Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2017

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Second Language Acquisition

First Advisor

Liskin-Gasparro, Judith

Second Advisor

Schmidt, Renita

First Committee Member

Otto, Sue

Second Committee Member

Schrier, Leslie

Third Committee Member

Wesely, Pamela


Using a grounded theory approach, the purpose of this research study is to generate a learning-how-to-learn training model for learners in flipped language course. The model is grounded in the interactions and comments from college students enrolled in an elementary Spanish I class at a large Midwestern university. The study participants video recorded themselves on two occasions during the semester as they worked online to study and learn new vocabulary. Twice during the semester the participants discussed with their classmates how they approached the online course work, offering tips and suggestions to one another. Finally, the participants met with me individually to view recordings of themselves working online and to reflect on their behaviors.

The study addressed research questions pertaining to (a) their online interactions with three online components, (b) the insights gained from discussing their online interactions with their peers, (c) the insights gained from watching and reflecting on video clips of themselves working online, (d) the supports needed to help learners learn in a flipped course. The grounded theory analysis of the three data sources—recorded think-aloud sessions, focus groups, and individual sessions with the researcher— provides a clear picture of how students learn in an online environment and what supports they need to become more effective language learners in a flipped course environment

The study identified communication as the core construct that emerged from the data. Communication was found to be central to the types of supports that learners in a flipped course need and essential to the learning-how-to-learn training model. The training model considers the learner as well as the director and instructors and communication at each level is vital to the learners’ understanding of flipped learning and subsequent interactions. Autonomy, guidance, and reflection are the three concepts that support the core construct by addressing ways to support learners.

A major contribution of this study is to explore the culture of flipped learning from the students’ perspective, since previous research on flipped learning is weighted toward the instructor side. The findings suggest that training in a flipped course be ongoing to increase communication and in-class to bridge the disconnect between face-to-face time and online time. The pedagogical implications, which consider the entire language program from the program level to the classroom level, describe ways to guide learners in building their autonomous learning skills and practices, along with the practice of reflection, both of which are fundamental to learning in a flipped course. The need for ongoing and in-class training is presented in addition to pedagogical implications at the program level, instructor level, student level, and the classroom level.


CALL Training, Flipped Learning, Language Program Direction, Learner Preparation, Online Learning, Spanish


xix, 461 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 445-461).


Copyright © 2017 Jennifer Vojtko Rubí