Month: May 2014

Flipped Primer – Part 5

Alright.  I have already talked a bit about flipped learning – what it is, how to do it, pros and cons, and tools for implementation.

This last installment is a set of examples of how flipped learning is being used in the workplace.  There are some cool uses in here so please read on!

New hire onboarding48_l

Think about the last time you were a new hire.  How was the onboarding process?  More than likely, it was a lot of manual reading and directions with very little application.

Lee and Recker tell the story of a US technology company that flipped this model. They used to hold a standard six hour classroom session for all new hires. Now the company immediately gives students access to a training application full of exercises completed with the help of a manual. The go-getters are able to complete this part of the training in just three hours. Of course, some follow up is needed, so a virtual one hour session is conducted to emphasize the key points, assess understanding, and answer remaining questions.

The outcome? Training time was decreased and retention was increased.

Sales Skills training

Lee and Recker also present a model for flipping sales training. I don’t know much about sales training – it’s not something I have ever done or participated in. But from what I gather, it usually requires sales people to leave work, travel somewhere, and sit in a classroom for a few days listening to a lot of  lecture and occasionally participating in some role playing (bleh).

2233425566_55ce200871_oThis flipped model for sales training looks a bit like flipped learning in college or a K-12 classroom.  It starts with some recorded lectures, then students answer questions and discuss the material in online forums. The live session can occur either face-to-face or virtually and is used to answer remaining questions and practice, practice, practice. A wonderful key feature of this model is that the collaborative tools used at the beginning (forums, or some other virtual tool) are also used after the synchronous session to support students in the field.

I love this model as it is a simple, low cost, effective way to switch up any kind of skills training.

Product training

I found a couple of great examples of how flipped learning can enhance training on how to use new products – an type of training where flipped learning really makes sense.

cat-244060_640Vayuvegula presents an example of a company switching up training on a new software product. Traditionally an instructor conducted a face-to-face training lecturing on what the software does and how to use it. In the flipped model, employees completed an eLearning course on product theory and were able to experiment with the product before a synchronous virtual session with an instructor. During that session, users asked questions and shared their experiences rather than listening to lecture. The learners found that the information was immediately applicable and tailored to their needs.

Sams and Bergmann share an example of how a hair care company is reconsidering how it trains stylists to use its products. The company usually conducts one day workshops for a new product where a trainer presents information in the morning and students practice on models in the afternoon. The company is looking toward a flipped learning model using instructional videos viewed prior to the event in order to give stylists more time to perfect their application of products.

Flipped webinar

One of my favorite examples I came across was this flipped webinar by Jane Hart. What she did was simple and had a great impact.

6736359515_7d6cfa0e3e_zJane didn’t want to host a typical webinar with very little up front information, then lots of talking during the event interspersed with some Q&A, maybe a poll or two. Instead she asked participants to read an article beforehand, do some exploration of the topic if they wanted, and leave questions and comments on a blog site. The comments and questions helped shaped her presentation, which was pretty informal. During the actual webinar she answered questions that were left on the blog, encouraged discussion, and integrated some collaborative activities.

Flipped Conferences

I don’t know about you, but every time I attend a conference there is at least one breakout session where I wished I had made a different choice.  738px-Socks_cat_1

Well, the Professional Convention Management Association hears our pain and is working on ways to encourage meeting planners to flip meetings and conferences. A key component to this is assisting presenters in creating short videos explaining what the session will cover in the hope that participants can better decide what sessions to attend. A great side effect of having some preview material is that sessions could be more interactive.


So that’s it!  Flipped learning in 5 nut shells.

If you have a great example or idea of how flipped learning can change up the corporate classroom, please share in the comments below.


And of course, some further reading:

Hart, J. (2011, December 11). The flipped (or social) webinar. Learning in the Social Workplace. [Web log]. Retrieved from

Lee, B. & Recker, J. (2013, May 23). How to apply the flipped classroom model for buisiness learning. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Sams, A. & Bergmann, J. (2014) Flipped learning: Maximizing face time. Training + Development, 68(2), 28-31. Can be found at

Vayuvegula, A. (2012, October 11). Have you heard of flipped classroom in corporate training? CommLab India Blog. [Web log]. Retrieved from

Vayuvegula, A. (2014, January 13). Key element for the success of flipped classroom concept in corporate training. CommLab India Blog. [Web log]. Retrieved from

Flipped Primer – Part 4

This week’s flipped primer installment just happens to correspond nicely with the Articulate eLearning Heroes challenge of the week – I love it when those things happen!

The Articulate challenge is to share your favorite eLearning tools. I shared a few of my favorites, and there is a wonderful list being compiled.

And in this week’s post I’d like to share some tools and strategies for flipping the classroom.  Some of those tools will overlap as eLearning can certainly be a part flipping. But I’ll also check out social media and collaboration tools and strategies for use in a face to face classroom.

(For more background on flipped learning check out my previous posts on what it is, how to do it, and some pros and cons.)

Tools for moving lecture out of the classroom

Many tools created specifically for flipped classroom use, such as sites with instructional videos or cloud based software that integrates several types of sharing and collaboration activities, are unfortunately geared towards a K-12 audience. However, there are a large number of tools that can be used to flip the classroom in the workplace. The table below shows a list of some commonly used tools that can be help instructors flip the corporate classroom. I compiled this list from my own experience and knowledge along with some help from the Regional Educational Media Center Association of Michigan, Edudemic, Adobe, and Bob Lee and Jim Recker.

Action Tool(s)

Create a video lecture


Screenr, (screencasting)
Powtoons (animated video creation)
Explain Everything, Screenchomp, ShowMe, Educreations (tablet apps)

Create an audio lecture


Create an interactive video
with knowledge checks


Articulate Studio or Storyline
Adobe Captivate or Presenter
Upload and share a video, audio lecture,
podcast, or other resources
(books, articles, job aids)


YouTube, Vimeo (non-interactive video)
iTunes (audio)
Box, Dropbox, Google Drive
LMS such as Moodle
Collect, curate, and share a list of resourcesdata29 Diigo
Create lessons with pre-made videoseducational1 TED-Ed
Quiz or poll learners


Poll Everywhere, Google Forms, Survey Monkey
Socrative, InfuseLearning, GoSoapBox (tablet apps)
LMS such as Moodle
Encourage collaboration, communication
or discussion; provide ongoing supportonline5
PBWorks, Wikispaces (wikis)
Collect student reflections


PBWorks, Wikispaces (wikis)
WordPress, Blogger (blogs)

Student-centered learning techniques.

I won’t delve too deeply into these, but it is important to note that in order to achieve higher order learning, flipped learning educators use student-centered techniques such as active learning.

Active learning is a broad category that includes several other techniques and methods where students are actively exploring and reflecting. It includes strategies like:

  • problem-based learning (where students focus on using resources to solve a problem)
  • experiments
  • preparing and delivering presentations
  • games
  • simulations

Active learning also includes peer-assisted learning techniques. Learners may work with their peers/colleagues during concept exploration or meaning-making by:

  • chatting online
  • responding to posts on a discussion board
  • using social media

They may work with peers in the classroom for engagement and application by:

  • collaboratively solving problems
  • cooperating to complete projects
  • peer tutoring so that students at different levels of understanding are actively engaged

A note about cooperative learning: individual accountability is key. Group projects which can be completed by one or two of the students in a group are not an example of cooperative learning. Rather, each student has a role that they must fulfill in order for the group to be successful. Group self-evaluation is also part of cooperative learning, making it more structured than other types of peer-to-peer learning techniques.


Do you have a favorite tool that should be added to this list?  Please share it here and I’ll tack it on!

Next up: The last installment… Examples of corporate flipping

In the meantime, here are some resources for a little extra reading.

Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013). The flipped classroom: A survey of the research. In ASEE National Conference Proceedings. Atlanta, GA. Retrieved from

Dunn, J. (2013, April 6). The 10 best web tools for flipped classrooms. Edudemic: Connecting Education & Technology. [Web log]. Retrieved from

Hamdan, N., McKnight, P., McKnight, K., & Arfstrom, K. (2013). A review of flipped learning. Retrieved from

Lee, B. & Recker, J. (2013, May 23). How to apply the flipped classroom model for business learning. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Partridge, A. (2013, August 28). What is a flipped classroom and how can it help me? Rapid eLearning: Adobe Presenter Blog. [Web log]. Retrieved from

Regional Educational Media Center Association of Michigan (REMC). (2013). 21 Things for Teachers. Retrieved from

Regional Educational Media Center Association of Michigan (REMC). (2014). 21 Things for iPads. Retrieved from

For Your Listening Pleasure

Picture1About 2 weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Chris Mangione, an instructional designer who produces a podcast series called Eye on ISD.

Each week Chris discusses a few ISD topics and interviews a guest in the field. We had a great time chatting and I’m thrilled to share our conversation, along with a candid pic of our setup.

This week’s podcast includes sections on managing your online presence, ASTD’s change to ATD, learning and neuroscience, and SMART goals.  Our interview starts about 21 minutes in.


Back to the Basics

After skipping a few weeks of Aritculate learning challenges, I hopped back in the saddle this week. This challenge was nerdily fun. David asked us to create an interaction about an instructional design principle and frankly, I had a hard time choosing!

I went with 4 part Learning Objectives and had some fun with it.

Why Learning Objectives?

I didn’t want to make a click and reveal this week. I needed more fun in my life.

I was doing a little brainstorming and thought about a Mr.Potato Head type of activity with the parts of learning objectives – where you could play around and nothing would be wrong!  That sounded fun.  So, LOs it was.

Visual Design

Once I decided on my topic, I wanted some color inspiration.  I literally googled “color palettes” and found this amazing website called Design Seeds.  Check it out if you ever need color inspiration.  Seriously!GlobalBrights_1

I have also been learning more about typography and wanted to go with a good two font combo for this project. I googled “font combinations” and came across another neat site, I Font You. I found some inspiration and was able to mimic a style combo I liked with fonts I already had. Orator Std and Rockwell made a nice pairing.

Instructional Slide

Since the content was the A-B-C-D format for learning objectives, designing my single instructional slide was easy.  I used large letters and introduced each concept in order. When you click on the concepts, you get more information.

I used a combination of “word art” and voice over to quickly explain each part of the objectives. Each explanation first gives a frequently used, but not very good, option(s) and then gives examples of how those can be improved.



Quick Quiz

I made a quick quiz question to check understanding.  It’s a pretty simple drag and drop, where you are choosing the best version of each of the 4 parts (audience, behavior, condition and degree). If you get it right, you get to continue to the “Mr. Potato Head” slide. If you get it wrong, you have to go back to the instructional slide.



The Fun Slide

Ok, so it’s no Mr. Potato Head really but I think this is kind of a fun way to get a little more exposure to the subject 🙂

Note that I used the same colors for each part of the objectives throughout.
Audience is always green, behavior is yellow, condition is orange, and degree is blue.



The Intro Slide

This slide I created last as I wasn’t sure until the end if I wanted to let folks skip to the fun slide.  But then I thought, why not?  Life is short, folks.



There it is! Go ahead and have some learning objective fun!

Flipped Primer – Part 3

Over the last two weeks, I have looked at what exactly it means to flip a classroom and a couple of flipped learning models.

Today, let’s look at the benefits and challenges of flipping.

Flipped learning can be really awesome!

Higher levels of engagement

If you’ve read my previous posts on flipped learning, you already know that instructors are able to spend classroom time on application and higher level learning rather than on lecture and other lower level thinking tasks.  So, rather than lecturing or even discussion time, students are solving problems, communicating 7230341756_6e05a567fa_babout the new material, and trying out new skills. Creativity is encouraged. By definition, passive learning cannot exist in a flipped classroom and therefore all students are actively involved in the learning process.

Support for every student

Flipped learning supports diverse learners more than most classroom settings. Instructors are able to provide multiple resources for pre-class time instruction such as videos and print materials, allowing students to gather information in a way that works best for them. Learners that are not native English (or other language) speakers, with little background in the subject area, or with learning disabilities are able to review the materials repeatedly and reflect on the information well before they are asked to use it in class.  Once in the classroom, an educator can utilize active learning techniques that allow students to move at their own pace and offer individualized support while floating between groups of learners.

boredomLess frustration and boredom

Learners are less likely to become frustrated or bored since they can consume lecture type materials at their own pace and instructors can revisit concepts, support learners as needed and offer instant feedback in the classroom.  Most students will benefit from a reduction in cognitive load by learning basic material in advance, instead of learning that knowledge in the same class where they are expected to apply it.  Advanced students are less likely to become bored if an instructor can offer advanced challenges or if they are used to assist students who need extra support.

Reduced costs, increased ROIone-69528_640

In a corporate setting benefits such as reduced travel costs, reduced opportunity costs, and increased practice time are possible. Both employees and managers may see an additional return on training time for employees if they are able to solve real problems in the training environment.

Ok, but there must be some downsides…


It’s not always appropriate

Just like every other tool in existence, flipped learning is not always the answer and a flipped classroom does not need to be flipped 100% of the time. Not all material works well in a flipped learning classroom and instructors must know when to use this model. AGreuter_Socrates flipped model works best when you need skill mastery or behavior change, it’s not so great if your course is inquiry based with little factual content, or if you’re Socrates.

Instructor time and skills

Flipped learning instructors need to be confident enough in both their subject and facilitation methods to flexibly respond to each unique classroom situation. Flipping a classroom often means that existing instructors may need to learn new skills. They will also have to spend a good amount of time, especially in the initial stages of flipping the classroom, in order to convert lectures to a format that can be used by students outside of class and to prepare in class activities. For this reason, Sams and Bergmann suggest starting out slowly when entering the flipped learning world.

Dog_ate_my_homework_SEO_promo_imageUnprepared students

With increased student responsibility comes the concern that students will come to the classroom unprepared. For mandatory or compliance related learning events, this concern is amplified. However, some solutions exist.

Course prerequisites that ensure completion of pre-work can exist in several forms. Learners may be required to participate in an online discussion or complete a quiz during meaning-making. Alternatively, if the pre-work is in the form of a video or online tutorial, completion may be required even before the learner can register for the in-person portion of the course. An LMS can assist in enforcing these prerequisites.

If possible, a change in culture can be a more effective way to ensure that pre-work is completed by students. In this case management, individual managers and trainers all need to be on the same page in reinforcing student responsibility and accountability.

Access to technology 

64501_c8ce881022_oThere are many options if access to technology or learner unfamiliarity are an issue, or if you’re just a luddite. First and foremost, highly produced videos and online courses are not required for a flipped course. While significant preparation is necessary, the initial information given to students does not need to be flashy – it can simply be some prereading. If videos and online resources are desired, they can be loaded on to a DVD or flash drive. In addition, smart phones are often available when other technologies are not.


Next up: Handy dandy tools for flipping the workplace

In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions about flipped learning you’d like me to address in this series! And here are some resources for a little extra reading.

Educause. (2012, February 7). 7 things you should know about flipped classrooms. Retrieved from

Gilbert, S. (2013, January 26). Flipped classrooms webinar. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Hamdan, N., McKnight, P., McKnight, K., & Arfstrom, K. (2013). A review of flipped learning. Retrieved from

Lee, B. & Recker, J. (2013, May 23). How to apply the flipped classroom model for buisiness learning. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Partridge, A. (2013, August 28). What is a flipped classroom and how can it help me? Rapid eLearning: Adobe Presenter Blog. [Web log]. Retrieved from

Sams, A. & Bergmann, J. (2013) Flip your students’ learning. Educational Leadership, 70(6), 16-20. Retrieved from

Flipped Primer – Part 2

Last week I took a look at the basics of flipped learning. This week I am going to present two models for flipped learning.  The first is a simple model, the second offers more in depth guidance.

Turning Tradition Upside Down

The eLearning Guild had a great webinar last year with Bob Lee and Jim Recker that is a good introduction to the flipped classroom in the workplace. Basically, they say the traditional model for classroom learning is upside down. This leads to low learner retention and application rates even when instructors are trying hard to engage students in the classroom.

Instead of focusing the bulk of instructor resources on the presentation of material and leaving students with little support for practice, the flipped model simply refocuses course time and resources. Students watch a video lecture on their own time then collaborate with each other both outside and within the classroom where they have support as they discover, practice and apply.

simple flipped model
This model is a good starting point for those new to flipped learning. I think it oversimplifies flipped learning a bit, for example, by using lecture as the basis for all new learning. However, it’s a great place to start as it encourages application and discovery, rather than more routine assignments, as the best use of classroom time.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the webinar and send them an email requesting access to their Podio site on flipped learning.  It is a wonderful resource.

Gerstein’s Flipped Classroom Model

Jackie Gerstein presented the Flipped Classroom Model in 2011 in order to give some staying power to the trend of flipping. She sees it more as a learning cycle model as it is based on the Experiential Learning Cycle and 4MAT Cycle of Instruction. It also corresponds well to Bloom’s Taxonomy. There are four components to this model, shown below.

Flipped classroom model
Gerstein suggests that the process starts with some experiential engagement to get learners interested in the subject. Depending on the subject, this might actually occur during the normal work day as someone finds a frustrating problem they want to fix. In other circumstances, the process might necessarily start with concept exploration as Sarah Gilbert suggests.

Let’s take a look at each step in this model.

Concept exploration

Concept exploration is an educator led part of the process that introduces learners to what they are learning. In many classrooms, this is the lecture or presentation part of a course. In a flipped learning environment learners are allowed more control over this part of the learning cycle than they might traditionally have.

HP_2133_Mini-Note_PC_(side)Educators assign a short video or audio lecture, websites, or other materials to explore. Learners then get to take control of their learning by reading, watching, exploring, and listening to these elements at their own pace and level. Educators may give students even more control by allowing them to find and share their resources on a topic. Some learners may choose to dive deeper than they would be able to in a traditional classroom setting.

Note that this phase does not need to be technology heavy; videos, podcasts and other media rich technologies are not essential for flipped learning. Students can also use text books, newspapers, journal and magazine articles, a user manual, or any other low-tech material to explore a topic.

Looking back at Bloom’s Taxonomy, these activities support remembering.


After exploring a new concept, but before coming to the classroom, students make meaning out of the information they have watched, listened to or read. Instructors might use a number of methods for this phase.

Those who most want to encourage peer-to-peer learning might have a social networking group or discussion board in which students participate. Those who are most concerned with ensuring students come to class prepared might have a quiz or other comprehension check. In addition, instructors may ask students to reflect on what they learned through a blog, short video, podcast or other presentation.

Regardless of the type of activities used in this stage, students are working towards understanding level objectives.

Experiential Engagement

Whether this stage occurs before concept exploration or after meaning-making, it will usually be the first time the learner and instructor are interacting together on this content.


When used before concept exploration, educators might have learners conduct an experiment or play a game that piques their interest in a topic. When used after meaning-making, students are able to apply what they have learned. They might complete a simulation, practice a skill, or work on a project.

Application is occurring at this stage in a way that allows the instructor to gauge student understanding, support correct application, assist students that are having difficulties and provide additional challenges to students that find the initial application easy.

Demonstration and Application

In the last stage of the Flipped Classroom Model, students analyze, evaluate and create. Instructors also have a chance to evaluate for mastery and offer additional support to students that need more practice.

800px-Open_University_China_Learning_Design_at_ILI_LeicesterCreation of a personalized project or presentation may occur within or outside of the classroom, but should always be shared with the instructor and peers. “This goes beyond reflection and personal understanding in that learners have to create something that is individualized and extends beyond the lesson with applicability to the learners’ everyday lives” (Gerstein, 2011).

Flipped Learning and Neuroscience

I just got back from attending the ASTD (now ATD!) 2014 conference and attended a great session on Neuroscience and learning while there.  I plan to write an entire post about this subject, but want to touch on the point that both of these flipped models allow for some key elements that neuroscience says are necessary for strong learning retention.  It spaces out exposure to a subject, allows for student generation of information, and, in certain stages, offers emotional stimulation and an ideal environment for learner attention.


Next up: Benefits and challenges of flipped learning

In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions about flipped learning you’d like me to address in this series! And here are some resources for a little extra reading.

Gerstein, J. (2011, June 13). The flipped classroom: A full picture. User generated education. [Web log]. Retrieved from

Gilbert, S. (2013, January 26). Flipped classrooms webinar. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Lee, B. & Recker, J. (2013, May 23). How to apply the flipped classroom model for buisiness learning. [Video file]. Retrieved from