The Double Flipped Classroom: Personalized Learning in a First Year Writing Class

Concurrent Session 5

Brief Abstract

Come learn how a team of instructors at the University of Mississippi is using adaptive learning modules to personalize the learning environment and level the field for underserved and underprepared students.



Guy Krueger is a Core Lecturer and the Writing 101 Curriculum Chair in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. His research focuses on basic writing theory and praxis at institutions across America. Additionally, he is interested in assessment of and placement in first-year composition (FYC) courses. Krueger has been at the University of Mississippi since 2010.

Additional Authors

Patricia O'Sullivan is Manager of the Personalized Learning & Adaptive Teaching Opportunities (PLATO) Program at the University of Mississippi. She manages the adaptive courseware grant at UM. She assists faculty in choosing, developing, and implementing adaptive courseware in high enrollment, general education courses, and provides faculty development workshops in collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning of which she is an advisory board member. Patti is also an instructor of Ethics in the School of Pharmacy at UM, and is an associate in the Division of Pharmacy Professional Development. Patti holds advanced degrees in Theology and History, holds a certificate in Instructional Design, and has published historical fiction novels about the Sephardic Jewish experience in the New World.

Extended Abstract

Directors of the first-year writing course at the University of Mississippi worked with a content development team at Lumen Learning to tackle the problem of wide variability in student preparation for the first year writing class. Using Lumen’s Waymaker platform, together they designed adaptive modules that personalized the three primary learning environments of the course: the classroom, the online learning modules, and one-on-one interactions between students and instructors. In transforming the learning environments, these instructors flipped the course once to implement active learning, and again to implement personalized learning. The resulting personalization opens new doors to engage students in conversations about their learning strategies, knowledge, and developing skills.  


In this session, the presenters will use narrative, data, and visuals to achieve the session’s three goals. Participants will be encouraged to share their instructional challenges, to ask questions, and to brainstorm solutions together. While the session is a presentation, participants will leave with actionable ideas for implementing personalized learning as a way to solve unique challenges they have in their own undergraduate courses.


  1. To demonstrate how writing instructors can save time in the classroom for writing through the use of intentionally designed tutorials, practice tools, and immediate feedback.

  2. To describe how instructor and student feedback is facilitated through a common blog, and student focus groups, as well as being embedded into writing prompts designed for metacognitive reflection on the writing process.

  3. To share preliminary quantitative data comparing the learning outcomes of 2,000+ students, half of which are using a personalized learning system in their writing class and half of which are not.

Presentation outline

  1. Overview of problem: the wide variability in student preparation for the first year writing class.

  2. Why the team chose personalized learning as a potential solution.

  3. The process of designing and building personalized learning modules and communication tools.

  4. What the comparative data and student feedback reveal about the effectiveness of the changes made to the course.

  5. Participant share-out and brainstorming their instructional challenges.

  6. Q & A for presenters