Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods.
It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace. While students still attend "brick-and-mortar" schools with a teacher present, face-to-face classroom practices are combined with computer-mediated activities regarding content and delivery. Blended learning is also used in professional development and training settings.Blended learning is highly context-dependent, therefore a universal conception of it is difficult. Some reports have claimed that a lack of consensus on a hard definition of blended learning has led to difficulties in research on its effectiveness. A well-cited 2013 study broadly defined blended learning as a mixture of online and in-person delivery where the online portion effectively replaces some of the face-to-face contact time rather than supplementing it.Additionally, a 2015 meta-analysis that historically looked back at a comprehensive review of evidence-based research studies around blended learning, found commonalities in defining that blended learning was "considered a combination of traditional f2f [face to face] modes of instruction with online modes of learning, drawing on technology-mediated instruction, where all participants in the learning process are separated by distance some of the time." This report also found that all of these evidence-based studies concluded that student achievement was higher in blended learning experiences when compared to either fully online or fully face-to-face learning experiences."Blended learning" is sometimes used in the same breath as "personalized learning" and differentiated instruction.