The Flipped Classroom Model in Corporate Training

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At this point, nobody’s denying that the traditional classroom model that has endured in scholastic life, higher learning and in corporate training is not the end all to be all that it once was. There is a reason that so many young people hate school, and it is not, contrary to popular belief, because they don’t like gaining knowledge. They just hate the lack of agency, the pressure, the time consumption and the tedium of classrooms. It’s worse in corporate training, because the grind of daily work life preserves the tedium that makes students less than enthusiastic, the sole consolation being that working adults are free from the extra negative trappings of scholasticism. Additionally many have questioned whether classroom training is the most effective way of connecting training to performance, and for employees to easily be able to apply what they have learned once those classroom sessions have ended. Many models have been proposed to alleviate this, but they require radical transitions. A new one, the flipped classroom model, however, offers a stopgap.


Ok, before I go any further, let me explain that this alone isn’t enough to eliminate the huge and vast hurdles of training, where the more drastic change models theoretically might. But, since these transitions to severe change aren’t practical to just up and do without more case studies and standardization by practice, this is a good way to fix a lot of problems now, just not all of them. At least, the flipped classroom model fixes a lot of these problems in theory. So, how does this work? Well, there’s no fixed standard for how this is implemented. It’s pretty open-ended, but the goals are very clear. Rather than sit everyone down silently, and lecture them, and give them exercises to drill them repeatedly (like grade school), it changes the role of the teacher in the classroom. Instead of lecturing them in the class room, the teacher is present as a guide, who assigns projects, activities and other group processes. The students present will then work on these projects together, while the teachers are present to give them input and guide them along the way. Rather than more tedious homework, the students are then sent off with lectures to watch or reading to go through to supplement the social environment of practice and activity in the class room. Now, the theory behind this, especially in corporate training is to first make the training sessions more engaging and less tedious. The social activity aspect will encourage team work, diversification and a social mindset which a business needs in order to grow and succeed. Along with these, it also builds experience through realistic exercises, building more on the “learn by doing and experience” concept which has proven far more proficient. Along with these, this sort of model is more flexible as well, which works more with busy professionals in a corporate training environment. If physical interaction is unneeded, educational technologies, cooperative data systems and communications technologies can be coordinated together to set up this model over the internet, where location means far less. Coupled with the ease of implementing gamification, the flipped classroom model is a good stopgap for bringing the corporate training concept into a new age, and will serve to help wear away at old roles and preconceptions about how education should work. There are far bigger changes on the horizon, but this model is a good way of easing into giving up a lot of old ways of thinking that this will require.  
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog