Waukesha STEM Academy, a public K–8 charter school in Waukesha, Wis., USA, leverages blended learning to give students more time to master concepts by using a Flex model, in which students move independently between teacher-led instruction, online coursework, and STEM driven project-based learning, in an attempt to reduce the need for homework.
Principal James Murray said, “Teachers here may teach 20 percent of the time or deliver content via direct instruction and then students have at least 80 percent of their day to apply their knowledge in context. We are aware that many students may not have the resources or support at home to successfully complete their “homework,” so we have transitioned away from this system of arbitrarily assigning worksheets and other redundant homework.”
Blended learning can enhance classroom time for students and teachers. First, with the station rotation module, students get access to the time and support they need to master concepts on a daily basis — thereby reducing the need for further practice at home. Second, by leveraging online tools to deliver some portion of the instruction, teachers can free up more time for one-on-one and small-group instruction. It enables teachers daily, personal insights into individual student progress in ways that often outperform the insights traditional homework can provide.
The effects that blended learning has on classroom time are causing educators to rethink the role of homework, spending more quality class time on learning and progressing every single day with guidance from their teachers.