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The Flipped Instructional Model

Running Head: The Flipped Instructional Model

Are Language Arts Classrooms Ready for the Flipped Instructional Model?
Leigh-Ann Danley & Stephanie Stone
University of West Georgia

The Flipped Instructional Model

Are Language Arts Classrooms Ready for the Flipped Instructional Model?

5 Reasons FLIPPED Classrooms Work: Turning lectures into homework to boost student engagement
and increase technology-fueled creativity.
By Elizabeth Millard
Summary
This article was published on universitybusiness.com in December of 2012. The central premise
of the piece is that the flipped model approach to learning reinforces learning at a higher, more
collaborative level. Millard defines flipped classrooms as environments in which lectures and other
traditional classroom elements are swapped out in favor of more in-person interaction, like small group
problem solving and discussion. She asserts that courses in which the instructor lectures or delivers the
bulk of the content outside of class via streaming video provide a more enriching learning experience for
students. The article outlines five major benefits approaching a course from this perspective; flipped
classes are more engaging for students, foster the mastery of collaboration skills, allow for more one-onone remediation or enrichment, encourage active vs. passive learning, and promotes teacher creativity
while still maintain course standardization. Millard does acknowledge that flipped classrooms are vastly
different from most other pedagogical approaches to learning, and many educators may not yet be ready
for this unique approach. However, she does note that as more success is seen with this model of
learning, more educators may embrace the use of flipped classrooms.
Method
She supports her claim by incorporating similar views from educational professionals into her
piece. In her article, Millard highlights the success a college professors at Central Michigan University,
Clemson University, California State University, and the University of California have had in their
classrooms using the flipped model to transform courses that were previously heavily based on lecture.

The Flipped Instructional Model

She also focuses on a K-12 school district in Texas that has seen remarkable increases in student
collaboration as a result of flipped learning.
Results
Freelance writer, Elizabeth Millard, in her article 5 Reasons Flipped Classrooms Work argues
that presenting students with content outside of class and devoting all of the time in class to discussions
and projects creates a learning environment more conducive to student success. Through her dialogue
with college professors as well as K-12 educational specialists, Millard has concluded that utilizing the
flipped model is a strategy that can easily be incorporated into any classroom at varying degrees. The
educators Millard references in her piece support and confirm the five reasons she references in her article
through their own experiences in teaching students.
Opinions
Acquiring anecdotal evidence from college professors as well as K-12 specialists was a great
strategy to support the idea that flipped classrooms can be effective at any level. The fact that she
included more information about the model being used at the collegiate level supports the notion that
secondary schools arent adequately preparing students to be successful if they dont integrate this
strategy into their curriculums. While Millard did include information from educators at the secondary
and post-secondary levels, including insight from students may have helped to support her claims. Its
possible that the teacher has a vastly different perception of a course than does a student. Had she
included some student feedback about their exposure to the flipped model, readers may have gained a
greater affirmation that this approach to learning has true benefit. Additionally, some statistics on flipped
classrooms would have provided a deeper level of logos for persuasion. The flipped concept is relatively
new in the world of education, but there must be some statistical data on how often it is being used,
where, and with what frequency.

The Flipped Instructional Model

Information Literacy and the Flipped Classroom


By Andrea Wilcox
Summary
Wilcox begins her article by defining flipped classrooms and gives a succinct definition of the
model: that which is traditionally done in class is now done at home and that which is traditionally done
as homework is now completed in class. The purpose of her article is to highlight a study conducted to
discern what impact, if any, a one-time flipped lesson had on student achievement in the area of
informational literacy. Throughout the educational study, students would complete key assignments
outside of class and would devote the one-time in-class session to discussion and problem solving
activities.
Method
The conductors of the study not only wanted to gain insight on the impact of the one-shot flipped
session, but also hoped to elicit student feedback on the effectiveness of a brief foray into the flipped
mode. The study was conducted in the fall of 2012 at Northern Kentucky University. The facilitator of
the flipped session was a university librarian and the students involved were sophmores enrolled in two
sections ENG 291 taught by the one professor. The librarian created six videos that reviewed key
research skills, developing a clear research question, and utilizing appropriate sources to support the
claim. The videos included an assessment at the end that was optional. All students in one of the sections
were required to watch the videos. Students in both of the sessions were required to attend the face-toface session with the librarian. For the in-class sessions, students worked collaboratively to generate
example research questions or search through databases for specific sources related to a given topic.

The Flipped Instructional Model

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Results

Students in both sections were given identical pretests before the instruction session and posttests
two weeks after the session. Students in the flipped section were asked to answer six additional questions
about their perception of the videos. The tests positively confirmed that students in both sections
increased their informational literacy skills. However, the tests did not conclusively confirm if the flipped
model had a negative or positive effect on the students learning. The professor did integrate another
component that helped to clarify the results somewhat. The culminating assessment for students in both
sections was a research paper using a minimum of five sources. Upon grading these pieces, it was noted
that students in the flipped session, the ones who watched the videos, used more peer reviewed,
scholarly journals while students in the traditional class cited more websites. An informational
feedback survey was also administered and it revealed that 79% of students found the videos to be helpful
in conjunction with the face-to-face session.
Opinions
Despite the fact that the pre/post test didnt conclusively support the use of the flipped model, the
fact that the professor noted the significant difference in the sources used for the research paper was very
helpful. It appears, based on the results of the study that the videos proved useful to the students overall
understanding of the concept. The idea that only one flipped session can make an impact on student
achievement is definitely a selling point in terms of integrating in into the classroom; however, it would
have been helpful if the facilitators of the study had included a second session to what impact that would
have made. It really is difficult to ascertain if a pedagogical approach works after just one
implementation. This study did include student perceptions of the effect the flipped model had on
learning which was very beneficial. Student feedback, while sometimes skewed, is integral and provides
a level of ethos that cant be achieved by simply providing facilitator commentary.

The Flipped Instructional Model

Using Digital Media to Enhance Literacy By Michael S. Moylan


Summary
Michael Moylan, a 4th grade teacher in Illinois, conducted an informal study to assess how digital
media helped refine the literacy skills of his students. Throughout the semester, Moylan had his students
complete writing assignments that were narrative or biographical. Instead of simply having his students
write these pieces, he took the assignment further and had students create videos to present their
narratives or biographies. His students, and students in other classes, were provided with the opportunity
to watch the videos and Moylans theory was that this would have an impact on the literacy education of
all students. His goal was to determine if students had the skills to create the videos and he wanted to
weigh the impact the digital media had on students ability to read, write, think critically, and problem
solve.
Method
Moylan doesnt go into great detail about his methodology for this study. He describes one
assignment in which students had to create a video of a mock interview between two individuals they
researched. He provides a clear definition of literacy and explains how digital technologies allow
students to apply their literacy skills to real-world problems and publish their work to a global
audience.
He mentions several studies related to digital video and literacy throughout the article. In 1999,
a study was conducted by the Center for Research on Literacy and found that by increasing digital media,
third graders increased their understanding of adjectives and the importance of setting and mood.
Another study he references is one conducted in a school in San Francisco. Students were tasked with the
challenge of interviewing a Holocaust survivor and creating a video of their interview. This assignment
was given in lieu of reading full-text narratives about the Holocaust. Moylan notes that not only did this

The Flipped Instructional Model

assignment provide a richer, deeper understanding about the Holocaust, it provided a public serve creating
a meaningful engagement with the world outside.
Moylan does supplement his claim with a form of counter-argument and acknowledges in his
piece that there are limitations in terms of how and when using digital media is appropriate and relevant.
He points out that the creation of videos wont work with every concept in a particular curriculum;
additionally, he notes that many school systems lack the financial resources to allocate for educational
technology and many educational professionals lack the knowledge to effectively teach students how to
use the technology.
Results
Moylans results werent clearly defined, but he does mention several observations he has made
about his students who have incorporated digital video into his course verses those who have not. He
asserts that the creation and publication of student-directed videos has prompted his students to richer
visual description, increased communication skills, higher levels of focus, and greater student interest.
He doesnt provide statistical data, but in the conclusion of the piece he strongly advocates for the
integration of digital media in the classroom to strengthen {students} comprehension, writing, and
critical thinking skills.
Opinion
This piece was fairly informative. It would have been more powerful if Mr. Moylan had included
some data from his own classroom. Asserting that a change in the way you asses your students increased
comprehension is easy, but without facts, its really difficult to determine if that one change really made
an impact. Im also curious to know if he changed anything else about his course; if so, its possible that
the integration of videos had very little to do with the increase in literacy. In addition, he should have
included some student testimonials to give the piece a little more ethos. A teachers perception of success
is oftentimes different than a students.

The Flipped Instructional Model

Flipping Reading Lessons at a Title I School By Joe Corcoran


Summary
In this article, school administrator Joe Corcoran explains how the school he works at
incorporated some flipped strategies into each classroom in order to enhance reading instruction and
overall literacy skills. Corcoran provides an overview of how the program was implemented in the
school, and clarifies the roles of both the teachers and the parents. He argues that all appropriate parties
(administrators, students, teachers, and parents) needed to understand their role and purpose and fulfill
their obligations in order to make the flip a success.
Method
The first place administrators at this Title I school began was with their school-wide reading
scores. There was a critical need to address reading deficiencies of students, but they also knew that they
need to combat the low level of parental involvement with the school. These were the steps they took to
creating their flipped reading program. First, they selected a school-wide reading software program that
was web-based and could be accessed by every student. Next, they created a parent-liaison position
within the school to help bridge the gap and increase communication between the two. Because the
school has high rates of poverty among students, the school secured resources of computers and tablets
for student use at school and partnered with local YMCAs and public libraries to provide access to
technology outside of school. Additionally, the school held mandatory parent meetings to show parents
how to use the reading software their students would be using. Parents were held accountable for
ensuring that their students fulfilled the obligations of the weekly reading assignments.
Results
Mr. Corcoran doesnt provide any specific statistical data on the results of their school-wide flip initiative,
but he does assert that the program has resulted in improved academic outcomes, a greater sense of

The Flipped Instructional Model

collaboration between school and community, and a heightened level of parental engagement. He also
claims that the flipped reading lessons have created a more active learning environment and that students
are thinking more critically and at higher levels.
Opinion
This article was interesting, but very vague and lacked specificity as to the program that was used
and the implementation of the flipped lessons. There was no information on how teachers presented the
flipped model to their elementary students and that would have been helpful to other educators wanting to
bring this idea into their schools. Additionally, there was no statistical data to drive either the need for the
flipped approach or the results of the flip. The integration of parents into the learning equation was
practical and necessary. Education rarely works if everyone isnt on the same page. Getting parents
involved is key to student buy-in and provides another layer of support for teachers and administrators.

The Flipped Instructional Model

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Uses of Digital Tools and Literacies in the English Language Arts Classroom By Richard Beach
Summary
Professor Beachs article focuses on the premise that digital tools such as computers, tablets, cellphones, and e-readers profoundly impact students abilities to comprehend a piece of text and think
critically about it. He asserts that students are engaged in using these devices and integrating them into
the language arts classroom provides a higher level of engagement than with just the print text alone.
Beach also advocates for the integration of school assessments and real-world communication. His
premise is founded on the idea that students constantly use digital tools for communication purposes i.e.
Facebook, texting, instant messaging, Twitter; teachers should embrace students proficiency with these
communication tools and integrate them to support their curriculum.
Method
The article isnt based on one particular study that analyzed the impact of digital tools on a group
of students literacy skills. Instead, Beach weaves in statistical data from varying sources to prove his
theories. He begins his article by providing statistical data on adolescent use of technology. The fact that
teenagers spend more than 53 hours per week using digital tools provides excellent rational for
incorporating these tools into the learning process. Beach also references a number of studies that
support his claim; several of the educational experiments mentioned utilized the flipped classroom model
to increase student literacy. One example Beach provides takes place in a Detroit high school that moved
from a traditional teaching model in English language arts classes to a flipped classroom approach. The
article includes a wide array of statistics and field study data, but it also includes practical uses for digital
tools in the language arts classroom. Beach lists several websites, and other web-based tools that can be
used to enhance writing. Additionally, he addresses how to weave videos, online gaming, and other
multimodal forms of communication into a course that is heavily concentrated on reading and writing.

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Results

Since the article doesnt focus on one particular study, the results of the article come together in a
piecemeal fashion. In terms of the data Beach provides, the numbers overwhelmingly support the
integration of digital media into education. The Detroit school mentioned in the section above saw their
9th grade English failure rates drop by 33%. He references a laptop program instituted in a middle school
in Maine and the data from this study shows there was a significant increase in students writing score,
with students who reported high computer use score significantly higher than did students reporting little
laptop use. He concludes his argument with a review of 53 studies on the uses of video podcasts and
purports that students benefited. From simply watching videos, students increased learning performance
and improved study habits. The results Beach presents should cause educators to reflect on how
frequently digital literacy plays a role in their teaching.
Opinion
The statistical data provided in the article was very useful and persuasive. Mr. Beach did a great
job of not only providing information about why digital tools are so important to students in this digital
age, but he also provides some very relevant ideas for use in the language arts classroom. The flipped
classroom studies he mentions are very powerful in terms of advocating for this model of teaching.
Including a few practical strategies specific to language arts classrooms and the flipped model of teaching
would have been more helpful. Additionally, it may have been helpful for Mr. Beach to address a few
counter-arguments that may arise from teachers who dont see the value in incorporating digital tools into
learning.

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References

Beach, R. 92012). Uses of Digital Tools and Literacies in the English Language Arts Classroom.
Research in the Schools, 19(1), 45-59.
Corcoran, J. (2013). Flipped Reading Lessons at a Title I School. School Administrator, 70I(3), 22-23
Millard, E (2012). 5 Reasons FLIPPED Classrooms Work. University Business. 15(11), 26-29.
Moylan, M. S. (2010). Using Digital Video to Enhance Literacy. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 38(4),
26.
Wilcox Brooks, A. (2014). Information Literacy and the Flipped Classroom. Communications in
Information Literacy, 8(2), 225.