Flipping the Classroom at Work

The flipped classroom takes rote content time out of the classroom.

By Dan Cooper, CEO, ej4.com

One of the standard creativity techniques is “reversal.” This is where you take some established idea, suggest the exact opposite, and then see what the potential benefits might be. It’s exactly what educators are doing with one of the most fundamental assumptions of classroom teaching.

In education, the typical approach is for teachers to present an in-class lecture on new material, and then have students complete outside homework on the content. Leading educators now are doing just the opposite with a flipped classroom.In this reversal of the traditional model, lectures are delivered outside of class via online video, and classroom time with teachers is used to do homework and work through any difficulties.

Consider a typical math course. Classes consist of lectures, and homework consists of solving problems using that content. The flipped classroom is essentially the model used in English class where students have to read a story at home and be ready to discuss it during class. The acquisition learning is done outside of class, and the application learning is done in class with the teacher.

Think of an instructor giving the same lecture to six classes in one day. Anything delivered more than once in the same way delivers no value-add. The flipped classroom takes this rote content time out of the classroom, which increases the amount of value-added time teachers have in class to help students.

You can see the lesson here for workplace learning. The lecture portion of classroom learning isn’t where the benefit is. That can be done better and more cheaply with online video training outside of the classroom. The real value lies in the application of the new knowledge and in getting coaching when using the content. This is best done by a supervisor on the job or, if necessary, in the classroom with a subject matter expert.

Flipping the classroom at work is a more effective use of everyone’s time—both for learners and instructors. It’s one of those “Doh!” ideas that seem obvious once you reverse the traditional assumptions of classroom learning.

Dan Cooper is CEO of ej4.com. Fast 4ward your learning—find out more at http://www.ej4.com.

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