top of page

That's the SOFLA Framework!

Instructional Media Designer and former TESOL instructor Sharon Tjaden-Glass joins me to discuss the SOFLA framework for virtual flipped learning. SOFLA (Synchronous Online Flipped Learning Approach) is an 8-step framework that guide instructors in the creation of virtual learning experiences that replicate some of the benefits of the flipped classroom model and was developed by Helaine W. Marshall and Ilka Kostka, PhD.

You can learn more about the SOFLA framework here.


The following transcript was auto-generated and may contain typos or spelling errors.

Leslie Early 0:04

Welcome to "That's Awesome ID!" My name is Leslie Early and each week I will be speaking with a different guest and learning about one thing they think is awesome in the field of instructional design. Hi, this is Leslie Early and this is episode two of "That's Awesome ID!" and I have the privilege of having Sharon Tjaden-Glass here with me today. We met because she has set up a few very interesting networking events for people who are trying to transfer from TESOL into instructional design. And those are a monthly thing, right, that's going on?

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 0:45

Yeah, I think it's going to be a monthly thing. We'll see how it pans out. But right now it's monthly.

Leslie Early 0:51

Awesome.So yes, and I'm planning to go in September. So if there's other people out there in teasle, who are trying to get into instructional design, that's that's a good place to start. So I have you here today you wanted to talk about SOFLA. Is that correct?

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 1:07

Yeah, SOFLA. So I actually I just learned about this within the past month and it was super relevant to what I'm working on right now. So SOFLA stands for synchronous online flipped learning approach. And so, you know, it's super relevant right now because teachers are going back to school and a lot of them are getting stuck doing remote learning again. And it's not because they want to but because all of the schools are, you know, facing these outbreaks of Coronavirus. So they're really struggling with the idea of just having a synchronous online learning because the kids are so disjointed from each other, they're disconnected from their teacher. So that's why I think that this is a really relevant framework to talk about now that there is...the sofa framework offers steps for teachers to follow so that they can successfully flip a classroom in a remote fashion. So if you're not familiar with what flipped learning is, let me start there. So flipped learning is the idea that you're going to take your activities that are teacher-centered, where it's delivering ideas and content to students directly from one teacher out to the students and they receive it passively. You're going to take that instruction, and you're going to move it outside of a synchronous space by having students do things before they come to the synchronous session. And then within the synchronous session, that is where you put your interactive activities, things that require students to talk to each other and grapple with the information. So, flipped learning is...most people have done flipped learning with in-person. And they understand that. Okay, well, they're going to do this stuff at home. And then they're going to show up and in person will do the interactive stuff. But now that we don't even have the in-person component anymore, now it's like, "What? What does that even look like?"

Leslie Early 3:22

Or like, you can't do like a turn-and-talk. You can't do like those kind of reflection activities. I mean, you can, but it's not as it's not as obvious.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 3:32

The platforms don't really allow it to be possible unless you do like lots of tiny breakout rooms to do turn-and-talks and even then, like the logistics of moving people to these breakout rooms is all on the teacher and, oh, what a headache that is. So that's why I'm kind of looking at this SOFLA framework to help teachers at least go through some steps to better set up their lessons so that they can do flipped learning appropriately in a synchronous, in remote synchronous learning. So the SOFLA framework has eight steps. And as I named them, you'll probably...if you've taught, if you've taught k-12, if you've taught ESL, like I've taught ESL, these will all sound like oh, yeah, I've taught similarly. So first, you have Pre-work. And this is where you assign something for students to watch or read before they come. And something that I always do when I do flipped learning is I give students some kind of form to do. Maybe it's just two or three questions, but something where they have to answer something to show like, hey, yeah, I did read and I did listen to that video. And they do that before they come. The second step is assign an activity and for that, it's something real simple, like type in the chat what you what was your favorite article? Or what did you think about this? Something real simple. It could even be using some Zoom polling. Maybe you put a poll up right away? Or if you use Poll Everywhere, maybe you have a question that is projected onto the shared screen and students are entering in their open-ended question, or open-ended answers to a question.

Leslie Early 5:24

I've seen that. I saw that actually on a Cara North, recently, she did a seminar and she had one of those up and I was like, "Oh, that's very clever. Yeah. Good idea.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 5:35

Yeah. When the students get into the classroom, they see this question on the shared screen, and they're just alright. I mean, the people that are there early, they can type in their answers. I really love their word cloud. Poll Everywhere's word cloud is really cool because then you kind of see all a lot of people are feeling this way. If your question is, "What emotion are you feeling right now?" and then you see, kind of what the tone is for your students. So, so that's the second step is sign-in activity. The third step is your whole group application. And so this would be something interactive, not just you talking to the students while they all sit there passively, but something interactive, and I'm gonna just leave that open to what that looks like. It could be that they're doing a Kahoot together, it could be Jamboard, you put, you know, share screen for with a Jamboard and everyone's writing on it, but something where they're applying what they've learned outside of the class. And the whole goal of doing flipped learning is to move through those bottom levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, you know, the remember, the understand, and then to get into those analysis, synthesis, evaluate, all of those upper level forms of understanding knowledge. So after a whole group application, then you move to breakouts. Maybe you give them something to talk with each other about, something where they're thinking more deeply about whatever you're teaching them. And that is going to hit on the learner-learner interactions. It's going to build more community amongst the students, compared to just sitting out there and talking about all of them in one, open Zoom space. After that, they come back. That's, the fifth step is share outs. So they come back from the breakout rooms, and then, one of the, the designated speaker, which usually have a figure out a way to know who that designated speaker is before they get there. They share out what they talked about. And then this next step, I think is highly left out in in-person instruction and in the flipped learning approach, because when we teach, we're like, oh, I got all the content out there. Okay. Well, next week, we'll talk about this. Or whatever it is. But the next step is super, super important. Especially for people who have studied instructional design, you'll understand like, why this is important. It's preview and discovery. So it's the idea that you start peeking their curiosity about what is to come. Maybe giving them if you have older learners giving them some kind of case study or a problem that has happened, "Why do you think that happened?" But it's peeking their curiosity so they're hungry for the next thing that you're going to teach them.

Leslie Early 8:35

Yeah, if you can. Sorry, sorry.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 8:37

No, go ahead. Really.

Leslie Early 8:38

I was gonna say even...even if they're not actively thinking about it, just by putting it out there? Unconsciously, subconsciously, their brains are probably still working on that problem. And they have time to work on it before you know the next session.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 8:55

Right and so if you studied instructional design and you know about the ARCS Method, Keller's ARCS Model where it's you know, attention, relevance, confidence, satisfaction. It's hitting on attention and relevance to get ready for the next learning event. And that's something that I think a lot of teachers, it's not that they don't know to do it, it's we don't leave time for it. We're so like, I'm going to shove this content into their brains, right? So that's preview and discovery. Step seven is assignment instruction, so previewing with them, what the assignment is that you're going to give them. And so that there's less confusion. Because it's hard, you know, for students when they go and they just they have something that you wrote down and they're like, and you're like, well, it was super clear. I wrote it, but for some people, it really helps to talk about it like this, right?

Leslie Early 9:52

It's very hard for me. I have a hard time with reading, understandingfrom reading is concepts I can understand from reading, but instructions and things like that I just, like, I don't know what happens. It's like I'm a deer in the headlights, and I just, I would rather hear it and have a conversation about it then have to read it on paper.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 10:12

Because it's so important and it's hard for, for instructions to be written clearly so that there's no confusion. And this and I'm a writer, okay. And I've written a lot of assignments and a lot of instructions. And every single time someone has questions, and I'm like, "I wrote it down!" Well, well, yeah, but you know, they're trying to understand, they're trying to learn and part of that learning is the negotiation of meanings so that they come away with "Ah, this is what she means." You know. And then the last stage of the SOFLA framework is reflection. So again, it's hitting, if we're looking at the ARCS Model, that's the relevance. That's the confidence. They're, they're connecting. They're making me between what they've learned in this particular class session and what they still don't know, what they're still curious about. And I think that, that is another thing that's not that they don't know it's important, it's just that we more highly emphasize content and not enough on the metacognition. And when we leave out that metacognitive component, students end up feeling like "Why am I learning this? This isn't important." Or it doesn't stay with them, even if they do think it's important. If they're not reflecting it, reflecting on it, and they're not connecting it to their lives, they're gonna forget. Our brains have other things to think about, you know?

Leslie Early 11:44

Yeah, it's it's kind of that last and trying to think of what a good metaphor would be but like, it's like that like when you're cooking chicken, and you know, you have to like let it sit for five to 10 minutes before you try to dig in and eat it and enjoy your Because there's still...

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 12:01

All the juice runs out.

Leslie Early 12:02

Yeah, there's something's still happening. It's still a process, even though it doesn't look like it. And if you if you rush that process, it's not going to work the way it's supposed to.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 12:12

Yeah, you have to, you know, with learning theory, we know that you have to continually revisit what you learn and have to look at it from different angles and connect it in different ways for it to reach for you to really see around the whole thing that you're trying to learn. And, and I think that there's not not...students don't...students don't know how to learn sometimes, right? And some teachers don't even know how people really learn effectively. And they still are operating on these models of, "I'm going to put out all the content into the air perfectly, and if they're listening, they'll understand." And that's just not how learning happens.

Leslie Early 12:56

Yeah, and that's true for that's true in an academic setting, that's true in a corporate setting, you know, that...understanding learning theory is like, the most important thing, you know, but there's people who can be teaching for 20 years and still, still sort of missed those last, last little important steps.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 13:19

Yeah. When when you when teaching becomes content focused, and it's not learner focused, it's no longer teaching. It's just reciting a body of knowledge that...and you've not given anyone a reason to care about it. Even if you are enthusiastic about it, you have to give them a reason to care. Right?

Leslie Early 13:41

Well, yeah, I love that.

So basically, this is essentially trying to, I mean, it is, it's a flipped classroom, but it's just in a digital form. But I love that it's it's broken out into these eight steps. And it's like very intentional about how to go about this.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 14:07

Yeah, it's not just all theory. Theory is not helpful when teachers read and they're like, "I don't know what to do with this." But if you if you give them here are some steps. Now they can get creative and figure out, "Oh, I wonder how that would look if I did that." Or "Maybe I could try that."

Leslie Early 14:27

Is there any blogs or, or vlogs or a certain person who people can research or look up to learn more about it?

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 14:38

Yeah. So this framework is actually the work of Helene Marshall and elka elka casca. I think that I think I got her name right. And they just put it out this past summer in one of the TESOL journals. I'll give you the link so you can share it out. And their article does a great job of giving examples of what each of these stages would look like. And it's designed for language educators, it's written from that perspective. But as I'm reading it, I'm like this is so highly transferable to other disciplines. If you're doing adult learning theory, and you're either giving instruction virtually, synchronously like this, or if you're training a group of teachers or whatever, you know, you're training learners, you're trying to deliver instruction in this way. It's super, super helpful for thos purposes.

Leslie Early 15:41

Yeah, that was gonna be my question is like, how do you see this? How do you see this playing out in like, excuse me? How do you see this playing out in, you know, corporate learning, sort of situation, or, you know, so many teams are remote. They have to do remote remote onboarding, you know, and things like that.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 16:04

Yeah, I the things that were, you know, in-person, instructor-led before, this is a way of doing it. The other thing that I like about it is it gives learners a little more control, because they're doing some of the work outside. Sometimes you get in those training sessions, corporate training sessions, you're like, "Oh, my God, I gotta go through this whole thing," you know. But when you push some of the, like, basic knowledge that they need to before they even get there, then when they show up, they're doing something more interesting. It's less boring. Hopefully. If they have a good trainer. It's less boring.

Leslie Early 16:49

It's a little more interactive and more applicable hopefully to what their actual job is. So they're practicing how to apply this rather than just sitting through a lecture or something like that.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 17:04

I hate it, I hate it. When you're sitting there, you're going through a slide deck and all of the slides are simply what is it? Like? Oh my god, can we just do something with this? So yeah, yeah, I think that it is highly transferable.

Leslie Early 17:19

Yes, I agree. And thank you for bringing this to "That's Awesome ID!" and sharing, and I hope the listeners can take this, run with it, use it, hopefully, if they're doing training or if they're doing any sort of, you know, remote learning. And, yeah, that's awesome.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 17:39

That is awesome. I love it.

Leslie Early 17:42

So thank you, Sharon. And you said people can find you on LinkedIn if they want, if they're interested in joining your networking events?

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 17:50

Yep, that would be perfect. Just reach out to me. My last name is spelled T-A-J-D-E-N hyphen Glass. And I'd be happy to connect with you and get you the invitation.

Leslie Early 18:01

Great. All right. Well, thank you so much, Sharon. I hope you have a great rest of your lazy Friday here.

Sharon Tjaden-Glass 18:07

Thanks, Leslie. Thanks for having me.


bottom of page