K-12 Online Education Is Increasingly Hybrid Learning

By Horn, Michael B. | Distance Learning, March 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

K-12 Online Education Is Increasingly Hybrid Learning


Horn, Michael B., Distance Learning


Over the last decade, growth in K-12 online learning has exploded. Online enrollments - any instance of a student taking a half-semester course - have soared, and the total number of students taking online courses, either part time or full time, has climbed rapidly (Adkins, 2009; Picciano & Seaman, 2009; Watson, Gemin, Ryan, & Wicks, 2009).

The growth has been so rapid in high school that in the book Disrupting Class, the authors project that by 2019, 50% of all high school courses will be online. Ambient Insight projects that by 2014, 10.5 million pre-K-12 students will attend classes online (Christensen, Horn, & Johnson, 2008; Adkins, 2009).

Along with its rapid growth, online learning bears other hallmarks of a disruptive innovation. A disruptive innovation is one that transforms a sector characterized by expensive, complicated, inaccessible, and inconvenient products or services into one where the products or services are far more affordable, simple, accessible, and convenient (Christensen et al., 2008). It is this transformative potential that is increasingly catching the eyes of policymakers, including leaders at the U.S. Department of Education and some governors, and foundations, from Gates to MacArthur, as having the potential to not just change the medium of learning but to change schooling itself from the present monolithic, factory-model system into a far more student-centric one.

Online learning, like all disruptive innovations, has begun small by serving those who are unable to consume or access the mainstream product or service. In the case of online learning, this has meant it has begun in advanced courses that many schools are unable to offer; in small, rural, and urban schools that are unable to offer breadth; in remedial courses for students who must retake courses in order to graduate; with home-schooled students and those who haven't been able to keep up with the regular schedule of school; for students who have not been able to take a class because of a scheduling conflict; and for dropouts (Picciano & Seaman, 2009; Watson et al., 2009).

And as with all disruptive innovations, online learning is predictably improving, which is allowing it to grow in places where a mainstream and traditional faceto-face educational system often readily cedes ground.

One dimension of this improvement can be seen in the changing assumptions and definitions for what online learning means. Increasingly the growth in online learning is less and less of a fully distance phenomenon and more and more of a blended or hybrid one in which students combine elements of online learning with elements of a face-to-face learning experience (Picciano & Seaman, 2009; Watson et al., 2009).

These hybrid or blended arrangements take a variety of forms, and there is still no agreed upon set of definitions in the field for the various terms in use (Watson, 2008). Some make distinctions based on the percentage of content that is delivered online versus face-to-face (Allen, Seaman, & Garrett, 2007). Others have drawn the distinction that there are hybrid or blended programs and hybrid or blended courses - and use the words hybrid and blended interchangeably (Patrick, 2010). There are several other definitions and taxonomies in use as well.

Either way, the hybrid models in particular have drawn the interest of many foundations. There is some sense to this attraction. Over the last decade, aided by online learning, home schooling has grown extremely fast as well. There are disagreements about the numbers, but all estimates have the same trajectory; the number of home-schooled students has grown from roughly 800,000 in 1999 to anywhere from 1.5 million to just over 2 million today. When one plots this growth on a substitution curve to determine if the home-schooling movement is growing in accordance with an S-curve pattern - as online learning is and a disruptive innovation does (Christensen et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

K-12 Online Education Is Increasingly Hybrid Learning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.