Station Rotation: How to Reach All Students
Blended learning opportunities have been scientifically proven to boost learning for many students, and Station Rotation is one model that allows students to visit different stations during the time in the classroom. In the online station, the software allows each student to move at his/her own pace to direct learning.
Typically, the stations are designed to foster teamwork and collaboration among the students at the station, but the online portion is individual. With real-time feedback, students can make minute adjustments quickly to improve the learning experience.
Blended Learning Benefits
According to the U.S. Department of Education (2010), “In studies contrasting blends of online and face-to-face instruction with conventional face-to-face classes, blended instruction has been more effective.” Blended learning offers many clear benefits such as:
- Flexibility—the model accounts for the fact that students learn at different rates and in differing modalities. Flexible learning is designed to accommodate all of those.
- Efficiency—blended learning offers efficient instruction to a large audience without holding the fast learners back, or leaving the slower learners behind.
- Personalization—In contrast to only teacher-led instruction, blended learning allows the information to be tailored to each student.
- Learning Styles—Blended learning covers all learning styles.
- Frees up Teacher—This strategy of learning frees up the teacher to move around, answer questions, enter discussions, all while overseeing the stations.
Set Your Goals
Setting goals and monitoring learning to achieve them are crucial to the success of blended learning in the classroom. Clear goals include:
- Differentiate instruction based on student needs by using the same assignment at different levels so that students can “work their way up” the concept.
- Assign specific readings to complement the concepts learned in Rotation Stations.
- Provide feedback to students so that they can adjust choices before proceeding to the next level or station—this could include allowing students to revise answer choices until the correct answer is achieved.
- Improve student engagement
Starting Rotation Stations
BlendedLearning.org suggests, to begin with 3 stations until both the teacher and the students adjust to the strategies that help the stations operate smoothly.
Start with 3 stations: one station of independent learning (usually technology driven), one station for collaboration and one teacher-led station. Because there are challenges to this learning approach, some problems with solutions follow.
CHALLENGE: It can be difficult for the teacher to design meaningful activities for each station that promote engagement while providing challenge and support.
SOLUTION: For the reading assignment portion, the teacher should incorporate higher order questions, using the data to adjust further learning goals.
CHALLENGE: The teacher may not be able to provide immediate feedback when they are actively teaching at a station.
SOLUTION: Implement an “I don’t understand” flag that indicates that the student needs immediate help. The teacher can then assist the student and address the answer to the class as a whole.
CHALLENGE: Students get distracted in the collaboration station, having conversations that do not pertain to learning goals.
SOLUTION: The students must complete questions at the station to keep them on track. The teacher can redirect if necessary.
The goal of Rotation Stations is to connect learners with the appropriate lessons each day for maximum understanding.