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ERIC Number: ED561246
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Blending toward Competency. Early Patterns of Blended Learning and Competency-Based Education in New Hampshire
Freeland, Julia
Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
As the education field strives to differentiate and personalize learning to cater to each student, two related movements are gaining attention: competency-based education and blended learning. In competency-based models, students advance on the basis of mastery, rather than according to the traditional methods of counting progress in terms of time or credit hours. Blended learning is a method of delivering learning experiences; in essence, it is any formal education program that combines online learning and brick-and-mortar schools. Blended learning stands to support competency-based education in at least four overarching ways: (1) Online content can offer a continuum of learning along which students can progress at a flexible pace; (2) When students learn through online learning, testing can occur on-demand--that is, when students are ready to be assessed, not before or after; (3) Third, online content can be deployed in a more modular manner than traditional face-to-face instruction, which in turn offers students multiple pathways to mastery, as opposed to a single lesson or textbook; and (4) Blended learning can support school systems attempting to take competency based education to scale by providing tools to personalize learning for each student. This paper considers the role of blended learning in 13 schools in New Hampshire, where the New Hampshire Department of Education has mandated that high schools measure learning in terms of competency, rather than by credit hours. Some schools in New Hampshire have embraced this new policy by building competency-based models in their schools and classrooms, whereas other schools have remained tethered to time-based practices. This small sample suggests that the A La Carte, Individual Rotation, and Flex blended-learning models may be particularly powerful tools in competency-based high school environments. Significantly, this suggests that blended learning, as a relatively new tool, may have the power to unlock the instructional model and progression that competency-based models have long called for. "Definitions of Blended Learning Models" is presented in the appendix.
Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. 425 Broadway Street, Redwood City, CA 94063. Tel: 650-887-0788; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
Identifiers - Location: New Hampshire