Blended Learning 101

You have probably heard about the benefits of blended learning but you may need to understand more about it before attempting to implement this approach.

Blended learning is a method that involves mixing content delivery in a way that often includes live instruction and digital learning. Online courses, quizzes, and various resources supplement the live learning environment during the “off hours”.

Some blended learning programs will flip the classroom so that the live instruction time is used for practical application of the course content that students learn while they are on their own.

The general principle behind the blended learning approach is to leverage the benefits of each instruction method to maximize learner retention (and application) of the course’s key learning objectives.

What few people realize though is that there are a variety of ways to implement a blended learning approach. As the infographic above highlights, here are four popular models:

  1. Rotation
  2. Flex
  3. A la Carte
  4. Enriched Virtual

For a brief description of each model please reference the infographic. The names of each of these aren’t widely known and could be referred to as something else depending on who you are talking to – but the overall concepts are pretty universal.

If you are looking to implement some form of blended learning then the first place to start is to see which one of these approaches would work best for your target audience.

Once you have the ideal method identified you can begin to form your course curriculum accordingly. During this time you will perform a “needs analysis” which will help you in determining the technology you should use.


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Let's Talk! | Twitter

2 Responses

  1. G’day Justin

    Another good post. However it would help if more emphasis was given to synchronous online learning distinct from asynchronous. Creative pedagogy using virtual classrooms on a regular basis to build an interactive online learning culture will provide a great deal of help to achieve “increased personalisation and competency-based learning. They will also develop relationships so that when face-to-face is possible participants have already “met” and collaboration is further along the growth path making higher order thinking quicker to develop.

  2. Hi Justin
    Thank you for this, have you seen any good examples of blending learning where the student cannot attend a classroom session? For example using video conferencing or something else?

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