Rotation Model

a course or subject in which students rotate on a fixed schedule or at the teacher’s discretion between learning modalities, at least one of which is online learning

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Rotation Choices

  • Station Rotation
  • Lab Rotation
  • Flipped Classroom
  • Individual Rotation

Station Rotation

a contained classroom or group of classrooms. The Station Rotation model differs from the Individual Rotation model because students rotate through all of the stations, not only those on their custom schedules.

Lab Rotation

a course or subject in which students rotate to a computer lab for the online-learning station. -

Flipped Classroom

a course or subject in which students participate in online learning off-site in place of traditional homework and then attend the brick-and-mortar school for face-to-face, teacher-guided practice or projects. The primary delivery of content and instruction is online, which differentiates a Flipped Classroom from students who are merely doing homework practice online at night

Individual Rotation

a course or subject in which each student has an individualized playlist and does not necessarily rotate to each available station or modality, the teacher(s) sets individual student schedules. -
The station rotation model


Small Groups

One strength of this Station-Rotation blended learning model is that teachers increase their opportunities to work with small groups of students. This component can be a welcome change for many educators who have been attempting to adapt to ever-increasing class sizes. Small group work with students makes it possible for educators to address the different needs of individual students and truly engage them in the subject based on their prior knowledge and depth of understanding. It also gives teachers more time to connect on a personal level with students and build relationships.

The model can be particularly effective in elementary schools because many teachers already use classroom centers. Therefore with the Station-Rotation model of blended learning, teachers don’t have to completely revamp their approach to the classroom. They can simply include computer time as an additional station or as a replacement for an existing station. Teachers can use the data collected by the adaptive learning program to individualize other student learning experiences. The goal is to connect learners with appropriate lessons every day, and schools need both teachers and software that can make this goal a reality.

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Goals and Communication

Whether you choose the Station-Rotation model or another blended learning method, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and continually evaluate how well your approach is working. Teachers, parents, and students should be empowered to ask questions, share comments, and raise concerns about classroom strategies and tactics. If you’ve defined your education mission and learning goals up front, then these conversations will be informed by how well students are meeting the intended goals within the new model. Unfortunately, if technology has been implemented without clear goals, it will be nearly impossible to determine the effectiveness of the blended learning model because the standards of success are foggy. Without these clear goals, it’s also nearly impossible to choose effective learning software that engages students in critical thinking and develops conceptual understanding. The pedagogy and design of learning software is just as important as the pedagogy and design of classroom lessons.

Goals and Monitoring

Set clear learning goals, monitor them frequently, and expect to make adjustments to your implementation strategy. Perfection should not be expected the first time around, so changes and tweaks should be anticipated. Make sure everyone knows that improvements will be made over time. But don’t make modifications too quickly, because effective change doesn’t happen overnight. Give your strategy time to work. And, as always, keep student learning and growth at the center of your blended learning decisions.
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