What is a Flipped Classroom Model— And How Does It Relate to Corporate Training and Learning Management Systems?
There are always different training methods that can be used to provide the necessary L&D concepts and materials to employees. The big benefit of a learning management system is the fact that you can easily incorporate different strategies and best practices because an LMS is so scalable and flexible. If you come across a newer concept or one you haven’t tried to train your employees, a learning management system means you can integrate these concepts into your training without a complete overhaul of materials and content.
One learning model that’s increasingly making its way into employee and corporate training is the flipped classroom concept. So, what is it, how does it relate to corporate training and how can a learning management system be the foundation for this particular learning model?
What Is a Flipped Classroom Model?
The flipped classroom model is one that strives to take advantage of the face-to-face time between students and instructors. Flipped learning is something that’s increasingly being used in a lot of schools around the world, and the idea in implementing this concept is that more effective learning practices exist than simply providing lecturing and direct instruction at the group level. Individually, however, the flipped model does consider direct instruction valuable. While direct instruction provided at an individual level can be highly effective, it’s not always a realistic way to teach, particularly in public schools which are already overburdened and lacking in time and resources.
What Are the Benefits of a Flipped Classroom?
What has been discovered in classroom use of the flipped model is that instructors can record their lectures and group instruction. Students can then access that information as needed, but the face-to-face time they have with instructors can be used to help them understand the more complex concepts in a deeper and more contextually relevant way. For example, in classroom use of flipped learning, instructors might provide general overviews in video-recorded lectures. Then, during the actual in-person classroom time, they can work on problem-solving, critical thinking and hands-on learning with students. Students can get a feel for the concepts outside of the classroom, and the things that are often used as homework, such as applying those skills, end up becoming what’s done in the class.
Key concepts of flipped learning or the flipped classroom include:
- The learning model moves to being learner-centric as opposed to instructor-centric.
- There are more opportunities for meaningful learning which can be facilitated through relevance, the creation of context, critical thinking and overall application of concepts.
- The flipped classroom makes use of technology including the use of videos to deliver content, and this makes information accessible to students on-demand. The flipped classroom approach does offer opportunities for all types of learnings to be involved. It integrates visual, listening, oral and problem-solving and hands-on learning.
Four Pillars of Flipped Learning
The flipped learning model is divided into what are called four pillars (FLIP). These pillars are:
- Flexible environment: There is a sense of flexibility regarding how students learn and access content, and it also provides flexibility for the instructors, and the expectations that they have for the learner.
- Learning culture: Based on the flipped learning model, time spent in class is all about looking at core concepts in a critical, in-depth way and the knowledge then becomes personally relevant and also meaningful for students. This contributes to the development of a deeper culture of learning.
- Intentional content: This pillar indicates that instructors determine what should be taught and then what students can then tackle independently, and the overall objective is to maximize the time spent in class and the center of the learning experience on the student.
- Professional educator: The role of the educator is one that’s extremely important in the flipped model, because while the instructor may not be as visible in this model, they are actually responsible for taking on more significant responsibilities when it comes to constant assessment and feedback to determine where the focus needs to be for each individual student.
There are a lot of benefits of the flipped classroom, but of course, there are potential disadvantages as well. In traditional education systems, there may be problems because some students may not have the necessary technology to view the video content. It may also be difficult for students who have problems learning independently. In the corporate setting, many of the hurdles of the flipped classroom model either don’t exist or are fairly easy to overcome as compared to classroom learning.
How Can the Flipped Model Be Used in Corporate Training?
The flipped learning model is one that can be highly beneficial in corporate training, and it can easily integrate with the use of a learning management system. Basically, the key concepts are the same.
When the flipped model is used in corporate training, video lectures and content can be delivered through the use of the learning management system. Then, through mentorships or similar programs, employees can take the concepts they learn through the videos and online instructional time and apply them to real job situations. Employees can be expected to view the necessary learning modules before they then work in-person with their trainer.
A lot of companies are already using elements of the flipped learning model without even realizing it, particularly if they have established mentorship programs in place, paired with learning management system modules and content.
If a company is considering using flipped learning in their corporate training, they have to understand the importance of the instructor. Even though it’s a learner-centric instructional model, the instructor has to guide the ship in more important ways beyond just delivering lectures.
They have to be well-educated and knowledgeable enough themselves to take the content and make it relevant to the employees as part of their hands-on training. They also have to be equipped to make fast assessments to determine what areas of focus are most important for an individual employee.
Finally, another consideration with the flipped model is ensuring that the video instruction is delivered in a high-quality way. There needs to be high production value, and it needs to be delivered in short, manageable chunks so as not to lose the attention of the employees.