Why schools should have Blended Learning

In a regular classroom day, students receive about 120 minutes a day of math instruction.  They spend about 60 minutes on instruction, where students are taught a new standard, followed by guided and independent work.  After this hour students they spend another 60 minutes going from workstation to workstation while the teacher meets with a small group of students periodically to work on standards they have not yet mastered.  During this time the teacher only has about 15 minutes tops to be able to meet with all his/her students to work on non-mastered standards.  It becomes very difficult to meet with all students in a day.  Not all students have the same learning styles and learning pace, this is causing students to be left behind.  At the end teachers tend to focus on low performing students and this leaves the rest of the students to float around.  We lose sight of those high-level performing students and fail to realize they need attention too, along with the middle-level students.  We cannot let this go on.  Teachers need to be able to meet with all of their students. Every student needs to be challenged no matter what learning level they are at.  

Now you might be asking how are we, teachers, going to be able to do this? The answer is BLENDED LEARNING! We are in a technological era where all of our students are using technology in one form or another.  They are being introduced to technology at a very young age.  Blended learning takes teacher face time and incorporates technology, in form of online learning.  Online learning is where students are able to get their instruction by watching instructional videos.  This will allow students to work at own pace.  They are able to re-watch the videos, as many times they need.  They will also be able write down questions they have of the instruction to later ask the teacher. When they are able to get their instruction via a video and have them watch it before going into the classroom, which is called a flipped classroom, it gives the teacher more time to meet with small group of students.  Also while having the teacher meet with small groups, the other students are doing a station rotation where they are doing independent work in the form of online learning, group projects, and independent work which will further students’ learning.

If we implement blended learning by having flipped classrooms with station rotation it can only improve students’ achievement.  Students will be more engaged and will be more involved in the classroom.  When they are completing their online learning, students will learn how to work at their own pace and work collaboratively.  This will also lead to students taking ownership of their learning, which is what all teachers want from their students.  Once students take ownership they will be more eager to learn.  Students will have a more personalized learning that will benefit them. Ultimately with blended learning students will perform better in classroom, district, and state testing.  


Using a Flipped Classroom with Station Rotation to Improve Learning in the Elementary Classroom


In the past few years, schools have trying to integrate more technology into their classroom to create a digital learning environment.  Many teachers have struggled to find meaningful ways to use technology other than for games.  In recent years teachers have looked for ways to increase students’ scores due to the higher rigor of the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test.  The increase of rigor has made it difficult to reach every student within the school day.  Students come to school at different learning levels and backgrounds from each other.  In classrooms, teachers have a set time where we meet with students in a small group setting and work with students to master skills.  Within this given time there still is not enough time for teachers to fully give students time and attention to help them succeed.  What if there was a way for teachers to meet with more students and have students work independently or with peers to enhance their learning?  There is a new trend going around called Blending Learning.  Blended Learning is where students are in a classroom setting that get part of the instruction through a digital aspect.  Within Blended Learning there are different models, such as flipped classroom.  The focus of this literature review is how the implementation of a flipped classroom with a station rotation will improve learning in an elementary classroom.


Digital Learning– is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience.

STAAR– State of Texas Assessments and Academic Readiness- is the new State student-testing program for core subject areas – reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. The number of tests taken each year will vary from two to four, depending on the grade level

Flipped Classroom– a form of blended learning which brings an interactive engagement pedagogy to classrooms by having students learn content online, usually at home, and homework is done in class with teachers and students discussing and solving questions.

Station Rotation– a form of blended learning which brings an interactive engagement pedagogy to classrooms by having students rotate at a fixed points in time between stations where at least one station is an online learning station.

Integrating Technology

Technology is starting to be an integral part of teaching that many schools are requiring teachers to use technology in their daily lessons.  Edwards and Bone (2012) created a case study where they took Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) and new Web 2.0 eLearning and compared them to ‘traditional’ teachings.  They were determining which type of teaching method was more beneficial to students.  They found that students are more engaged and put forth a stronger effort with PAL and eLearning, but scores did not increase.  In another literature, Mariano (2014) writes about the relationship of watching a multimedia learning environment (i.e. tutorials) and knowledge transfers.  She goes on to state that the time frame when a student watched the tutorial to the time they need to transfer or recall is too long.  When there is a big gap between them, the transfer of knowledge and recall declines. In her research she conducts two sets of experiments.  One where there is a delayed transfer and the other is immediate transfers. She was not able to conclude which is better; instead she decided to do more research needs to be done.

Blended Learning

In the past years with the technology integration came the question on how teachers can use technology in the classroom and to teach students.  Many teachers want to have technology be meaningful in the classroom, not to be something to fill in when there is nothing else.  The answer to the question was blended learning.  Blended learning is where the teacher is still teaching, but now has a digital aspect to the learning.  DeNisco, A. (2014), said the most common form is the flipped classroom.  Another form is the station rotation model.

Flipped Classroom

With the new research in trying to find other ways teachers can improve student learning and trying to create a more enriched learning environment, several have turned to creating ‘flipped classrooms’.  Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013), in a flipped classroom students are learning the skills at home so when they get in the classroom they can practice problems in a groups.  Instead of having students work on ‘hard’ problems at home where the teacher is not there, they get to do that in the classroom.  They have a better opportunity to achieve success with more resources at hand. Teachers have a hard time getting their low performance students to succeed.  Some students do not do the traditional homework because they did not understand it in the classroom, so they do not complete the homework.  So when they go to class the next day they already feel discouraged to continue because they are afraid to fail.  In the case study of Bhagat, K. K., Cheng-Nan, C., & Chun-Yen, C. (2016) their study proved that with the flipped classroom environment low achieving students were more successful.  With the flipped classroom environment the teacher is able to give students more individualized attention.  It frees up more time for students to participate in more real-world activities Rotellar, C., & Cain, J. (2016) that gets them prepared for the rest of their school career and able to go out and apply what they learned.

Station Rotation Model

In the case study of Bhagat, K. K., Cheng-Nan, C., & Chun-Yen, C. (2016) they had success with the flipped classroom.  Teachers were able to reach those low achieving students, but the high-, middle-achieving students were left to have the same success rate.  Having the flipped classroom was not enough, that is why is teachers should also implement the station rotation model.  Students will be able to work closely with the teacher, but those higher achieving students will have an opportunity to further their learning independently and cooperative. The same goes for the middle-achieving students.  There still needs to be further studies done on the station rotation model.


As the classroom changes to integrate meaningful technology, it is important for teachers and administrators to pay close attention to these trends.  It has been proven that flipped classroom has a positive impact in the student’s achievement.  Not only are students able to re-watch instructional videos on their own time and pace, they are also practicing meaningful activities in the classroom.  Students are learning far more than just sitting at their desk listening to the teacher teach.  With flipped classroom and station rotation they are now having instruction be more at their pace, individualized to their needs, they also get to work with others.



“Four Different Blended Learning Models.” Khan Academy. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.

Becker, S. A., Krueger, K., & Cummins, M. (2016). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2016 K-12 Edition, 38-39. Retrieved October 15, 2016, from http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2016-nmc-cosn-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

Bhagat, K. K., Cheng-Nan, C., & Chun-Yen, C. (2016). The Impact of the Flipped Classroom on Mathematics Concept Learning in High School. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 19(3), 134-142.

Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013, June). The flipped classroom: A survey of the research. In ASEE National Conference Proceedings, Atlanta, GA (Vol. 30, No. 9).

DeNisco, A. (2014). The Different Faces of Blended Learning. District Administration, 50(1), 32-37.

Edwards, S., & Bone, J. (2012). Integrating Peer Assisted Learning and eLearning: Using Innovative Pedagogies to Support Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Settings. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(5). doi:10.14221/ajte.2012v37n5.4

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Retrieved October 15, 2016, from http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2014-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Retrieved October 15, 2016, from http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2015-k-12-edition/

Kuan-Chou, C., & Keh-Wen “Carin”, C. (2016). BUILDING A COOPERATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN A FLIPPED CLASSROOM. Academy Of Educational Leadership Journal,20(2), 8-15.

Mariano, G. (2014). Breaking It Down: Knowledge Transfer in a Multimedia Learning Environment. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 26(1), 1-11. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
Rotellar, C., & Cain, J. (2016). Research, Perspectives, and Recommendations on Implementing the Flipped Classroom. American Journal Of Pharmaceutical Education, 80(2), 1-9.