Rebecca D. Bridges
Dr. Sarah Spring
WRIT 510: Teaching in an Online Environment
August 8, 2014
Flipped Classroom Insights from Middle School to University
Bergmann, Jonathan, and Aaron Sams. Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. Eugene: International Society for Technology in Education, 2012. Print.
Rural Colorado Chemistry high school teachers, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, struggled to catch up student athletes after they missed classes due to traveling long distances to other high schools, so the teachers jointly created flipped classrooms in 2007. Speaking at conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Europe; they found “flipping the classroom establishes a framework that ensures students receive a personalized education tailored to their individual needs” because the students were able to work through Chemistry units at their own pace (6). Not every student worked on the same unit at the same time, and Bergmann and Sams claimed that the diversified education created personalized instruction for all students.
Bergmann and Sams’s Flip Your Classroom became a significant tool for high school teachers because the Chemistry instructors demonstrated how they incorporated flipped classrooms in a rural school, gave specific examples of different students, and quoted teachers around the world who used their model. Most significantly, Bergmann and Sams presented a plausible solution to the notion that one teacher for 150 students came from the industrial revolution model, and it was no longer sufficient for twenty-first century, personalized education (7). They wrote flipped classrooms gave “students control of the remote” (24). Bergmann and Sams argued convincingly for the use of the flipped classroom, since their evidence was specific to different learners. For example, a foreign exchange student – who had never taken Chemistry – successfully completed most of the units. They were examples of professionals who researched, implemented, and perfected the flipped classroom.
Bishop, Jacob L., and Matthew A. Verleger. “The Flipped Classroom: A Survey of Research.” 120th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. Georgia, Atlanta. 23 June 2013. Google Scholar. Web. 26 July 2014.
Engineering professors, Jacob Bishop and Matthew Vergleger, presented a paper about current research in flipped classrooms. They argued that flipped classrooms were another step in the history of technology by examining prior technological discoveries and their effects on education, psychological theories related to student-centered learning, and what components form a flipped classroom. They stated that flipped learning transformed into multiple dimensions of technology, which included furthering the progress of open access to information. According to Bishop and Verleger, the flipped classroom became a tool to remove the barriers for people concerned about financially supporting their education (3). From the twenty-four studies about flipped classrooms in 2012 that Bishop and Verleger chose, most studies found that students watching interactive flipped classroom videos – during which students perform a task – “slightly outperform” students watching and listening to videos or class lectures (3). The study provided a psychological, intellectual, and calling for more scholarly studies about flipped classrooms.
The study benefits readers interested in defining the features of flipped classrooms because the presentation analyzes current research instead of only presenting how flipped models work. Bishop and Verleger specify that flipped learning videos should involve some kind of interaction for students whether they take notes or reflect. They define this model as “active learning” (9). Readers may also value how Bishop and Verleger analyze the weaknesses and strengths of the chosen studies about flipped learning. For instance, in a biology study, “Learn before Lecture,” the engineering professors write that the study includes flipped models in which professors still lecture during face-to-face time with few interactive activities (Bishop and Verleger 10). Bishop and Verleger are mainly interested in scholarship about flipped classrooms because the authors call for more research about the technology, but their article provides little information about creating successful flipped learning environments other than through psychological theories.
Cockrum, Troy. “Why a Flipped Class Works in Language Arts.” Flipping Your English Class to Reach All Learners: Strategies and Lesson Plans. New York: Routledge, 2014. 13-26. Print.
Cockrum, Troy. “Flipped Writing Instruction.” Flipping Your English Class to Reach All Learners: Strategies and Lesson Plans. New York: Routledge, 2014. 27-54. Print.
In his book, middle school Language Arts teacher, Troy Cockrum, presented examples of flipped learning in his seventh grade classroom, the different components of flipped learning, and examples from other classrooms and lesson plans. In two chapters, Cockrum first provided insight into why English teachers should use flipped learning, which included placing material traditionally viewed as “boring” in a video, and then encouraging student autonomy as learners worked on projects of their choice. In place of a persuasive essay, a student created an advertisement or public service announcement. Throughout his chapter about writing instruction in the flipped classroom, Cockrum included examples of three different kinds of flipped lesson plans from Traditional Flipped to Explore-Flip-Apply, and Peer Instruction Flip (27). For English instruction, the various flipped lesson models provided foundations for more than one pedagogical philosophy.
Some of Cockrum’s ideas about flipped classrooms were similar to Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams’s book, Flip Your Classroom, in its pedagogical call for instruction that replaces teaching 150 students in the same way. Cockrum wrote that “I could not accomplish all I needed to accomplish in the short time I had my students with me in class,” so he focused most of the two chapters on what he does in class to individualize student learning. For example, while some students worked on independent or team projects, Cockrum collaborated with students struggling with motivation to find solutions. Cockrum’s focus on individualized instruction also connected to customizing teacher instruction within the flipped model based on instructors’ individual pedagogical beliefs. Each lesson plan in chapter 5, “Flipped Writing Instruction,” exemplified the three kinds of flipped models. In the traditional flip, students determined what qualified as a credible Internet source and then rewrote a Wikipedia page (Cockrum 30). The book presented a valuable insight into how to plan in-class activities and gain perspective on different types of flipped learning.
Enfield, Jacob. “Looking at the Impact of the Flipped Classroom Model of Instruction on Undergraduate Multimedia Students at CSUN.” Techtrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning 57.6 (2013): 14-27. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson) Web. 1 Aug. 2014.
When he flipped two undergraduate Web design classes at California State University Northridge, Professor Jacob Enfield read about the advantages and disadvantages of flipped classrooms focusing specifically on students’ ability to perform tasks more independently. Enfield discovered students participating in flipped classroom for Web design needed to learn how to work independently because new technology would constantly change (22). The article covered what Enfield previously read about flipped classroom, his procedure for flipped classroom, and students’ reactions in a detailed survey. To encourage honest answers on the survey, Enfield released final grades prior to giving out the survey.
The benefit of reading Enfield’s survey results includes the fact he addresses students’ displeasure with technical issues, which is not a part of Judy Gaughan or Daniel Murphee’s surveys. It addresses a concern some students may have about downloading a video, streaming, or dealing with a poor Internet connection. Enfield’s results compliments Angiline Powell and Beverly Ray’s chapter about addressing key issues in flipped classroom models. Powell and Ray mention making videos into DVDs for students with poor or limited connection. Enfield also addresses other problems that arise in flipped classroom, and he makes certain his videos are aligned with in class activities. However, a problem in Enfield’s flipped model, which he admits, is he still uses some lecture during class. In Enfield’s flipped class for Web design, he should use more independent or group projects in place of class lecture, since the course involves learning how to create and design.
Flumerfelt, Shannon, and Green, Greg. “Using Lean in the Flipped Classroom for At Risk Students” Educational Technology & Society (February 2012). 16.1, 356-366. (EBSCOHost HW Wilson Text. Web. 25 June 2014.
Researchers, Shannon Flummerfelt and Greg Green, present “Lean” as an organizational tool for twenty-first century schools to use in instructing remedial students through schools changing from traditional methods such as lecture to using instructional technology such as flipped classrooms. While the first half of the article focuses on schools’ relying on a “guided” process, the second half discusses how twenty-three at-risk government students at one school participate in a flipped classroom pilot program in which teachers use screen capture technology presenting content outside of class and facilitated learning in class (358). Due to the success of the program with an increase of 100 percent homework participation, the school has activated flipped classrooms for the entire ninth grade resulting in decreasing the failure rate in classes by 33 percent.
Flummerfelt and Green focus too much on teachers and students as maps and numbers instead of succeeding as professionals and people. For example, they present a visual schedule with the number of times when students participate in class and when they are part of a flipped classroom lesson instead of showing specific examples of how teachers facilitate small group instruction in class. Green and Flummerfelt argue that the results allow the school to create a teacher value map to focus on areas of improvement, but it fails to mention if teachers or their methods would be displayed on the map. When Professor Daniel Murphee writes about his use of the flipped classroom, he shows methods like students writing essays during class when they can ask him for advice (212-13). Flummerfelt and Green need specific examples showing how students and teachers use flipped classroom lessons to strengthen their article.
Gaughan, Judy. “The Flipped Classroom in World History.” History Teacher 47.2 (2014): 221-244. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 27 July 2014.
History Professor Judy E. Gaughan faced the challenge of teaching several first generation college students – some of whom struggled with reading comprehension, completing basic college homework, and asking questions of their text – at Colorado State University-Pueblo in two survey courses. Gaughan writes a narrative study about her journey the initial questions of using a flipped classroom, the technology she used, and results from her 2013 courses. With assistance from the college’s IT department, Gaughan made lecture videos with Camtasia software, and focused on teaching students how to read and interpret primary sources (224). Gaughan found that her videos helped her avoid the use of “‘um’” and “‘ah,’” however, six of her videos were between seventeen to forty minutes (229). Uncertain of new technology, she used tools available in her college’s IT department.
However, Gaughan relies too much on the traditional lecture in videos. Gaughan writes “I think part of this is because [students] do not realize how much work they should be putting into the course” (229). This demonstrates a biased expectation on Gaughan’s part because college students were still expected to read, complete homework, attend class, and watch the video. They are expected to sit through extended lectures outside of class. Her narrative study shows an important aspect of a flipped classroom, which is self-reflection.
Johnson, Graham B. Student Perceptions of the Flipped Classroom. Thesis. University of British Columbia, 2007. Okanagan: U of British Columbia, 2013. Print.
Colorado high school teachers Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann stated in their book that they spoke with teachers all over North America and Europe, and veteran math teacher Graham was one of those instructors. He attended a conference Sams and Bergmann hosted in Colorado, and returned to his high school in British Colombia completing fifteen video lectures and packages for students during the summer (3). Johnson wanted to improve his knowledge of flipped classroom models, so he earned his Masters of Arts in Educational Technology at the University of British Columbia where he studied flipped classrooms in depth through his thesis and classes. Not only did Johnson create his own videos, he made packages to accompany the videos. They included math labs, journal entries, and quizzes.
After reading Angiline Powell and Beverly Ray’s chapter about the need for teacher preparation, Johnson’s thesis is useful for showing a teacher who is actively using and studying the flipped model through a teacher training program. His thesis shows the strengths and weaknesses of how a study about flipped classrooms are used. For example, he admits that students might not have been completely honest on surveys because they wanted to please him as their teacher. Also, the study includes three classes from the same upper middle class school in British Columbia (10). Johnson provides an example for other teachers through his treatment of videos as packages, and without saying it, he makes activities cross-curricular. Math labs involve active critical thinking skills often needed also in Science, and students write in journals to reinforce knowledge.
Murphee, Daniel S. “Writing Wasn’t Really Stressed, Accurate Historical Analysis Was Stressed”: Student Perceptions of In-Class Writing in the Inverted, General Education, University, History Survey Course.” History Teacher 47.2 (2014): 209-219. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web 1 July 2014.
At the University of Central Florida, History Professor Daniel S. Murphee claimed that flipped classrooms have been around for a decade in primary and secondary classrooms, but little research has been done showing how writing intensive programs and flipped classrooms could improve student performance at the university level (211). In 2013, Murphee flipped two history classes focusing on writing across the curriculum and online work by providing multiple opportunities for different grades in place of traditional high-stakes exams and lectures. Murphee diversified his class content with quizzes, assigning students to critique his argument about a historical event, and writing some essays in class.
Interested in students improving their writing, Murphee’s narrative article was a great example of an analysis of course content in which he discovers what works and does not work in the flipped classroom environment. The best example of what worked occurred when he told students to bring their research material to class and write their essays then, so they could ask questions. Murphee actively facilitated learning instead of lecturing. Class time was student-driven because students picked the materials to bring to class and they controlled the questions they ask (212-13). While the 2012 class average was a C and the spring 2013 classes increased to a B, there was a flaw, as Murphee admits, in collecting information from students without appearing biased. Murphee’s colleague gave students a survey to complete of which 85 percent of students participated (215).
Powell, Angiline and Beverly Ray. “Preparing to Teach with Flipped Classroom in Teacher Preparation Programs.” Promoting Active Learning through the Flipped Classroom Model. Ed. Jared Keengwe, et al. Hershey: Information Science Reference, 2014. 1-13. Print.
In their chapter, Angiline Powell and Beverly Ray dig into the problems facing flipped classrooms, which includes the training of teacher candidates. They wrote that while the flipped classroom model has evolved from a lecture on video to an interactive video with before, during, and after activities within the video, many teachers were still using the traditional, face-to-face lecture model (Powell and Ray 3). The article is very useful for potential and current teachers because the study raises real classroom concerns about the flipped model and how teachers are trained. By establishing the point that the flipped classroom has already evolved from a lecture video, teachers need not only training for using technology, but also an understanding of pedagogical content behind the flipped model – such as social cognition, understanding all stakeholders, and how to trouble-shoot problems in flipped models.
Potential readers of this chapter should include teacher candidates because Powell and Ray laid out what professionals must know about flipped classrooms and the problems current teachers have faced. A significant point the writers made included students not watching all videos because some believed they would pick up content during in-class discussion (5). Powell and Ray shared a shorter version of the constructivist theory, described in greater detail by Jacob Bishop and Matthew Verleger. The theory was one of several pedagogical theories connected to flipped classrooms because it focused on students being in charge of their own learning. In both readings, readers might find that flipped learning was not simply a how-to learning with a guidebook, but another form of instruction requiring an understanding of the educational philosophies connected to it.
Yarbro, Jessica, Karl Arfstrom, Katherine McKnight, and Patrick McKnight. “Extension of a Review of Flipped Learning.” Research Network. Pearson, June 2014: 1-20. Web. 18 July 2014.
In an overview of flipped learning in U.S. schools from 2012 to 2014, partnerships between George Mason University and Pearson found that the awareness of flipped models from teachers to administrators to students increased. In fact, from a joint survey by Sophia Learning and the Flipped Learning Network showed that while math and science high school teachers made up most of the flipped classroom models, there was a significant increase in the number of English teachers using flipped classrooms in 2014 (Yarboro, Arfstrom, McKnight, and McKnight 6). The overview opened with survey findings, opinions of teachers and administrators, and then presented pillars of flipped learning, or FLIP for “flexible environment, learning culture, intentional content, and professional educator” (Yarboro, Arfstrom, McKnight, and McKnight 5). The research provided in the study showed a variety of sources from surveys to online networks to recommended books.
Research in the article helps readers gain insight into where flipped learning is growing. Other studies have not presented the opinions of administrators, but the usefulness in the article is that it gives the opinions of teachers, students, and administrators from surveys and specific schools. For example, 41 percent of administrators believe teacher candidates should learn flipped technology (Yarboro, Arfstrom, McKnight, and McKnight 7). While Powell and Ray’s article details specific pedagogical theories connected to flipped classrooms, Yarboro’s overview uses everyday language for teachers to understand when knowing why they implement a certain model. The overview also gives an example of a flipped model that did not work. A Louisiana Algebra teacher did not see a significant increase in students’ end of unit tests after they had seven weeks of flipped learning. The article is useful for the number of perspectives it provides.