A case study of a “hybrid learning” program in Wichita, Kan., that combines online and traditional learning methods to combat a dropout problem finds that the district’s graduation rate has risen 8 percent since the program began in 1999.
The program targets students that had already dropped out and students that needed to make up credits to graduate on time. In the 2007-08 school year, its costs were about $7,300 less per student than Wichita public schools’ per-pupil expenditure on traditional students, according to the study by the Mountain View, Calif.-based Innosight Institute, a nonprofit health-care and education research organization.
Using computer-based courses as the primary source of learning with instructors as a supplemental resource for struggling students, enrolled students were free to complete coursework on their own schedule, and instructors were free from lesson-planning duties.
The program currently serves about 950 students and has a waiting list of more than 300.
A version of this article appeared in the April 07, 2010 edition of Education Week as Hybrid Learning