You might have heard of flipped teaching, a trend first introduced by the educational system in order to help some students from dropping out. Today, this term is also used by HR professionals as an innovative answer to current old-fashioned training systems.
Throughout this post, you’ll learn the definition of flipped teaching through 5 key points in regard to professional training for collaborators and managers.
1. The Origins of Flipped Teaching
Like many well-known new techniques and inventions, flipped teaching came to life in Harvard thanks to American Professor Eric Mazur (1991).
Mazur decided to launch a program of peer instruction due to an observation: Getting the student to be more active during the course leads to more performance and efficiency than for a standard lecture. At first sight, this is a conclusion many of us came to, as a student or even as a participant in a training, meeting, or conference!
Eric Mazur decided to give a simple answer to this simple observation: He suggested to flip teaching. Students learn key theoretical notions autonomously from home, and the teacher answers and corrects the questionnaire with the students in class while having them practice in small groups. His study showed favorable results for flipped teaching in his field, algebra. Students in a flipped class gain better results than those in a traditional class.
2. Flipping the Class: Theory First, Practice Later
In concrete terms, how does flipped teaching apply to professional training?
The goal is simply to focus teaching on the learner and their needs by sending them some theory (videos, white paper, training material,… We’ll get into details within the post’s fourth point) ahead of the training session. Having gone through the theory on their own, learners will delve into the concepts and some exercises with their peers during the training session.
This format has been very popular among large enterprises’ HR and training managers for several years as it allows them to shake up historical codes of training and bring closer-to-reality and more powerful training experiences to operatives and executives. Those give indeed more credit to experiences focusing on sharing, transmission and pragmatism.
Leadership trainings generally receive more positive feedback when big foundational concepts of Jurgen Appelo, Simon Sinek, and Peter Drucker are studied ahead of the training session by the learner through readings and videos, and the training session hereafter focuses on practising through role-playing, co-development workshops, and exercises with tools.
3. The ‘’Client’s’’ Priorities at the Heart of the Training
How to maximise success of the training? Starting with the client’s and the learner’s needs and problems seems like a good lead to follow!
With flipped teaching, you make sure to better understand the client and their needs.
Why? Because, when sending theoretical concepts ahead of it, participants come to the training session with their own questions, getting curious about what they read or watched. The trainer can therefore bounce on the list of priorities established by learners and maximise their chances to get attention and engagement.
This also shows the ability to be flexible and to make trainings as unique and original as possible. Those latter words are often used by learners, who are getting tired of generic, unpersonalised trainings.
Let’s get back to our Leadership training example. A manager, who sees his role and enterprise transform, would like to share with his peers on the matter, and how they apprehend change in their roles. He’d like to put tools he discovered into practice: Daniel Pink’s motivators or the Objective Key Results (OKR) method. He will be interested in a training which deals with his priorities and operational problems, rather than trainings about concepts more suitable to start-up managerial models, which happen to be less feasible for a large group.
4. An Easier Setup Thanks to Digital Tools
Flipped teaching can only reach its full potential if the association of human, technology, and pedagogy becomes a reality.
Indeed, the point is to focus on the learner’s needs and psychology, to review the pedagogical sequence, and to take advantage from the digital tools and give access to contents ahead of the training session.
The multiplication of learning management systems (LMS) and learning platforms (e.g. LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Coursera, …) make such a learning experience possible from beginning to end. Those platforms, when used wisely, give reading recommendations to the learner, and therefore avoids for the trainer to create uselessly many theoretical contents. More and more digital solutions allow to create a forum for chatting or helping each other in-between or beyond the training.
You can also check out for more about e-learning right here
5. What to Remember?
Like every new approach, there is no magic solution to fully replace old models which proved their worth through time.
We could also notice, through many experiences within large groups, that flipped teaching has its limitations when used as the sole and exclusive option. Indeed, we cannot make sure a participant will go through the theoretical part ahead of the training session. Participants are often deep into their business as usual and come to the session without watching or reading the main theoretical concepts.
We also notice that some don’t buy this learning through practice experience. Some are not used to permanent practice, and several days as a particip-actor doesn’t fit into their standards of trainings.
In regard to this, we can see more and more often the concept of hybrid teaching, merging the best of several methods: Flipped teaching, peer instruction (co- development) and experience sharing (or conversation-course).
We’ve just defined flipped teaching. As for co-development, it refers to a method initiating exchanges among peers: No longer learning from a trainer, but from one’s peers.
Finally, the conversation-course is a permanent exchange between the source and recipient of the information in which the protagonist serves as the group’s animator. The whole method lies on the trainer’s ability to enhance their intervention with some stories or experiences.
We hope this post helped you lift the mystery around flipped teaching, and understand its main components. Like every approach, it remains essential to keep a balance and alternate between rhythms to keep the learner’s attention and maximise chances of success and knowledge retention several months after the training.
Discover the new Digital Learning offer by Wemanity, leaning on this learning concept and adding to our other immersive training experiences! Thanks to video capsules to watch ahead of training sessions, get your teams’ knowledge to last!