Hybrid Learning Showing Results, Achieving Scale in Pennsylvania

Learning, Online & Blended, PreK-12 / by

There is not much capacity inside (or outside) public school districts to develop and scale blended learning models.  That is slowing starting to change with a few consulting groups and a few school networks piloting personalized and blended learning.

Kevin Dellicker has spent the last two decades working at the intersection of education, technology and the economy.  His consulting firm has supported the development of the Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Institute (PA HLI), a network of 33 Pennsylvania schools seeking a more personalized learning experience for students at school.

Dellicker’s team helps schools design and implement a rotational school model.

They take a collaborative approach working with multiple schools simultaneously to create economies of scale and facilitate cooperation. They use a step-by-step continuous improvement process that is standardized and replicable yet results in customized design plans for each school.  They collect data to help schools course correct.

The network is showing promising results. The release below provides examples of progress being made by individual schools.  Also see a state release: Acting Secretary of Education Says Hybrid Learning Benefits Students.

PA HLI has 40 schools in the pipeline.  By next year, Dellicker hopes to have 100 schools implementing hybrid model.


Academic Performance Results of Hybrid Learning Pilot Programs- 2012-13

During Academic Year 2012-13, the Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Institute (PA HLI) designed and launched the first cohort of “hybrid schools” in Pennsylvania. Hybrid learning combines new digital resources with proven teaching methods to create a more personalized educational environment at school. The idea is to increase student engagement in order to improve academic performance.

Eight of the pilot school districts implemented hybrid learning in classes where students took standardized assessments to measure academic achievement, such as the Keystone Exams or PA System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests. In addition, five pilot schools received PA Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS) analysis by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to measure academic growth.

Among the pilot districts, 88 percent of schools achieved higher academic performance in their hybrid classes compared to non-hybrid (traditional) classes in the same district or statewide benchmarks. Overall, 75 percent of pilot districts realized higher academic achievement in their hybrid classes and all hybrid learning pilot schools met or exceeded state standards for academic growth.

  • Lebanon High School hybrid students passed the Keystone Exams at rates almost three times higher than their non-hybrid (traditional) counterparts in the same school. Hybrid classrooms beat traditional classrooms in all assessed subjects including Biology, Literature and Algebra.
  • Pottstown High School students started the year scoring 17.6 percentage points below the state average on the Keystone Algebra Exams. After a year of hybrid learning, they scored 3.5 points above- a 21 point swing reflected in a maximum score of 100 for academic growth in math.
  • Lower Dauphin High School hybrid math students scored proficient or advanced on the Keystone Algebra Exams at a rate 10.3 percentage points higher than the state average.
  • Dallas High School achieved state standards for academic growth in high school math by using hybrid learning to motivate students who historically struggled with the subject.
  • Lancaster Wheatland Middle School hybrid students scored 86 percent advanced or proficient on the Keystone Algebra Exams, a rate more than two times higher than the state average.
  • Garden Spot Middle School hybrid students in Eastern Lancaster County School District scored 84 percent proficient or advanced on the 7th Grade PSSA math test and beat growth standards.
  • Spring City Hybrid Elementary School students exceeded state standards for academic growth in math and reading using the hybrid program throughout the school building.

The evidence is mounting: hybrid learning improves academic performance!