Instructional Design and the Micro MOOC

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) were the area of focus this week in CEP 811, concordant with the goals of instructional design. To engage with this topic, I created an “ultra micro MOOC” on flipped instruction. It was an extensive and comprehensive process, but I believe it has resulted in a focused, effective, “flipped classroom boot camp” of sorts and as I reflect on it, I’m thinking it might be highly empowering for teachers new to flipping, as well as quite a bit of fun to teach!



In my Inside Out: Flipping the Elementary Classroom course my peers will master skills in maximizing use of student iPads by developing engaging teaching videos and presentations; learning ways to manage workflow; and communicating with all parties in the flipped classroom community. Projects will be technology based, created and enhanced with the help of collaboration and feedback from peers.


Flipping Instruction in the Elementary Classroom

Course Title

Inside Out: Flipping the Elementary Classroom

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License


Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License

Sal Khan, the venerated (yet accidental!) father of flipped learning.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License

Jonathon Bergmann, who (with Aaron Sams) pioneered flipped instruction in the classroom.


Innovative teachers who are proficient in iPad technology and ready to approach the Modification and Redefinition levels of Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model will receive tremendous benefits from this course (Puentedura, 2012). Elementary teachers who understand the importance of 1:1 devices in their ability to actually make an impact on student achievement and who value the one-to-one teacher and student relationship will be attracted to this course, as it will help them establish effective structures for making these ideas into realities within their own classrooms.

Course Objectives

Over five weeks (plus an introductory week), students will:

  • Explore and articulate the history and the thinking behind flipped instruction.
  • Learn and apply the principles of quality instructional video creation.
  • Investigate and enact a system for managing student workflow and feedback loops.
  • Discuss and communicate with a variety of parties invested in flipped instruction.
  • Consider and plan for the value of collaboration in continued learning.

For the design of this MOOC, I considered several elements from the Graduate Certificate courses, including individualized instruction, social constructivism, and professional networking. From personal experience and from research into the experiences of others, I know the benefits of flipping one’s instruction are many and impactful. For a Prezi I designed to illustrate some of these benefits, click here. One of the most substantial advantages to flipped instruction is the increase in individualized instruction students receive. Technologies introduced in this MOOC will be especially helpful for differentiating instruction in the elementary grade and opening space for teachers to interact one-on-one with students on a more consistent, personal level. Designing instruction this way creates more opportunities for students to engage with material at a deeper level and in similarly-equipped and mixed-ability pairs and groups within a workshop format, which in turn helps students understand that “the outcomes of individuals are affected by their own and others’ actions” (Johnson & Johnson, 2009, p. 366). Similarly, one of the major goals for this MOOC is for participants to value not only the cooperation of their students, but also of themselves in the context of their own professional learning network, which can assist them in building their knowledge of flipped instruction in the future.

Participant Projects 

During this course, peers will create:

  • An introductory video for students
  • A rationale for flipping instruction
  • A series of instructional videos, screencasts, and/or presentations
  • A platform for managing workflow
  • A community presentation explaining the flipped classroom to the greater community
  • A plan for continued professional development

Instructional Design

I have designed this course with intention, recognizing the valuable interaction of technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge illustrated by Mishra and Koehler (2006). The technologies woven into the fabric of this MOOC have been tested and proven to help teachers reach students. Some have been designed specifically for instruction, and others can be “creatively repurpose[d]…to meet specific pedagogical goals (Mishra & Koehler, 2006, p. 1032). Pedagogically, both the content of the modules and their chronology serve the goals of the MOOC and thoughtfully answer the essential questions included therein. I orchestrated the length of the course -five weeks, plus an introductory week- such that teachers interested in implementing these principles into their teaching could easily complete the program successfully during the first or second half of the summer. Alternatively, if finding out about the idea during the week of professional development before school begins, participants could efficiently engage with the core ideas of flipped instruction during the beginning of the school year, without sacrificing importance of content or valuable instructional time in September. Finally, the instructional design of the MOOC and its sequence uphold contextual content that is both peer-proven and classroom-applicable. It begins with an overview, continues toward the history and background of flipping, progresses to instruction, followed by workflow management and communication, and finishing with a plan for professional development.  Participants will come away from it, armed with both strong foundations of understanding in order to defend the method of instruction to parents, administrators, and other teachers, as well as a bevy of technological tools that will work toward the Modification and Redefinition levels of Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model (2012). Furthermore, participants will be able to customize the content to their own students and content areas, as the flipped instructional model is highly adaptable to individual teachers.

Peer Interactions

During this course, participants will reflect on the need to develop a community of practice as part of their journey into flipped instruction. Parts of this goal will be attainable through individual tasks, but participants will need (and want!) to take advantage of collaborative opportunities with others in the course. Many of these interactions will take place within the feedback loop among peers, especially within the projects highlighting instructional videos, community presentation, and professional development plan. Participants will watch each other’s instructional videos and provide  feedback in a “star-and-wish” format, noting what they appreciated and items about which they had questions or suggestions. Regarding the community presentation, participants will assume the role of a community member -administrator, parent, or a teacher unfamiliar with flipped instruction- and respond to the presentation from the perspective of that person. The professional development plan will be developed in tandem with peers, as it will be informed by a collaborative effort, sharing thoughts, suggestions, and reflections in a common space such as Padlet.

Course Architecture

The format of each module is designed according to Stephen Yelon’s plan for instructional design, critical components of which include a problem or need, terminal objective, content, instruction, real-world performance, and evaluation (2001). The need for this MOOC is the level of challenge teachers face in connecting with students in a one-on-one format, as well as differentiating for students of varying backgrounds and abilities. Terminal objectives can be found in the goals for the course. The content focus areas and modes of instruction are highlighted in each module. Evaluations will be conducted vis a vis the real-world performance projects, which are the creation-based outcomes featured in each module.


Intro Module

Terminal Objective: During this introductory module, participants will simply explore some background on flipping their classrooms.

 Read, Watch, Explore


Week 1: Theory

Terminal Objective: Participants will explore the history of flipped instruction and learn how flipping solves a problem of instruction. 


  • History of the flipped model
  • The void filled by flipped instruction
  • Differentiation and benefits achieved by flipping


Read: Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams’s book Flip Your Classroom

Watch: Sal Khan TED Talk 


Real-World Performance Project

Create a written rationale for flipping your instruction. Use Bergmann, Sams, and Khan to inform and support your thinking.


Week 2: Instruction

Terminal Objective: Participants will investigate principles that guide quality presentations and how to employ them.


  • Screencasting
  • Guiding design principles of quality instructional videos
  • Tools available for creating instructional presentations
  • Pros and cons for different instructional platforms


Read: Joe Hirsch’s Flipped Tips

The Screencasting Handbook (p. 16-22)

7 Things About Screencasting

Watch: Jon Bergmann’s Explain Everything Tutorial(s)

Explore: EdTeachTeachers’s Screencasting Comparisons 


Real-World Performance Project

Choose a platform you explored this week and create a mini-series of three instructional videos on a topic, subject, or content area. View the mini-series of a colleague and provide feedback using a star-and-wish format: provide both affirmation and suggestions.


Week 3: Management

Terminal Objective: Participants will learn how to productively manage workflow in the flipped classroom.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License


  • Elements of workflow in education
  • Aspects of workflow systems
  • Google Drive and Dropbox 


Read: Jennie Magiera’s Workflow Platforms Comparison Article

Watch: Dropbox v. Google Drive

Explore: Dropbox Tour

Google Drive Getting Started


Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License


Real-World Performance Project

Choose either Dropbox or Google Drive and design a system of workflow in your own classroom. Write a brief explanation regarding why you made the choices you did and how you think this system will your support your students’ learning needs.


Week 4: Communication

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike

Terminal Objective: Participants will examine how communication is valuable with various invested parties and how to effectively communicate with them about the flipped model.


  • Groups of people involved with aspects of flipped learning
  • Public perception of the flipped model
  • Pros and cons of flipping
  • Modes of communication
  • Flipped instruction “points of pride” to present to communities


Read: HuffPost Public Article

Explore: Tech Tools for Parent Communication

Infographic: Pros and Cons


Real-World Performance Project

Using any multimedia tool of your choice, create a presentation for parents, administrators, community members, and teachers unfamiliar with flipped learning to address public concerns about flipped learning and explain how the benefits outweigh the risks. “Sell” your audience on your flipped classroom! Then, taking the role of one the aforementioned parties, comment on a colleague’s presentation from that perspective. Address what questions/concerns/fears/reservations you had as that person and how your colleague allayed them with his or her presentation.


Week 5: Continuing Education

Terminal Objective: Participants will consider the value of continued learning in this area and plan for further professional development.

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.0

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.0


  • Professional learning networks
  • Collaboration as a medium for best practices development
  • Professional networking in educational technology


Read: Collaboration is Key

Getting Smart PLN Guide

Explore: PLN Made Easy


Real-World Performance Project

After exploring, post your thoughts for creating a professional flipped learning network on the collaborative Padlet page. Then, incorporating the thoughts of your peers, and using any combination of the above resources, design a plan for your own continued professional growth in the area of flipped instruction. Detail which resources you will use, why you personally selected those resources, and how you plan to use them to become a better equipped flipped teacher. Your plan can be articulated in any medium you can use to best express your ideas. When you’ve completed your plan, post a link to the group Padlet page so peers can benefit from many forms of continued professional networking. Finally…get out there and FLIP your classroom!




All photo images licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License. See photo captions for specific licensing details.



Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom reach every student in every class every day. Eugene, Or.: International Society for Technology in Education.

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2009). An educational psychology success story: Social interdependence theory and cooperative learning. Educational Researcher, 38(5), 365-379. Retrieved from

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new framework for teacher knowledgeTeachers College Record, 108 (6), 1017-1054.

Khan, S. (Speaker) (2011, March 1). Let’s use video to reinvent education. TED2011. Lecture conducted from TED Talks Retrived from

Puentedura, R. R. (2012, August 23). The SAMR model: background and exemplars. Retrieved from

Swarts, J. (2012, August 1). New modes of help: best practices for instructional video. Retrieved from

Yelon, S. L. (2001). Goal-Directed Instructional Design: A Practical Guide to Instructional Planning for Teachers and Trainers. Michigan State University: Self-published, Not in electronic format.

Zorfass, J., & Rivero, H. K. (2005). Collaboration is key: How a community of practice promotes technology integration.Journal of Special Education Technology, 20(3), 51-60. Retrieved from




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