Empty classroom of desktop computers in blended learning classroom
Inside the Classroom

The Top Four Blended Learning Models

Creating a blended classroom—in which students learn in part through online delivery of content and instruction and in part at a brick-and-mortar location—can be difficult when you’re unsure of how to go about it. Blended learning can take many shapes, depending on the unique needs of your school, district, and students. It’s important to consider your academic goals before committing to a model. The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation has developed taxonomy for categorizing blended learning models—take a look below to determine which might be the best fit.


Rotation model

Within a given course, students rotate between learning modalities, at least one of which is online learning. Other modalities might include small-group or full-class instruction, group projects, and individual tutoring. There are four ways to implement a rotation model.

  • Station-rotation model
    Students rotate on a fixed schedule through all of the stations.
  • Flipped-classroom model
    Students rotate on a fixed schedule between face-to-face, teacher-guided practice on campus during the school day and online instruction of the same subject from a remote location after school.
  • Lab-rotation model
    Students rotate on a fixed schedule among locations on campus. At least one of these spaces is a lab, while the additional classrooms house other learning modalities.
  • Individual-rotation model
    Students rotate on an individually customized, fixed schedule among learning modalities.

Flex model

Content and instruction are delivered primarily online and students move on a customized schedule among learning modalities. The on-site teacher provides face-to-face support on an as-needed basis.

A la carte model

Students take one or more courses entirely online to supplement their traditional courses. Students may take the online courses either on campus or off-site. Students take the remainder of their courses at the brick-and-mortar campus.

Enriched virtual model

In this whole-school experience, students divide their time between attending a brick-and-mortar campus and learning remotely using online delivery of content and instruction.

Remember, the important part is that the students are engaged in a personalized learning experience. So, whichever model you choose, it should be focused on improving student success.

About the Author


Rae Palmer

Rae has a BS in Journalism and a MA in English from Northern Arizona University. She has served as an ESL/ELL teacher and one-on-one tutor, writing tutor, freshman success coach, English teacher, writer, and editor. As a teacher, she felt privileged to work with hundreds of students with varying skill levels in both an online and traditional classroom setting. As a writer, she covered the education industry both on a national and a district level. This experience has given her deeper insight into the ever-changing world of education. She continued to help all learners achieve their full potential during her tenure with Edgenuity.