I first wrote about ‘Flipped Classroom in Corporate Sector’ way back in October 2012. Through the blog titled, Have You Heard of Flipped Classroom in Corporate Training? I shared our experience as a team in developing an eLearning program for a client who wanted to use it as a mandatory pre-classroom activity. The client was not aware of the flipped concept as such, at that time, but quite inadvertently implemented the same in their organization.
At that time, I researched on the Internet to find other examples from the corporate world of Flipped Classroom. Except for discussions and examples in the K-12 and university sector, there were absolutely none pertaining to the corporate sector. Perhaps, the corporate world didn’t quite embrace the word ‘Flipped Classroom’ though some of the features of flipped classroom were being incorporated into blended learning.
A similar search today on the net will feature articles, blogs and discussions about the relevance of Flipped Classroom in the corporate sector. Some are implementing it successfully in their organizations. One area where Flipped Classroom would be very useful is in software training. In traditional format, the instructor conducts the training – may be demonstrate how the software works and learners can work on it only when they get back to their desks. However, in flipped model, learners come armed with the basic knowledge and work on how to apply the knowledge gained under the supervision of an instructor. So, the instructor is no longer “a sage of the stage” but a “facilitator on the side”.
Going through one of the discussions on LinkedIn, I noticed a wide spectrum of ideas about the concept. Some called it ‘old wine in new bottle’, others didn’t differentiate it from blended learning and some dismissed it as relevant only in the high school context – where it first began.
Some of the concerns expressed are as follows:
- Too much emphasis on technology instead of instruction – what software to be used, how it needs to be delivered, etc.
- Poorly developed/recorded videos where classroom sessions are recorded and uploaded with no pre-designed script for online purpose.
- Technology makes it easy but does it make learning effective? You can reach out to the learners in a matter of minutes but are you effective in conveying the knowledge?
These concerns are not unfounded. If you notice carefully, there is a single key component that is crucial to making the concept a success. In fact, this crucial component is critical to making any learning format a success. Can you guess what it is?
It is Instructional Design or Learning Design process.
When one is planning a learning initiative and chooses the flipped model, One has to follow instructional design principles and device learning strategies that work for a given situation, in a given context for a given set of audiences. No technology or concept or method can be successful if it is not used well. It is the same with the flipped classroom concept as well. The idea can be a great success if the use of technology is backed by sound learning principles. Don’t you agree?
In my next blog, I will share some ideas on how you can ensure that the flipped concept is a success for your learning situation.