This article was written on 20 Feb 2014, and is filled under Volume 18 Number 1.

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Active Learning Flip with Interaction and Exploration (ALFIE) – a New Model

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Active Learning Flip with Interaction and Exploration (ALFIE) – a New Model


Jack Yensen

Chief Senior Editor


Yensen, J. (2014). Active Learning Flip with Interaction and Exploration (ALFIE) – a New Model. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 18(1), Available at  http://ojni.org/issues/?p=3089


A lot has been written about the flipped classroom (or the inverted classroom) yet not much research has been done in nursing education on flipped classrooms and next to nothing has been written about flipped conferences or flipped conference presentations, or how to flip advantageously in an online environment (for references please see the Concept-resource map for the pre-conference).

Figure 1: Concept-resource map for the pre-conference

Concept-resource map for the pre-conference).

After surveying the literature in flipping and inverted classrooms, it seems time to introduce a new model. The legacy model is on site attendance at a conference presentation. The flipped model is pre-conference exposure to the presentation, followed by an active learning session, in place of the presentation that would have occurred under the legacy model.  This was recently trialed (Barbour & Yensen, 2014) at the AACN Faculty Development Conference, in Fort Worth (Feb 6-8th) and as far as I know is a first in flipped presentations for a conference. Ms. Barbour was physically present at the conference for the post flipped presentation session and Jack Yensen attended virtually via Google+ hangout.

I have been concerned for some time that conferences as we know and love them are an anachronism in contemporary times. The carbon footprint alone for a medium to large size conference is appalling. When you consider this along with the enormous inefficiencies of exposure of attendees to parallel tracks and sessions, it would seem that the time of physical conferences is waning. There may not be an equivalent replacement for the face-to-face networking that occurs at contemporary conferences, yet there exists the real possibility that flipped peer-peer interaction between like-minded individuals may be of even greater value. Perhaps there is a transitional model from physical to virtual conferences and most conferences these days seem to be encouraging and accommodating virtual attendees and even virtual presenters.  The model I am presenting here is intended to facilitate the transition from physical to virtual conferences, and will transfer nicely to flipping physical classrooms and online learning too.

The (ALFIE) Model

This model requires a pre-conference or pre-meeting interaction and this could be via a Google discussion group, or any online discussion forum. It is followed by an interactive presentation, not a non-interactive video, where the presentation could be an interactive video, an interactive narrated slide show, an interactive case study or problem-based scenario.  The key to the model is the two levels of interaction, one of the individual learner with other learners, and secondly the interaction of the learner with the presentation content itself. Combined with the active learning strategies of these forms of learner-content interaction, if we provide optional and alternative forays through the content, namely exploration, we have a combination that addresses much of what we know about optimizing individual learning. Let me give an example of such an ALFIE model.

This example involves browsing of a curated concept-resource map where viewers can determine duration, extent and sequence (learner control) of interactive content to be explored and reviewed and then discussed with peers. This concept-resource map is about the flipped classroom concept itself. Please feel free to interact with and explore the following:

Concept-resource map for the pre-conference

I would be interested in working with any readers in developing and evaluating this model in an action research program, as I believe it may be the forerunner of a strategic transition from physical presence learning to a virtual presence personal learning environment.


Barbour, C., & Yensen, J. A. P. (2014). Flipping the classroom: Is anyone getting this right? Flipped presentation at AACN Faculty Development Conference, Fort Worth, TX February 6-8th, 2014.


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