August 31st, 2015
Flipped Classrooms in Corporate Learning: Concept or reality?
The ways of Training and Learning in the corporate space are changing. With the advent of technology-enabled learning, corporate trainers are exploring newer ways of reaching out to learners. From a very ‘course-centric’ focus, trainers are now leaning towards ‘learner-centric’ models which require learners to take a more active role in their own learning..
One such learner-centric model being talked about in corporate learning circles is the Flipped Classroom model. This model, which makes online lectures available to students, was first introduced in the K12 structure to help absent students catch up faster. Instructors soon realized that they could use the concept to provide entire lectures online, and then use the face-to-face classroom time for interactive exercises like discussions, queries and other activities that encourage concept mastery.
In the corporate scenario, e-learning has been very successful in making course material available anytime and anywhere. This has, however, not diminished the importance of classroom sessions, and a blend of both mediums – e-learning and classroom training – is often considered best for engaged and effective learning. The strength of e-learning is that it is available as per the needs of the learner and offers a pace that seems comfortable to the learner. Classroom sessions are great for peer interactions, interactions with SMEs, and other inter-activities. The flipped classroom is a perfect way of blending e-learning and classroom training and utilizing the best of both worlds.
The flipped classroom offers several benefits in a corporate scenario:
- It offers an opportunity for blended learning.
- It gives an interesting twist to mundane training sessions like Compliance Training. With the flipped classroom model, the theory part of the training can be shared online while a follow-up classroom session can deal with queries and practical aspects of the training.
- The model also offers learners the freedom of reading up the e-course after the concepts have been discussed in the classroom session This helps them gain a fresh perspective, which includes the views of trainers as well as fellow learners.
- With most organizations adopting Learning Management Systems to make online training available to learners, it is easy to identify learners who are quicker to understand concepts within an e-course. This is done by measuring the time learners take to complete the course and the various in-built assessments. These ‘quick-learners’ can then be encouraged to share their knowledge in the classroom session, thereby encouraging peer learning.
- With the help of the LMS, trainers can identify sections of the e-course where learners are excelling and where they are lagging. The trainers can then utilize classroom sessions to help the learners grasp the sections that are seemingly more difficult than the rest of the course. This helps in greater understanding of concepts.
So while the benefits of a flipped classroom are plenty in the corporate scenario, is it a practical solution? At G-Cube, we created a flipped classroom learning solution for a leading training organization that had, until then, relied mainly on classroom training.
This organization had been organizing training sessions for businesses for more than 20 years. They swore by the strength of a classroom session for connecting with the learners. But, over time, they realized that they needed to empower their learners more in order to keep up with the needs of the modern workplace. G-Cube created a technology-enabled solution for them that helped them increase training effectiveness.
- We created an online learning platform, which could be accessed through multiple devices – desktops, laptops, smartphones or tablets.
- The platform provided them with an array of learning options. This included learning material for classroom sessions, background/reference reading, and learning videos as well as checklists.
- The learner was free to read-up the available material anytime and anywhere – at his or her own pace. This made sure that he or she came more prepared in class. This also helped slow learners to learn without being pressured.
- For quick learners and those who preferred to learn in detail, background reading was also available to make learning more interesting. This could rarely be possible in a classroom-only approach, which had to perforce proceed at the pace of the average learner of the class.
- With additional resources like learning videos and checklists, learners could quickly refresh the concepts and skills learnt – as per their need. Precious classroom time was thus spent not in refreshing previous concepts but in performing practical activities like role-playing, practicing skills, and so on.
The flipped classroom model is thus not just a concept but a reality that is being embraced by a growing number of forward-thinking organizations. Our experience of creating a learning solution based on this model has been largely successful, and we look forward to sharing our future innovations with the flipped classroom. To know in detail about our innovative solutions, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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