Using the Flipped Classroom Model in Employee Training

I recently touched on the flipped classroom model last month. It wasn’t an easy topic to initially broach, because its differences with more traditional classroom training are visible only at second glance, rather than on the very surface.

So, what exactly is this flipped classroom model, and is it genuinely useful in a business atmosphere? Well, we’re getting ahead of ourselves with debating its capabilities. Let’s first analyze what it really means.

Like so many conceptual things in business science, it has been convoluted by many into an overly complex (and nigh nonsensical) concept which makes it seem inaccessible to those who consider the possibility of using it Well, we all know how much I despise convoluted pretentiousness like that, and have always been adamant about the simpler, more practical view of most things. I know that’s a mite pragmatic, but the world needs more pragmatism.

Well, in the simplest view, it’s a shift of the role of the teacher, and a very shaped move of the concept of social organized learning into the foreground. It’s not entirely unsupervised cloud learning, but it isn’t the traditional classroom either. It’s something in between.

The teachers plan projects and learning agendas for the group of students to take in, work out and to cooperate in discussing and advancing. Then, the group is put to the tasks of learning the material, helping one another, and working together in exercises and discussions to fully digest this learning in an engaging way.

While this takes place, the teacher can stand aside, but not be entirely absent. They are guides, present to intervene when everyone strays, or when confusion arises that cannot be resolved by the group. Their presence in this role also brings with it a sense of security and confidence for the students. A center, as it were.

So, how is this so useful for corporate environments? Well, along with eliminating the “alone in a crowd” sense of classrooms, and to make the training so much more engaging, it also brings in relief of some of the other rigors of classrooms.

It is less dependent upon location and schedule. This model can be implemented over something as simple as a forum or group email conversation, or it can piggyback over live cooperative systems. Most popularly, it can be adopted over LMS systems like Moodle or Blackboard.

This means people can learn in this tightly knit social environment (with solid teacher guidance but not lecturing or drilling) from anywhere, on any device. This means they no longer have to schedule their work or personal lives around sitting through dull, time-consuming classrooms.

This also abates opposition to training, as business professionals are less than eager to be bothered with training or tinkering on the part of management or higher ups.

So, the flipped classroom model isn’t that complex, but its benefits and flexibility, as well as its conduciveness to various online teaching methods earns this a spot as one of the most powerful learning models a business could consider.

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Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
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