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Flipping the Classroom: A Data-Driven Model for Nursing Education

It is with great pride that we accept the 2015 ACEHP Award for Innovation in CPD, awarded for the work we have been doing over the past year with our Journey to the Center of CE project. Below you will find detailed information on the project as was recently published in the Journal for Continuing Education in Nursing. And further below you can download a version of the ACEHP Storyboard (poster) that was created for the 2015 Alliance meeting.

Or you can click play below for an audio tour of the poster:

Flipping the Classroom:
A Data-Driven Model for Nursing Education

AUTHORS: Brian S. McGowan, PhD; Jann T. Balmer, PhD, RN; and Kathy Chappell, PhD, RN

Dr. McGowan is Chief Learning Officer, ArcheMedX, Charlottesville; Dr. Balmer is Director, Continuing Medical Education, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia; and Dr. Chappell is Vice President, Accreditation Program and Institute for Credentialing Research, American Nurses Credentialing Center, Silver Spring, Maryland.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2014;45(11):477-478


Structured, blended learning models have been developed to help participants more actively engage in learning experiences, as opposed to traditional didactic sessions. A flipped classroom model allows learners to build on self-directed online prework in an interactive and collaborative learning laboratory.


Adults come to the learning environment with different learning preferences, expertise, and experience, creating significant challenges for educators. Educational research recently has explored innovative approaches to addressing these challenges. One model that has gained significant traction in the past few years is the flipped classroom (McLaughlin et al., 2014).

In a flipped classroom, content and learning tasks are assigned to learners prior to attending a live classroom experience. Learners explore this content at their own pace to improve their overall understanding of the subject matter and maximize learning opportunities in the “live” experience (Klegeris & Hurren, 2011). Keys to the flipped classroom model are ensuring that:

  1. Prework is prepared and completed in ways that support learning and better inform educational planners.
  2. Learning data from the prework is effectively gathered, explored, and leveraged to support the live experience.
  3. The live classroom experience creates a learning laboratory that fosters dialogue among learners and facilitators, providing opportunities for integrating context into the application of content.

To better understand the applicability of this model to support nursing education, a flipped classroom model was chosen for the 2014 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Annual Symposium on Continuing Nursing Education. The goals of the project was to maximize learning opportunities in a 1-day  conference, expose nurse educators to the flipped classroom model as a potential tool for their own use, and to expand the number of contact hours by combining prework with classroom experience.


For this project, prework included a series of videos created to introduce the science of continuing education. In all, 11 videos ranging in length from 6 to 11 minutes were produced. Learners were given access to the e-learning environment 1 month before the symposium. During that month, they received weekly notifications to encourage participation.

To enable planners and facilitators to capture data about learning and engagement in the prework, an innovative e-learning technology, the ArcheViewerSM (McGowan, 2014) was used. This novel technology creates an immersive and engaging online learning environment by allowing educators to define distinct learning moments, build a searchable library of related resources, and highlight these resources and  engage learners at predefined moments. In addition, within the learning environment, learners have the ability to take notes, set reminders, search through related resources, and ask questions of faculty. For example, leading up to the live symposium, 102 learners took 178 notes, set 408 reminders, and searched through a library of nearly 100 collated and related resources.

Analysis of the use of these learning actions helped facilitators prepare the live classroom experience to  complement the prework. Anticipated questions and areas of concern were identified, and facilitators were able to focus on critical learning opportunities for attendees. Case studies at the live session enabled learners to apply information from the prelearning experience. An audience response system was used during the live session to collect additional assessment data and validate learners’ level of understanding of the topics addressed in the prework.


The flipped classroom model and novel e-learning technology provided an overall learning experience where outcome data and learner engagement allowed planners to refine and focus structured scenarios for application of the content. This educational design incorporated both the individualized learning experience and group learning dynamics.

Of the 124 participants who attended the live session, 82% participated in the online video series prior to attending the live symposium. Of those who participated, 74% self-reported watching more than 10 videos in the 11-part series. This high level of participation was encouraging because 73% of respondents acknowledged that this was their first flipped classroom learning experience. Completion rates for the videos were greater than 85% on average, and the average viewer completed more than 95% of each video started.

In aggregate, 47% of learners said they were comfortable with the individual topics before beginning each video lesson (n = 431). After completion of each video, 55% of learners stated that they were more confident with the topic or were ready to make changes in their practice (n = 358). Before the online lessons began, there was tremendous variation in confidence levels across the topics, ranging from greater than 90% comfort with adult learning theory to less than 15% comfort with the implementation sciences. Following the online lessons, although some variation persisted, there was far greater homogeneity in terms of comfort with the topics. Finally, across all ArcheViewerSM-powered prework, 11% of learners stated that they were ready to change their practice related to one of the topics presented. This commitment was made prior to arriving at the live symposium and therefore can be seen as a clear predisposition for change.

At the symposium, 76% of respondents claimed that by viewing the online series, they were better prepared to engage with symposium faculty and to be more active learners. In addition, the majority of respondents felt that the flipped classroom model was an effective educational strategy.


A flipped classroom educational design was used to educate and support nurses in conjunction with the 2014 ANCC Annual Symposium on Continuing Nursing Education. Although this project was not designed to be statistically rigorous, several conservative conclusions can be drawn:

  1. Learners participating in a flipped learning experience perceive themselves as being more prepared to participate and engage in live or classroom-style learning.
  2. Four weeks of weekly notifications seemed sufficient to drive high levels of participation, although many participants noted that they waited until the final 96 hours to ensure the content was fresh in their minds.
  3. Although not all learners will participate in prework, with clear and effective communication, a more structured and engaging online learning experience, and sufficient incentives (such as additional continuing education credits), it is possible to surpass 80% participation.
  4. Connecting the flipped video series to the final planning of the onsite symposium appears to be a critical success factor. However, this seems to depend largely on access to timely and accurate learning analytics (such as those provided within the ArcheViewerSM e-learning technology), permitting planners and faculty to create a more rewarding live learning experience.


Klegeris, A., & Hurren, H. (2011). Impact of problem-based learning in a large classroom setting: Student perception and problem-solving skills. Advances in Physiology Education, 35, 408-415.

McGowan, B.S. (2014, February 12). How great is the impact of ArcheMedX-powered education? [Web log message]. Retrieved from

McLaughlin, J.E., Roth, M.T., Glatt, D.M., Gharkholonarehe, N., Davidson, C.A., Griffin, L.M., . . . Mumper, R.J.. (2014). The flipped classroom: A course redesign to foster learning and engagement in a health professions school. Academic Medicine, 89, 236-243.


In the following brief mp3 – I discuss the Flipped Classroom project and provide a quick tour of the storyboard.

Please click here to download the poster file: ACEHP15 poster – Flipping the Classroom – A Data-Driven Model for Nursing Education – Final

ArcheMedX Draft 3 boxes


If you are interested in getting a complete copy of the original Flipping the Classroom: A Data-Driven Model for Nursing Education article, please send an email to [email protected]

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