A study from the RAND Corporation and the U.S. Department of Education examines the effectiveness of blended learning â€“ specifically using algebra curricula â€“ for increasing student outcomes. Blended learning combines in-person instruction with computer-based activities, and dynamic education programs like Career Technical Education are more often integrating these highly-personalized learning experiences into curricula.
RANDâ€™s two-year study involved over 18,000 students in 147 schools and in 7 states including Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas. Researchers found that schools that adopted the blended learning software, â€œCognitive Tutor Algebra Iâ€ developed by Carnegie Learning, Inc., saw an overall jump of 8 percentile points on their studentsâ€™ algebra scores; however, it is unclear whether this can be attributed to the blended learning program, to other activities in the classroom, or to a combination of activities. Still, the Carnegie software has been deemed successful in 46 other non-randomized studies and looks to be a promising model of blended learning.
Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager