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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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FINE Newsletter, Volume VII, Issue 3
Issue Topic: Blended Professional Learning: Preparing and Supporting Educators to Engage Families


Blended learning is an instructional approach that combines, or blends, different teaching strategies while incorporating an array of digital media tools both inside and outside of the classroom. When this format is applied to professional learning—what can be referred to as blended professional learning—educators are given the powerful opportunity to create their own individual professional learning experiences.

In this commentary, Margaret Caspe highlights what effective blended professional learning to prepare and support educators in engaging families can look like. She draws on the lessons Harvard Family Research Project has learned designing and developing interactive blended learning tools, whose features include:

  • Offering opportunities for educators to practice effective communication skills and get real-time feedback;
  • Creating networks among educators to learn from one another and mutually share information;
  • Delivering content through multiple modalities so that educators can connect with ideas in a variety of ways;
  • Providing moderated, structured, and organized discussions so that educators come away with concrete practices, action plans, and goals; and
  • Putting educators‘ experience at the forefront of learning by asking them to reflect on their own assumptions as well as other people’s perspectives, and to develop their own ideas and solutions to real-world dilemmas.


This resource is part of the August FINE Newsletter. The FINE Newsletter shares the newest and best family engagement research and resources from Harvard Family Research Project and other field leaders. To access the archives of past issues, please visit

© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project