Flipping the Script: An Initial Exploration of Flipped Learning as an Enhanced Alternative to Traditional Physical Education Lessons

Chad M. Killian, Sarah M. Espinoza, Collin A. Webster, Belden Long, Mark Urtel, Amelia Mays Woods, Emily M. D’Agostino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Physical activity (PA) is related to a variety of positive outcomes for youth and physical education (PE) represents a primary school-based environment where students can engage in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Limitations exist in secondary schools with low socio-economic status, where MVPA engagement is generally below the recommended 50% of lesson time. Growing evidence suggests that using a flipped learning approach (FLA) may naturally enhance PE lessons as outlined by The Theory of Expanded, Extended, and Enhanced Opportunities for Youth Physical Activity Promotion. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the impact of the FLA to traditional instruction on student MVPA, lesson context, and teacher involvement during middle school PE lessons. Methods: Participants were 56 male students from two 7th-grade classes from a low-SES, suburban school. This study employed the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT). Data were examined through descriptive statistics. Linear regression models were used to predict SOFIT outcomes as a function of FLA versus traditional instruction. Results: Students in the FLA class spent significantly more class time in MVPA (p < 0.01). Regression models predicted participants in FLA classes would spend 55% more class time in MVPA (p < 0.01). After adjusting for covariates, models showed students in FLA classes would spend almost 18 more minutes in MVPA than students in traditional classes (p < 0.01). Discussion/Conclusion: The FLA may be a practical lesson enhancement strategy to increase student MVPA and improve PE opportunities for students in low SES schools when compared to the use of traditional instruction. The results of this study demonstrated positive potential of using FLA in PE but should be considered within the context of their limitations. Further examination of the FLA is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15188
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • blended learning
  • digital instruction
  • information and communication technology
  • middle school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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