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E. Carbaugh, K. Doubet

James Madison University (UNITED STATES)
A steadily increasing number of classrooms are moving to the Flipped model of instruction, using educational technology to present new material to students at home and utilizing class time to review, reinforce, and practice. In fact, between 2012 and 2014, the number of US teachers alone who reported flipping a lesson grew from 48% to 78% (Yarbro, Arfstrom, McKnight, & McKnight, 2014). During this same time period (2013–2014), financing for education technology companies rose 55% (Singer, 2015), suggesting an interaction between a greater number of resources and more teachers willing to utilize them through flipped instruction. As more and more teachers buy into the idea of flipping their classroom, attention is turning to what happens, pedagogically, within the flipped set up. In 2014, the Flipped Learning Network (FLN) established 11 indicators for educators to use to self-assess their flipped learning efforts or progress.

These indicators include markers such as:
• F.2—I provide students with different ways to learn content and demonstrate mastery.
• L.1—I give students opportunities to engage in meaningful activities without the teacher being central.
• I.3—I differentiate to make content accessible and relevant to all students.
• P.2—I conduct ongoing formative assessments during class time through observation and by recording data to inform future instruction. (Yarboro, et al., 2014, p. 6).

Such expectations produce the need for guidance in how to implement researched best educational practices—such as those bulleted above—within the Flipped model. Differentiated Instruction — “an instructional approach that allows teachers to address patterns in student learning by providing different methods of taking in, processing, and demonstrating learning with the goal of moving every student forward” (Tomlinson, 2003; 2014) provides one lens for doing so. There is a logical synergy between these two models—the Flipped environment provides rich opportunities to cater to diversity because of the flexibility linked to its use. This paper presents practical approaches to Differentiating Instruction within the Flipped environment. Areas of focus include techniques designed to build classroom community, implement and use formative assessment, increase task authenticity, and improve responsive instruction – both at home and at school – in order to fully capitalize on the rich opportunities for Differentiating Instruction available in a Flipped Environment.