fixed schedule or at the teacher’s discretion, among learning modalities where at least one of which is online learning
    • Station Rotation-rotation takes place within a classroom or a set of classrooms
      • Stations could include small-group direct instruction, individual learning, modeled and independent learning
    • Lab Rotation-similar to station, but includes students walking to a computer lab for the online-learning portion
    • Flipped Classroom-students consume online lessons or lectures independently and time in the classroom is instead spent on work with teachers providing assistance as needed
    • Individual Rotation-students rotate on an individually customized schedule among learning modalities
  • Flex Model-courses or subjects in which online learning is the backbone of student learning
    • teacher is on-site
    • students learn mostly on a brick-and-mortar campus
    • students move through a Flex course according to their individual needs
  • A La Carte Model-any course that a student takes entirely online while also attending a brick-and-mortar school
    • teacher of record is the online teacher
  • Enriched Virtual-courses that offer required face-to-face learning sessions but allow students to do the rest of the work online from wherever they prefer

Horn, M.B. & Staker, H. (2015). Blended: Using disruptive innovation to improve schools. California: Jossey-Bass.

If you are interested in learning more about blended learning, contact your instructional technology consultant.