Flipped Classroom: a modified delphi study focused on the instructional design elements that should be included for a quality flipped learning experience in higher education

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

Many studies exist discussing the benefits of flipped learning, but none define design elements nor discusses a framework for teaching and learning. A gap in the research on instructional design elements that best support the flipped learning model exists. My study begins to identify promising instructional design practices for the flipped higher ed classroom. 

Extended Abstract

      This presentation will share results of the qualitative study for my PhD in Instructional Design for Online Learning. Results and survey instruments will be shared. Sharing this valuable research with other designers of instruction and furthering the conversation on the topic is the main goal. Adaptation and duplication of the study is a secondary goal. 

      Flipped learning environments are viewed as a promising instructional strategy in higher education (Ash, 2012; Callaway, 2012; Marcey & Brint, 2012; Moravec et al., 2010; Pierce et al., 2012).

    Flipped learning is a form of blended learning where direct or teacher-led instruction moves out of the group learning experience in the classroom and into the individual learning experience online (Flipped Learning Network, 2014). Using this method, the physical classroom becomes a dynamic, interactive learning space where peers learn from each other through worked activities and learn from their instructor through coaching and targeted mini lessons. This allows for collaborative learning in a place to work through problems and advance concepts (Strayer, 2012).

     The online portion of this blended learning experience becomes the vehicle for most direct or first time instruction through learning activities such as recorded mini lectures, simulations, online discussion forums, assessments, readings and more. Students complete these assignments before coming to class so that there is a foundation of knowledge and familiarity with the topic. This preparation prior to class enables students to participate in collaborative learning during the shared, in-class learning time. These online activities should:

     1) deliver first time instruction

     2) be engaging

     3) tie back to the classroom activities

     (Bergmann & Sams, 2012).

    Currently, no defined framework for the flipped learning experience was found. Of the approximately one hundred articles and studies reviewed, a handful identified a few instructional design elements, but none outlined a framework. The proposed research study will begin to identify design elements that could become an instructional design framework that will help to design quality flipped learning experiences for both portions: in class and online.

     A lack of research on flipped learning experiences is apparent. Many studies discuss the benefits of flipped learning, (Davies et al., 2013; Foertsch et al., 2002; Fulton, 2012; Gannod et al., 2008) but none define design elements nor do they discuss a framework for teaching and learning in the flipped learning environment. There are no well-defined pedagogical methods or prescriptions that exist for what learning activities best contribute and support student engagement and success in the flipped classroom, especially in higher education. Kim et al note that research is needed on what elements of flipped learning specifically benefit teaching and learning (Kim, 2014). The authors state that few of the studies on flipped learning identify the design principles of the flipped classroom.

     The goal of this study was to further the research on the most effective way to design flipped learning environments. As the flipped learning experience grows in use in higher education, design elements need to be identified and used to ensure quality instructional design, best practice design elements need to be identified and used to help create an instructional design framework or model that helps ensure quality instructional design for the flipped learning experience.

      Both scholars and practitioners agree that there are as many different ways to use flipped learning in the classroom as there are classes taught (Bergmann & Sams, 2012; Roehl et al., 2013; Bishop & Verleger, 2013; Hamdan et al., 2013; Yarbro et al., 2014). The design of flipped learning experiences has typically involved replacing face-to-face instruction in-class with videos that reside in an online portion of the course and the students view them as preparation for in-class work. Videos are often created by the professors. The videos range from recordings of full-length live lectures, narration over PowerPoint lecture slides or pre-recorded videos or simulations found on the World Wide Web and not created by the professor teaching the course.

     There are no well-defined pedagogical methods or prescriptions that exist for what learning activities best contribute and support student engagement and success in the flipped classroom, especially in higher education. Kim et al. (2014) note that research is needed on what elements of flipped learning specifically benefit teaching and learning. The authors state that few of the studies on flipped learning identify the design principles of the flipped classroom.

    Many studies exist that discuss the benefits of flipped learning (Davies et al., 2013; Foertsch et al., 2002; Fulton, 2012; Gannod et al., 2008) but none define design elements nor do they discuss a framework for teaching and learning. A gap in the research about what instructional design elements best support the Flipped Learning model exists. This study begins to identify the promising instructional design practices for the flipped classroom. Both the in-class as well as the online portions of the flipped learning experience will be examined. As the flipped learning experience grows in use in higher education, design elements need to be identified and used to ensure quality instructional design. Best practice design elements need to be identified and employed to create an instructional design framework or model that helps ensure quality instructional design for the flipped learning experience.

    My research study begins to identify design elements that could become an instructional design framework that will help to design quality flipped learning experiences for both portions: in class and online. Using a modified Delphi study, experienced designers of instruction (both instructional designers and instructors) who have created flipped teaching and learning environments worked toward consensus on what elements need to be present to make a well-designed flipped learning experience.