The Flipped Classroom – a powerful approach for learning.

The flipped classroom is becoming an increasingly powerful way to deliver effective learning.

Popular in educational establishments, this approach is now working its way into many business organisations.  So let’s start by understanding what we mean when we discuss the flipped classroom.

In essence, this approach requires learners to assimilate knowledge on a particular skill or subject area prior to meeting in a classroom (or workshop) environment.

One of the major benefits to the flipped classroom, is that the classroom session can be much more productive.

One of the main reasons for this is that the instructor is not spending time trying to bring all class members up to a comparative level of understanding. Having previously worked through the basic knowledge they need, learners can use the classroom to test their understanding, ask questions on topics that are confusing them and also address practical exercises that may require physical involvement. This makes for a more dynamic and interactive classroom session where learners can discuss and apply concepts rather than passively sit in front of a presentation.

In order to maximise the benefits when using this approach, it is useful to have a way for learners to share their questions, problems and challenges well in advance of the meeting.  The use of LMS systems or forums provides a useful way to gather and collate this information for the instructor. Collecting this information before the physical meeting enables the instructor to optimise the classroom session and deliver much higher value by supporting and expanding upon the knowledge gained previously.

Some of you may have adopted a flipped classroom already, but for those who haven’t, here is a simple approach that you may find useful:

  • Develop your online material to provide the knowledge that learners need.
  • Make this material as engaging and interactive as possible.
  • Provide a mechanism for sharing questions and problems prior to the meeting. It may be useful to have a mechanism for updating the online learning material with the feedback gained.
  • Use online quizzes in advance of the class so the instructor can assess any knowledge shortfalls or confusion.
  • Use the start of the classroom session to address these problems and questions and raise the overall knowledge of the class, before moving on to extend their learning.
  • Use the class to deal with any practical requirements and demonstrations.
  • Be sure to feed any further developments back into your online learning materials to improve the course for future learners.

If you would like to chat about introducing a flipped classroom approach and learning materials for your organisation, then please get in touch.

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About the Author

Terry Simmons

Terry Simmons

Terry Simmons is the founder of eLearning Plus, an organisation dedicated to helping organisations engage with their learners for a Smarter Business. eLearning Plus works across the UK and Internationally to help organisations with bespoke and generic course development. eLearning Plus also designs tools and training materials that support learning as well providing technology solutions to manage learners and course delivery. Terry's LinkedIn Profile