The Flipped Learning Approach: How can it meet adult learners’ needs?

About 30 folks in Region II have been investigating the Flipped Learning Approach  (also called the Flipped Classroom Approach) as a tool to support high quality adult education instruction.  (Click here for a quick  overview of the flipped approach.) Through a professional development event modeled on the flipped approach, participants have completed pre-webinar activities  (four 2-page readings, watched 2 short videos, & completed a pre-survey), participated in a discussion-based webinar customized to their pre-survey responses, and are now trying out components of the flipped approach in their own AE practice.

We are excited – and want to expand the discussion to the national adult education field!  Please ask questions, post resources, and share your thoughts via this thread on the flipped learning approach.

As part of the RPDC II professional development event, participants have committed to contribute to this national discussion by posting  reports on their follow up projects – what they are experiencing and learning as they research, create, and implement instruction aligned to the flipped approach.  Note that many are starting *slowly* - it may not look like a “flip” as many describe it, but it is a move in that direction!

We would really like to hear about examples of how folks have been using flipped learning/teaching components with the adult education population – in any venue: GED, ABE, ESL/ESOL, ect.  Please share with us your experiences in any of the following:

  • Shifting from lecture/passive learning in class to active, hands-on applications of learning in class
  • Creating instructional recordings for learners to watch at their own pace, time and place.
  • Increasing students’ independent learning time outside of class – focused on learning new concepts/skills  (what you would normally lecture/demonstrate) and not on independent practice tasks.  How did you encourage them to ‘do homework?’ How did you ‘hold them accountable’ ?
  • How do you design 'outside of class' activities when student tech access is low? How did you accommodate for this?

Please join us in building a knowledge-base for adult education on the flipped approach!


More research supporting principle of the flipped approach to learning: from the Chronicle of Academe (focused on post-secondary education):

Active Learning Is Found to Foster Higher Pass Rates in STEM Courses

Here is a good link to the formal research article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (I couldn't get the link in the article to work):

From over on the OER discussion, David Rosen posted a great resource for editing videos via a mobile device - when only a small part of a larger video is helpful, or when you want a bit of each of two different ones.

Excerpt from David's Comment:  This is a comparison chart created by Richard Byrne, at of eleven free or inexpensive mobile apps for creating and/or editing videos.  [To read all of David's comment: ]

David has another great resource re: finding and using videos with adult learner here:



I'm rather excited about this upcoming task.  I plan to assign students several very short videos on integers to watch prior to coming to class.  I'm in the process of developing an interactive group activity that will tell me whether students grasp the concept of integers or not.  Because I'm still in the formative phase of this lesson,  I'm not sure where I'm going next with this.  Thank goodness my students don't resume classes until June 2nd!

Thanks Denise for your posts - you get a virtual Gold star for being the first Region 2 webinar participant to post a report on their follow-up task!

Have you selected the 2-3 integer videos that you plan to use with your students? If so - I'm sure folks would love it if you shared the direct links to those specific videos!

I feel that if I would have implemented the flipped approach early on in my instruction, it would have been successful.

I used the flipped approach for two lessons (reading and math). I wanted to increase my students' independent learning outside of the classroom.

The reading lesson was very low tech (students were encouraged to use any means within their access) to obtain the definitions of ten words. The results were low. About 10% of the students came prepared. I turned the lesson into a group activity. I choose not to facilitate because the majority of the class needed instruction.

The math lesson related to the use of the distance formula. Students were expected to use the website to search for instruction on the distance formula. Again, students returned unprepared.

I could have done a lot better in applying the flipped approach: given the specific terms for the search engine in the math website and given the reading worksheet as homework.

Julissa - thank you for posting!  (I initially got you confused with Irene - your e-mail addresses start the same).

Re: your experiences above - don't despair!  Even if you feel it wasn't a success, the important thing is that you tried it out.  Now you can examine your results and adjust. As I noted in my post re: "What should out of class activities look like"  you may have designed a flip that was "too fast" for your learners - or your activities may have been more application/practice than lecture/content learning.  I do encourage you to try again - focusing this time on really *easy* tasks with 'low risk' for your student.

Here is one idea I had re: vocabulary words - Ask your students to review the printed 'formal' definitions of 3 words and to be ready to explain them in their own words to a partner the next day. Assign different words to different students, and then during class time, pair up those who are prepared  - one partner has a blank sheet with the words and takes notes while the other "explains the definition aloud."  They take turns until both have 6 completed definitions.  If time/possible, mix folks up to get 9 or even 12 words defined.   Those that are unprepared must complete the task of 3 definitions alone, but when done, can become part of a pair thereafter. [Not only helps them learn the words, but also to take notes from "oral lecture."]  This way the "practice" and understanding work is done with a peer support (and you in the room to assist as needed).

One thing the flipped learning network emphasizes is the need to focus out-of-class activities on *critical concepts*. So another thing to keep in mind when designing this activity for flip is to choose KEY vocabulary words to math, science, social studies or language learning activities. Ones you feel learners really NEED to understand in order to grasp other concepts/ideas.

.  This is my follow up to the May 9th webinar in LINCS, The Flipped Approach, supporting adult learners.  The take away for me from this webinar is to try many new ideas for flipping the learning experience.  There is not just one way to incorporate this approach.  I plan to send material home with my learners and use classtime to go over trouble areas.  I also plan to do a group lesson on Essay Writing where we can all build one essay as a group to facilitate different ideas and help build skills on thesis statements, good sentence structure and punctuation, using more descriptive parts of speech and keeping on topic.  I figured that building one essay as a group will help me infer who has problems with the writing process and where we need to support them with extra help.  I also plan to introduce OERs into our library of tools that students can use to study on their own from home.  I am building a list of supportive free resources to post on our ABE website.  It was a pleasure to participate in the webinar, many thanks!


Cheryl Argona

Thanks to everyone who has posted to this discussion – there are some exciting things going on!

In response to an e-mailed question, I wanted to send everyone a reminder/clarification on
“What should ‘out-of-class’ activities look like in the flipped approach?”

Answer: First of all - we noted that there are many different ways to do the flip - so outside of class activities may look very different from class to class. We also noted that they don't HAVE to be video (that's just the current cool thing). The definitions we looked at, however, all agreed that the core of the flipped approach is: “moving direct instruction – lecture – outside of class time” and “spending ‘in-class time’ on application activities" – what we think of as traditionally assigned for practice or homework.

So: ‘Outside of class activities’ should be “lecture-like” – explanations, demonstrations, content-learning, review of vocabulary definitions, etc. – via text, audio recording or video. You may also have a quick assessment to determine if they read it – if they grasped the main points – but this should be very simple and short – like “write down (or e-mail, or post) what you feel is most important from this video/slideshow/recording/reading”.  The idea is to shift exposure to “new ideas” outside of class, and do the hands-on practice/application activities relating to those new ideas IN class – where teachers and peers can assist during practice.

For many of our learners unused to doing outside of class work – remember our caution to take it slowperhaps way slower than you think.  In the beginning tasks/activities for your learners should be easy and quick to complete – 5-15 minutes long (motivation through seeing success!).  Once they are more comfortable with doing work outside of class - have begun to build a habit of independent learning - you can ask them to start watching/reading/listening to longer  or more complex material...but remember that a flipped approach means that the application/practice activities (like the exercises we all remember doing as 'home-work') should still be done IN class - where supports (peer and/or instructor) are available.

Some examples of 'outside of class' activities for a SLOW starts to the flipped approach:

  • “Tomorrow we are going to talk about three-dimensional shapes in geometry.  Before next class, please read this sheet with definitions of the 5 most common  3-D geometric shapes. Next to each definition, write down something in your home or community that you think has this shape.  Should take you maybe 15 minutes - tops!"
  • “Read this paragraph on why it is important to have a separate e-mail account for school, and review the step by step guide for setting up a G-mail account - just one side of a piece of paper!  Write down any concerns you have with this process on the back of the sheet and bring them in to class with you tomorrow.  BONUS: Set up your e-mail on your own before class and earn a tech badge on the class leaderboard!”
  • “Outside of class, review this short slide show on fractions and time – fractional parts in hours, minutes, and seconds. [Available online - 2 minutes long - or in print format.]  On this sheet (or Google Doc), take a quick 3 question short-answer quiz on the material and bring it in to class (submit it before class).  YES - you are encouraged to use the slide show to answer the quiz questions!"

A key idea of the flipped approach is that the “outside of class” activities should be the more typically passive, ‘low risk’ learning activities – the things where the instructor was usually the one doing all the talking. IN class, the instructor’s role is now more that of a facilitator, helping students as they work to apply the ideas presented outside of class.

Thanks for the great question - it really highlights an important component of the flipped approach!

Sorry for being away and late to the flipped learning party. As Duren and others have commented, flipping learning can work with more than just video.  That said,  I should share New England College Transition Network's findings from a pilot, Linking Flipped Learning with Mobile Learning

Steve Quann

World Education, Inc

I received this follow-up task report on 5/19/14 from Belvia Brock, ELA Coordinator, BPCC Middle College Bossier Parish Community College College Transitions Program, Bossier City, LA. She approved me posting a summary of her tasks to this thread.

Belvia applied elements of the flipped approach in two ways since the webinar on May 9th: 1) for professional development - an 'experimental implement' with her colleagues, and 2) designed a lesson plan for students enrolling in fall classes.

1) In her experimental PD with colleagues, Belvia shifted what would usually have been part of a face-to-face tech training to a 'distance' or independent activity.  She created 4 short 'lessons'  - in text only - no pictures - relating to getting started in a software tool (Skills Tutor) - a) logging in/creating unique password, b) creating classes and enrolling students; c) creating and giving assignments; and d) accessing reports & customizing class pages with a unique icon.  While teachers were working through these tasks independently, support was delivered as needed via one-to-one e-mail/phone and face-to-face tutorial assistance from Belvia as well as via 'e-feeds' (group discussion tool?) already established by the college for these teachers.  Now that these 'basics' have been dealt with at each instructor's individual pace, face-to-face training can be more focused and individualized to each instructor's needs.  While this may not 'look' like a typical flip, it does have some of the key elements - customized, fostering technology integration, and independent learning, and shifting the focus of face to face instruction to more in-depth instruction.

2) Her lesson plan for students focuses on their Advancing Opportunities program where "students are working concurrently for Hi-SET certification and earning college credit via online resources."  Her objective: Students will create an email account to be used for the purposes of classroom instruction and follow-up communications with instructor or classmates (CCRS Anchor 6, Writing Strand).  She has been surprised to discover, in the past, " learn just how many adults do not have email accounts of any kind and for whom computers can appear monsters to be avoided."  The assignment asks students to read and follow a step by step guide to creating a Google account specifically for school purposes - before they come to class the 1st day (but after they have been through orientation - where this task has been discussed.)  Again, help is available from Belvia for students who struggle with this task independently via a helpline/online contact form.  Once in class, Belvia plans to ask them to use their new account to access a Google doc  and type in some basic information/answers to simple questions.  This supported hands-on experience will build tech skills she can then use to assess completion and understanding of other flipped assignments later in the year.

We plan to try the following Flipped Approach with a basic mathematics concept:

  • (outside of class) Students watch the Tutorial Video "Basics of Percent" found here:
  • Students are placed in small discussion groups in class to complete one of three worksheets downloaded from
    • "Convert fractions to hundredths"
    • "Convert decimals to percents"
    • "Convert percents to decimals"

The approach will be used in a mixed-level classroom, with an experienced teacher who has almost exclusively taught English/Language Arts but is now responsible for teaching all subjects. Hope to implement next week. More feedback later!

My flipped lesson will be on the four operations involving integers.(CS703) 

Prior to the lesson students will be given a syllabus explaining what the assignment entails. 

Objectives:TSW: observe 3 videos;apply what they learned to basic integer problems;solve word problems involving integers;apply technology skills in completing assigned tasks.  

Materials: Lesson syllabus, Internet access, Worksheets taken from and

Procedure: Students will access . The site needs no username or password making it very student friendly.  Students should click on "free online lessons" link.  From there students will scroll down until they get to "Go to Lessons 101-120"  Once there students will watch video lessons 101, 102a, and 102b.  Larry will explain the processes to follow in adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing integers.  Total video viewing time: 22 minutes. Note-taking is strongly encouraged.

In class, the next math day, students will break into small groups and be given review worksheets taken from the same site.  The teacher will observe student interaction and will step in only when necessary.   Students will then, in the same small groups, solve word problems involving integers.  These word problem worksheets will come from Again, the teacher will observe student interaction.

As a homework follow-up, the teacher will email students a few integer problems to be completed by a certain date.  In this same email, the teacher will ask the students to give feedback on how they felt about this lesson. The teacher may need to start the feedback with questions like, "Was this assignment difficult for you to complete outside of class?" etc. Students are to email their responses back to the teacher.

For those students who do not have internet access, the teacher will have the videos ready to view 30 minutes prior to class time.  The homework assignment will be given to these same students on paper along with the feedback questions. 

Evaluation: Teacher observation, Student responses, Group and independent work

This lesson will not only make students accountable for their learning, but will also give them a sense of freedom in that they won't have to learn the skill just during class time but can examine the skill more closely out-of-class as well.  The lesson will also address the different learning styles. It will also provide the student with a way to communicate with the teacher outside of the classroom.  This may be beneficial to those quiet or shy students.

FYI:  I hope to implement this lesson in June after the students return to class.

  I've got some integer explanations online at   (also no login, but right now no "work" except some problems on the last slide).   I'm trying to get away from online and work on my Image removed. "app of doom" :)   I've got the slider working... now I have to try to think visually... not easy for this word nerd! 

Hi Duren and everyone!  It is so exciting to see this activity around flipped learning.  I wanted to share that the Flipped Learning Network (FLN) has just come out with a document that provides a formal definition of flipped learning, as well as a checklist of 11 indicators that teachers can use to see if they are implementing all the elements that go into a flip:   Check it out!

Also, FlipCon14, the seventh annual flipped learning conference is coming up next month.  It will be held in Pittsburgh - right where COABE was this year.  There are group rates for a discount if you get together with others and come to the conference.  You can go in person or attend virtually, which I did two years ago.  They have an awesome virtual interface where you feel like you are in the presentation room - you see everything in the room and have a live chat where you can ask questions - a special virtual moderator asks the presenter your questions for you.  And - you have six months of access to the sessions in case you could not attend at that exact time.   Here is the link for more info: .

You can contact me with any questions as I am a board member of the FLN and represent adult and higher education concerns.


Helaine W. Marshall, Long Island University-Hudson Campus - Director of Language Education Programs


Helaine,  Thanks for your comments-we're excited about this conversation as well!  Thanks for the post of the Flipped Learning definition and indicators.  These were part of the pre-readings for the flipped webinars event-and part of the webinar discussions as well. In addition, David Rosen just started a Group for adult educatiors on the Flipped Learning Network Ning.  I'm looking forward to attending FlipCon14 virtually - while the sessions are heavily weighted towards k-12 applications, I think there is a lot we can draw on and modify for adult literacy education.

Leigh, several folks on this thread have posted how they will integrate the flipped approach with their ESL learners. 

flipped learning in an ESL class - Paul Rogers

Flipped Learning & Wikispaces for ESL learning - Stephanie Gresham

In addition, Loretta Pedrami who participated in the LINCS RPDCII Flipped learning event  has provided me with this idea to share:

"My first summer session (June, 2014) "Community Resources" will begin on June 2.  I will be following my standard lesson plans and utilizing ESL EL Civics internet site to access civics materials (videos, lessons, worksheets, readings, etc.for  a flipped classroom experience.  This El Civics website ( provides a Civics Lesson of the day and a Civics Question of the day (which will be specified to the class each week), leaving classroom time for discussion and any appropriate practice required.  This site also provides lessons on lifeskills (banking will be addressed in the second week of June), geography, the fifty states, health and nutrition (to be used in the second summer session (July, 2014)."

My class is already out for the summer, so I have a few months before I will be able to try the flipped approach in my classroom.  With my students, I think that starting out small will benefit them the most.

Part of our GED curriculum is getting them college or career ready by discussing the differences between a dream and a goal.  Instead of doing the lesson like I have always done, I think I will have the students research their future major or career at home.  That way it will free up class time to work on a group project identifying the steps needed in turning their "dream" into a "goal."  In addition, I think I will spend the summer creating a few PowerPoints with our classroom's anchor charts.  This way students will be able to work at their own pace and will have a constant reminder of skills being covered in class.

Sarah, great place to start-revamping an existing lesson as a flip!  

​Assuming your learners are higher level, a great place to start might be to have them read about some dreams of others at home (or listen to speeches/watch videos). You could even send different readings/dreams home with each person, and have them share / discuss the dreams in small groups when in class. This would lead nicely into articulating (and even enhancing their dreams)

Then, when they've got a topic, you could have them watch or read about effective online search techniques out of class, providing supported time in class to  start the research process. They can take printouts of pages or lists of found links home to read/review and then return to class ready to write -again in a supported setting.  (all the while you'll.have great opportunities to learn about them and their skill levels in multiple levels!)

i know it's a ways off- but it would be great to hear back on how this goes for you!

I have run across a book that might help kick start your flipping efforts.  The name of the book is Blend:  In seven days or less successfully implement blended strategies by Dr. Jenny Hooie.  It is very short, but full of great ideas to blend or flip your classroom.  She includes clever methods of reaching the students, lots of encouragement, and a great list of resources for getting the job done.

Dr. Hooie's definition of a blended class fits with the flipped class definition nicely.  Her definition is:  "Blended learning is a combination of multiple instructional strategies that combine face-to-face instruction with a mix of online, real-world and explorative learning opportunities."  The flipped definition according to Aaron Sams & Jonathan Bergamann follows what most of us envision the flipped classroom to be and that is to have students do what is traditionally done in the classroom at home and do what is considered homework at school.  Blend encourages "meeting" students and teaching them through things like Skype, Goto Meeting & Google Hangout.  This would also allow interaction with the students and no one has to be in the same place.  She addresses teacher made videos, free online resources, and more costly packages that could be purchased by a group or school district, all of which could be used for flipping.

One of the best parts about the book is the encouragement she offers.  This advice is valuable for flipping and echoed in Sams' and Bergamann's book, Flip your Classroom, Reach Every Student Every Day.  The best advice in both books is to START SMALL & JUST DO IT!  Start with one lesson, offer it to students, get some feedback, learn from mistakes, & move to the next lesson.  Hooie strongly encourages using resources that have already been created (& there are a lot of them out there).  This seems like wise advice, indeed.

There is an entire chapter called "Free Apps, Tools and Resources."  This chapter includes content & curriculum, as well as online tools to make and post or upload videos.  There are sites that you can use to create a social media sort of place for your students to meet or places to post assignments.

The webinar, articles, and books have encouraged me to take a fresh look at the videos that I have downloaded & the lessons that I have already made.  I'm going to start using these things less for re-teaching & review and more for introducing new concepts & lessons.  My little Wikispaces website is going to take on a new life!

I spent the beginning of this week at the Illinois Faculty Summer Institute, and one excellent session was about the "before and after" of trying to re-design courses, including the unintended consequences.   One of these was students feeling like the teacher wasn't doing his/her job; that they were supposed to teach themselves. One of the professors said that what had worked well in one place was to pick one unit, "flip" it... and then analyze things...  and also to explicitly show and tell how to "teach yourself."   

     Our lunch speaker expressed that he thought flipped learning was going to fade away pretty quickly because of the tendency for teacher response to "um, I didn't get a chance to ..."  would be to quickly summarize and not hold students accountable, just as teachers have done with other forms of homework.   He then offered constructive ways to encourage and facilitate doing that homework and holding people accountable for it... 

Students already have email addresses and we regularly use them for a "dialogue journal" of sorts with very informal writing. I would like to practice more formal writing and begin with using the writing process. We would start small, with paragraphs, not entire essays. This is only a potential lesson plan since class is almost over for the summer.
  Before I introduce the idea in class, I'd have the students read over a chart outlining the writing process (such as this one: ) and as their assignment outside of class, email me a summary, or possibly even just something they learned or found interesting about the writing process. Maybe even just did they know any of these steps beforehand and/or already use some of these steps to write.
  The next day in class, we would, as a large group, brainstorm and then write a paragraph about a topic. For homework, I would have them look at the paragraph we wrote as a class and write down any ideas for revision they have to share with the rest of the class the next day.
  Class day 2, we would work together to revise the paragraph. Students would then write their own paragraphs about a topic using the writing process. If they do not finish in class, they will finish for homework.

Day 3 would be peer editing and then revision of their paragraphs, which will be typed up and emailed to me either by the end of the lesson or that evening for their homework.

Day 4, I would have everyone's paragraphs available to read (either as a handout or on the computer) and students would have small group discussions about how the writing process felt and what they learned from the experience.

After getting feedback on some ideas for a beginner FLIPPED assignment, I decided to try the following:

Students will get an introduction to basic mathematics through internet-based on-line courses at Bossier Parish Community College.  "Open Campus" is on the website and offers free, non-credit developmental courses in Math and English.  The courses are videotaped and taught by BPCC faculty.  No textbooks are used,  no grades are given and there is no direct interaction between the student and instructor.  Students work at their own pace and may review lectures and retake quizzes as many times as needed to master the material. 

I will use "Open Campus" to help my students integrate technology into their educational experience.  They will feel more connected to the college community of which our program is a part.  After studying the learning module assigned, I will have the students work together in groups to practice the skills learned.  They will have my e-mail address for any questions they may have regarding the website, instructions, or the lesson. 

I have a handout for each student with specific instructions on how to register to access "Open Campus." 

Hello All,

This past semester I had to utilize the flipped classroom quite a bit because I was out of the office.  I was nervous about how to do this because my classes are usually hands-on and interactive and I wasn't sure my learners would receive the same level of quality instruction or feel the same amount of engagement.  Boy, was I wrong!  I was bunch of work on my end because I didn't just want to link them to videos from the Khan Academy, TeacherTube, You Tube, etc.  So what I did was, I made my own short (less than 5 minutes) videos using Snag-it (screencast software) and my tablet.  In addition, I created discussions/journal assignments such as: Pretend that your friend from class was gone on the day I discussed (insert mathematical concept), in your own words explain to them how you do these types of problems.

It was an adjustment to the learners but they did well.  They didn't seem to mind doing the work outside of the class and then coming to discuss or work on what it was that they had learned online. I am not sure if I flipped the class for the entire it would be engaging but I am comfortable doing it in short spurs.


Hi Brooke,

I wonder if any of these math videos you have made are available online, or if you could put some/all online. I think this could be inspiring for other math teachers who may be thinking of making their own videos (including screen capture videos) for their students. Two advantages of the teacher-made video approach are that the videos can be perfectly tailored to the students' needs and the teacher's/program's curriculum. The biggest disadvantage, as you have mentioned, may be the amount of time it might take to prepare them. In some cases teacher-made videos, especially by adult education teachers with lots of experience and who have reflected on teaching math, may also be better quality. 

I know that Susan Jones has made some math videos -- and I think and hope she is planning more. Anyone else here making their own math videos? Would you be willing to share links here so we can look at them?

To get the ball rolling, you will find a few ABE math professional development videos -- authentic classroom videos that my colleague and I have made of two adult numeracy teachers -- at  and


David J. Rosen


I'm guessing that one of the reasons your flipping experiences worked so well is because you know your students and exactly where they are in their understanding of math concepts.  I sometimes use videos in my ABE math class as part of my lesson, but always with a heavy finger on the pause button to allow for questions, speculation, and explication. What I'd find difficult to replicate in a video flip is that moment when I see one student's look of puzzlement, and another's look of the light bulb coming on, and the lesson branches from there into a discussion so that we make sure everyone "gets" it.  Maybe this is simply a difficulty with having such a multi-level group of students.

I find that some students like to do "unflipped" online practice at home after I've presented a lesson in class--and that allows them to take as much time as they need to master new skills and concepts while getting immediate feedback on whether or not they're getting it right.


I delivered a series of webinars to help instructors become more familiar with changes and similarities of the 2014 GED test. Each of the sessions lasted less than an hour and a hour. As of now, they are accessible through a recording, but really need to be updated to include details that have surfaced since the 2014 test series went live earlier this year. For that series, there was not any pre-work and the only post-work was a brief ten question assessment, but that’s not really what I would consider “post-work” when it comes to the flipped classroom approach.


I’m planning to update those webinar sessions and modify them to incorporate a flipped classroom approach. The primary audience going forward would be new instructors hired into an adult education program.


I’ll start the process by looking at my outline of what topics were covered and then see what can be pulled out and introduced in the form of pre-work. This would essentially provide learners with exposure to content before they attend the webinar. I’m thinking that I’ll do a comparison outline of what I’m planning so I can get a better feel for design and development process. This would be kind of like a before and after snapshot. I would include the topics to be covered and then associate them with the time projections of each approach.


Speaking of time, I know that I do not have time right now to do this research, but my next steps would be to identify what resources I plan to incorporate as far as the pre-work activities. This will take some research on my part to get out there and explore what’s available for incorporation. However, I am planning to keep my mind open as to what the pre-work could be, maybe as a short video, an online article, or even a blog entry like what we had the opportunity to experience as part of this professional development offering by LINCS.


The post work may be a survey that is designed to fit the content of a webinar, instead of the normal “did you like it or not” type of survey that some consider post work. In reality, the survey is just that, it’s a feedback instrument and as such used to collect participant comments and feedback about their learning experience. Post work will need to be designed so learners have the chance to progress the knowledge and skills they are exposed to in the webinar. I’m thinking about incorporating some sort of an action planning or next steps document for the learners to use.


The above are some of my ideas I wanted to pass along as part of the assignment and this engaging Flipped Classroom LINCS learning experience.

I did some research in the hopes of finding some material on the distance learning and flipped classroom concepts. I did not have much success. I plan (on my bucket list) to receive a PhD in Education, Curriculum and Instruction. This would be a great topic for a dissertation. I did find two articles, "The Flipped Classroom Strategy: What Is it and How Can it Best be Used?" and "Beyond The Flipped Classroom: Redesigning A Research Methods Course for e3 Instruction." Neither article melded the two concepts.

Here is a link for the first article and the reference information for the second article (obviously not in APA format): for "The Flipped Classroom Strategy: What Is it and How Can it a Best be Used? Mailman, Natalie B. Distance Learning 9.3 (2012): 85-87. 

"Beyond The Flipped Classroom: Redesigning A Research Methods Course for e3 Instruction." by Ellen S. Hoffman, Contemporary Issues In Educational Research - First Quarter 2014. Volume  7, Number 1. 

I have actually flipped two of my online courses and will be presenting on that topic at FlipCon14 in Pittsburgh June 23-25.  I would be happy to share that presentation with you (once it is ready!!).  I found that flipping online courses is a different process from flipping face-to-face, even though I still meet my online class in a virtual classroom with webcam and audio each week.  My courses are not Adult ESL, however.  One class is a methods of teaching literacy class and the other is a linguistics class.  In both cases, I record the material in advance in Adobe Presenter and give students specific questions to prepare or problems to consider based on my video presentation.  They may also have some reading to  do.  Then, in our virtual classroom, we discuss the material and they do problems together in the main room or in the breakout room.   There are also wikis, discussions, and other asynchronous activities in between our synchronous sessions.  I believe it can work well but I need to get the kinks out and that is what I will be addressing in my presentation at the conference.  I am excited about your interest in this topic and I do think it would be a great one for a dissertation - its time has come!  I think the key to flipping online is to include synchronous time for on the spot interaction.   


Helaine W. Marshall

LIU-Hudson   TESOL Director

Flipped Learning Network Board Member

I have been teaching a Multi-Level adult ESL class at a public library as a volunteer tutor since mid April. The students are mothers in their 40s and up, and many work during the week.

There are two scheduled classes and they last for 2 hours on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Each class is split into two sessions - the first in the computer lab studying PUMAROSA and lessons on YouTube, and the second session is spent in the 'live' classroom, with a focus on oral practice, especially on pronunciation and grammar. All students are also provided with appropriate textbooks to use in this class.

I would say that the class is flipped in two ways - during the two hours in the library and then at home, when many students go online to do "homework".

Due to cuts in adult education, the director of the program is contacting some local schools and agencies like Head Start to invite parents to attend the class at the library.

Now we are in the process of researching grants to acquire laptops, etc., for the class that will help as the attendance increases.

The laptops would also coincide with the library's Computers for Families program which provides refurbished computers to low income families through a local agency.

In my view the students'  interest level and the rate of learning is accelerated by using this model.

I also believe that this type of adult education, with the library as the center, can serve as a good example of a network of adult education programs, which I am sure is more fundable through grants. 






Stephanie Gresham, who participated in the RPDC II Flipped webinar event, provided this report for me to share

"My learners vary.  Sometimes I teach MultiLevel ESL, sometimes I teach High Level ESL, and I have also just piloted an ESL/ABE Transitions class.  I do already use the flipped approach when I teach my college courses (ENGL1301 Freshman Comp I andd ENGL1302 Freshman Comp II).

So, for my ESL learners, I have created a Wikispace that will allow me to post material for students to access prior to coming to class and I will also start giving students reading material so they can read prior to class. The ESL level determines what text I use and the length of the reading passages.  Lower levels would read one to two paragraphs worth of information,  Multi-Level may read a three to four paragraph article/short story, and my ESL/ABE students read entry college level short stories such as Sandra Cisneros' "Eleven."

For wikispace, students do not need a user ID and password to access the site.  I will provide them with the wikispace address and then they can access what I have created.  My wiki has YouTube videos, word lists in PDF, ESL interactive games, and other resources.  Depending on the assignment, they will interact in different ways.  I will not include my Wiki as part of the curriculum unless we have access to a PC lab and I can take my students through basic computer skills and teach them how to navigate. As far as tech support to learners - I am my only tech support team and students contact me via email and text."

Marc Ochoa, who participated in the RPDC II Flipped webinar event, provided this report for me to share:

My learners are high level (NRS Levels 5 & 6) native English speakers. In my classes I always try to incorporate a variation of activities to help reach each learning style of my students. The activities include lecture, group assignments, peer tutoring, technology programs, etc.  I try never to have a boring moment because we have 3 rounds of rotation per class. In the past several years I have always incorporated homework into my curriculum.  This allows each of my students to have a sense of responsibility.  The new element I've drawn from the Flipped PD event is incorporating technology into my students individual (out of class) work.  I have always used technology within my in class activities. 

My flip lesson incorporates a multi-day writing prompt activity. This is an important lesson due to writing being a weakness for many of my students.  Multiple writing assignments along with technology are needed to allow higher order thinking to be able to be developed independently.

Objective: Each student will web research for an article discussing the pros and cons of texting while driving.  After choosing their article they will read, brainstorm, develop a 4-corner outline, and type writing prompt.

Materials: Computer, internet access, white board, copy paper, printer

Procedure: Students will access the internet and web research.  Each student is to locate an article discussing pros and cons on texting while driving.  After reading the article twice they are to choose a proposition and print article for class. In class, we will brainstorm and compare/contrast each student’s article on the white board.  Next, each student will design a 4 corner outline.  The outline will include a thesis statement, 3 reasons incorporated from the article, and their own examples to help support their proposition. For homework, students will type their writing prompt on Microsoft word.  They are to email plus print a copy of assignment to bring to class.  The next class time we will use a checklist to grade each other’s prompts.

For students that do not have access to internet/printer they will be able to use library (location of class) at their own convenience.

Evaluation: Teacher observation, students writing prompt, checklist, and being able to type a 45 minute writing prompt on own successfully in time frame allowed.

This lesson is used to help students succeed in all writing prompts of the GED.  Also, technology is needed to succeed in receiving GED and in their future.  This flip activity can be repeated as many times as needed to help students succeed (Use a variety of topics).  Also, once a student has been successful with this activity many want to repeat activity over and over.

Preparation: Before I assigned this activity as multi -day flip activity we practiced each step together.
 1.) Web Research
 2.) Read article twice
 3.) Brainstorm
 4.) 4-Corner Outline
 5.) Typing writing prompt in Word
 6.) Email and Print
 7.) Checklist

Also, we do live debate activities to help brainstorming become second nature.
Results: Once the students were fully prepared many took off running with this activity and have been very successful.  I do believe this assignment is advanced but I have had great success.  The assignment prepares them for the writing prompt and gives them a great amount of confidence.  My students loved using the technology within the flip activity and felt like they were becoming better prepared for the future.

Have any programs used flipped learning in the context of volunteer tutors?  I know that having the ability to tutor one one one -- provides more flexibility than a classroom, but I was wondering whether the flipped concept has been used with adult ELL or basic reading students with tutors?


Sandy Newell



I think Flipped learning is perfect for volunteer tutors and have been using it in an ESL program at a library.

Here is the article I posted here just a while ago:

flipped learning in an ESL class

I have been teaching a Multi-Level adult ESL class at a public library as a volunteer tutor since mid April. The students are mothers in their 40s and up, and many work during the week.

There are two scheduled classes and they last for 2 hours on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Each class is split into two sessions - the first in the computer lab studying PUMAROSA and lessons on YouTube, and the second session is spent in the 'live' classroom, with a focus on oral practice, especially on pronunciation and grammar. All students are also provided with appropriate textbooks to use in this class.

I would say that the class is flipped in two ways - during the two hours in the library and then at home, when many students go online to do "homework".

Due to cuts in adult education, the director of the program is contacting some local schools and agencies like Head Start to invite parents to attend the class at the library.

Now we are in the process of researching grants to acquire laptops, etc., for the class that will help as the attendance increases.

The laptops would also coincide with the library's Computers for Families program which provides refurbished computers to low income families through a local agency.

In my view the students'  interest level and the rate of learning is accelerated by using this model.

I also believe that this type of adult education, with the library as the center, can serve as a good example of a network of adult education programs, which I am sure is more fundable through grants. 




In a recent PD initiative for adult ed teachers across the state, the trainers required all attendees to complete some pre-work reading assignments in advance of coming to the face-to face training. We opened the F2F trainings with a Jeopardy-style activity to serve as a quick review of the concepts learned in the pre-work.  It was quickly apparent that many of the teachers had not done the pre-work.  Much of the workshop was predicated on all participants having completed the pre-work.  Have those of you who use the flipped approach experienced this situation?   My question for the group is:  How do you, as teachers or trainers, manage the lesson/training when any or many of the participants didn't do the advance work?

Unfortunately, I've learned to assign the preview materials (documents, videos), but not to plan my workshop around the assumption that teachers will do them.  The only way I've found to increase the number of people who do the pre-workshop activities is to provide a checklist and follow-up SEVERAL times prior to the workshop to check on their progress, which is usually more time consuming than just planning the workshop to be self-contained.  Will that change as more younger teachers enter the field and older ones exit?  Maybe, but until I'm sure, I will continue to ask people to do some pre-conference reading / viewing, but not plan my activities around the completion of those activities.

Just my personal experience and thoughts.


Jane: My question for the group is:  How do you, as teachers or trainers, manage the lesson/training when any or many of the participants didn't do the advance work?

I have found that unless there is already a culture of Flipped PD (I hope that day will come for us all!), then it is best to be modest in our pre-work.  For my PD, here are the tasks I set up:

Watch a short video - about 7-8 minutes - in which I introduce myself and tell them about a student I will never forget and why.  Then I ask them in this video to come to the PD with a story - preferably written out - about a student they will never forget and why.   Then in the PD, they share the stories in a round-robin style group activity and write comments back to each other, based on prompts I provide designed to stimulate critical thinking about the stories, followed by discussion of what arose - commonalities, differences, etc.  We then post the stories up on our Wonder Wall (that is a PD strategy I use), so that during breaks and lunch, etc. they can all have a chance to see the ones they did not read.  This works even if they did not do a story because other people did.  Sometimes, two people can read the same story together.  It works out fine.

Respond to a survey - about 3-4 questions - in which I typically ask them what their most pressing issue is in their teaching (specified depending on the nature of the PD goals); what their setting/population is (again this changes depending on how they are in the same or different situations); a personal info question such as what city they live in or what their favorite place in the city is if they all live in the same one/what their favorite food is, etc. The last question is always a Yes/No asking whether or not they have ever participated in an online survey like this before.  I use Poll Everywhere, btw. Then at the workshop, I show the results of the survey up on the screen and it is quite cool for them to see that.  You can display the responses in a variety of formats.  The first two questions give me info I need to tailor the PD and also gets them thinking about what they will be working on.  I also post each issue identified (Yes I print, cut, paste, and  mount) on the Wonder Wall, so they can walk up to it to see each other's issues in closer detail.  This one works because if they did not respond, so what?  I get answers from the ones who did. 

For both the story and the issue, I give them a chance to add theirs during the training whenever they like - and post it on the Wonder Wall with the others.

I give them an optional item to read- usually a short article I wrote that is easily available online through a link.  Later on, I refer to the article and those who read it already can be the leaders of their group as they do an activity together.  

I keep it very positive and no pressure or guilt for anyone who did not do the pre-work.  Flipped PD is relatively new.  We are early adopters.