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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

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Designing Flipped Lessons: Lessons Learned From Fourth Grade Students

Daniella Smith (University of North Texas & College of Information, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 11:15am
Technology and Emerging Learning Environments
Areas of Special Interest: 
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Discovery Session
Atlantic Hall
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Discovery Session 2

Learn about the results of a study designed to explore the perceptions that twenty-six fourth grade students had about flipped learning lessons.

Extended Abstract

Introduction: The concept of flipped learning has been highly praised as a way to ensure that class time is maximized. Flipped learning is a method of instruction which, "instead of a lecture in class and hands-on work at home, instructors assign material to be reviewed ahead of time. This allows time in class for problem solving activities during class time" (Fawley, 2014, pg. 19). This gives the teacher time to facilitate new learning or correct misconceptions. Flipped learning is often praised because it shifts class time from instructor centered activities to hands on student centered experiences.

Purpose: While flipped learning is becoming popular, there is little research to support the method (Scheg, 2015). The purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions that twenty-six fourth grade students have of flipped learning lessons. The students' teacher wanted to test the feasibility of offering flipped lessons throughout the school year. The following research questions guided the study:

1. What formats do students prefer for flipped learning?
2. What advice do students have for teachers that would like to implement flipped learning?

Methods: A mixed methods design that includes surveys and a focus group is being used to implement this study. The students have been assigned a series of seven flipped lessons to help them learn new information literacy skills. The lessons address topics such as plagiarism, creating research questions, citing sources, and presenting research results. All of the lessons include post-tests. Students have been asked to rate each lesson using a five point Likert scale after its completion. They have also been given the opportunity to share why they gave each lesson a certain score using an open-ended question design. Lessons have been offered in a variety of formats that include:

- Animated lessons with a voice to read post-test questions
- Animated lessons without a voice to read post-test questions
- A written slideshow without a voice to read post-test questions
- A screen capture presentation with the teacher's voice

Preliminary Results: A majority of the students in this study have responded positively to the flipped lessons. The students enjoy animated lessons. However, they also appreciate lessons without animation prepared by their teacher that incorporated the teacher's voice. When lessons are not animated and do not identify the teacher as the creator, students are less likely to enjoy them. Moreover, their least favorite lesson thus far has been a text presentation designed by the teacher that did not incorporate a picture of the teacher or the teacher's voice.

Practical Implications: As early as the fourth grade, students have well-defined preferences for online learning. Preliminary results indicate that students are aware of the value of their time and do not react favorably to flipped assignments that do not teach new concepts. Moreover, the length of time that students spend on lessons is not always a factor for most students. For instance, students rated a short lesson on keywords poorly because they felt it was not detailed enough. With this in mind, teachers must find a balance between offering well-paced instruction and quality content that addresses new concepts. (Please note that the study will be complete by the conference and statistics and details from the focus group will be included in the presentation. Conference attendees will be able to view the flipped lessons as well.)

Fawley, N. N. (2014). Flipped classrooms. American Libraries,45 (9/10), 19.

Scheg, A. (2015). (2015). Implementation and critical assessment of the flipped classroom experience. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Smith is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Sciences at the University of North Texas. Dr. Smith's areas of expertise include the development of transformational leadership skills, school reform, the impact of cultural factors on leadership behaviors, and program evaluation.