Working in a school with 5 classes of grade 9 social studies students, flipped instruction was implemented in three teachers’ classrooms on the topics of Immigration. Titled Five Factors of Immigration, this activity required students to apply knowledge gained from a flipped instructional video highlighting the five factors that influence immigration (Mazur, 2013). The primary objective of this resource was to provide scaffolding to learners prior to class so they could engage in a more complex task that there would otherwise not be time to engage in (Hmelo-Silver, Duncan & Chinn, 2007).

This learning design was created by similar projects in existing research: students work in small groups (Bergmann & Sams, 2008; Brunsell & Horejsi, 2013) where the teacher challenges students to engage in higher order and critical thinking (Bergmann & Sams, 2008; Driscoll, 2012; Hmelo-Silver et al., 2007; Project Tomorrow, 2013).

To address the concern of accessibility, students could access the video through their D2L course shell, or on my academic YouTube channel. USB’s with the uploaded video file were offered to students without Internet access, and access to the school’s learning commons was made available both at lunch and after school.

Students were given three days to view the video and complete an entrance ticket summarizing the content. Class instruction occurred over one day. Completed entrance tickets were collected at the class door prior to student entry. Students who had not completed the activity were provided with a laptop and an alternate space to view the videos and complete their task. Once finished, students were invited to join class and participate.

In class, students were organized into small groups of 3-4. Using erasable tabletop whiteboards made opaque plexiglass sheets (see Whiteboarding in the Classroom), students were asked to collaboratively recall, organize and define the five factors that influence immigration, and provide one example of a push and pull factor for each. Throughout this process, the teacher acted as a guide for the students in the learning, pushing them to think deeply, and posing questions students should be asking themselves (Hmelo-Silver et al., 2007).

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Once complete, students completed an exit slip, ranking the five factors in order of personal importance and providing a rationale for their ranking.

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Using opaque plexiglass sheets as tabletop white boards, class time was maximized in the learning design Five Factors of Immigration. Traditionally, this lesson was delivered through a note-taking task with students receiving an individual worksheet to finish as homework. However, by offloading the traditional instructional content to become the pre-lecture homework, this enabled for further face-to-face time to engage learners to dive more deeply into the content, thus resulting in greater understanding and engagement in the higher-order thinking of analysis and synthesis.

Class time was used to explore content and practically apply knowledge in a collaborative setting (Bergmann & Sams, 2008; Brunsell & Horejsi, 2013), thus deepening understanding of content (Bergmann & Sams, 2008; Driscoll, 2012). As well, learning became inquiry-based and student-centered as students engaged in self-directed learning using tabletop whiteboards (An & Reigeluth, 2012; Armbruster, Patel, Johnson, & Weiss, 2009; Project Tomorrow, 2013). This activity encouraged critical thinking and pushed students to gain a deeper understanding of content by building and testing knowledge (Bergmann & Sams, 2008; Driscoll, 2012; Hmelo-Silver et al., 2007). During this process, the teacher acted as a guide on the side, rather than a sage on the stage (Baker, 2000; Zappe, Leicht, Messner, Litzinger, & Lee, 2009). Upon review of completed exit slips, it was evident students who completed the entrance ticket prior to class and engaged in the collaborative activity demonstrated a deeper curricular understanding in their exit slip responses.



An, Y., & Reigeluth, C. (2012). Creating technology-enhanced, learner-centered classrooms: K-12 teachers’ beliefs, perceptions, barriers, and support needs. Journal Of Digital Learning In Teacher Education, 28(2), 54-62.

Armbruster, P., Patel, M., Johnson, E., & Weiss, M. (2009). Active learning and student-centered pedagogy improve student attitudes and performance in introductory biology. CBE – Life Sciences Education, 8(3), 203-213.

Baker, J.W. (2000). The “classroom flip”: Using web course management tools to become the guide by the side” Selected Papers from the 11th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, 9-17.

Bergmann, J. & Sams, A. (2008). Remixing the chemistry class. Leading & Learning with Technology, January/February, 22-27.

Brunsell, E. & Horejsi, M. (2013). Science 2.0: “Flipping” your classroom. The Science Teacher 8(3), 8.

Driscoll, T. (2012). Flipped learning and democratic education: The complete report. Retrieved from

Hmelo-Silver, C., Duncan, R. & Chinn, C. (2007). Scaffolding and achievement in problem-based and inquiry learning: A response to Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark (2006). Educational Psychologist, 42(2), 99–107.

Mazur, A. (2013, May 27). Immigration video – factors of immigration [Video file]. Retrieved from

Project Tomorrow (2013). Speak Up Survey. Retrieved from

Zappe, S., Leicht, R., Messner, J., Litzinger, T., & Lee, H. W. (2009). Flipping the classroom to explore active learning in a large undergraduate course. Washington: American Society for Engineering Education. Retrieved from:


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