Finding What Works in Blended Learning


Thursday, April 10, 2014 (All day) to Friday, April 11, 2014 (All day)


Harvard Graduate School of Education

Sponsored by the Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Spencer Foundation, the Center for Education Policy Research is hosting a two-day “Finding What Works” conference focused on K–12 blended learning. Our goal is to identify critical questions facing those delivering blended learning to students, and to dramatically accelerate research on these questions.

The format for the conference is novel. Working teams of school and system leaders, software providers, researchers, and funders will roll up their sleeves to flesh out the key questions challenging practitioners and then to identify ways to use data to resolve them and inform the field. Participants will also learn about the potential projects emerging from other teams—with the opportunity to provide feedback and express interest in participating in the emerging work.

Sample questions teams might explore include:

  • What evidence is needed to allow users to compare various software packages, track student achievement across a range of platforms, and predict future success?
  • Can early assessments be created to determine student likelihood of success within different blended learning environments?
  • Does providing embedded hints create more student engagement and learning, or a counterproductive hint dependency?
  • What are the most effective delivery models for digital learning platforms (e.g. rotation, flex, learning lab, other)?
  • Does student mastery of a specific skill within a software environment translate to mastery on external assessments? How many problems must a student solve correctly to have demonstrated mastery? Can an evidentiary standard for mastery be established?
  • Can digital tools be used to improve the effectiveness of classroom teachers in delivering rigorous coursework to more students (e.g. AP courses)?