Flipped classrooms are transforming the corporate learning environment

by Michael Mata08 Feb 2017
A recent study conducted by the Research and Analytics team at Colorado State University Online found that flipping the classroom may improve student participation and attendance rates. Flipping the classroom may also create a more challenging experience for learners and foster more critical thinking.

According to Sean Burns, assessment coordinator at CSU Online, flipped classrooms made students hold each other more accountable for showing up to class prepared. When implemented the wrong way, however, flipped classrooms created a very frustrating learning environment for students. “[The students] want goals and learning objectives defined for each class, and if this is missing, they feel lost and don’t get the maximum value from the class,” he said.

What are flipped classrooms?
Whether it’s in the corporate training room or the world of higher education, flipped classrooms are transforming the learning environment. The flipped learning model allows instructors to enhance the classroom experience with less lecturing and more activities.

The basic premise behind the flipped learning model is that direct instruction and lectures are not effective teaching tools in the group learning space, but are effective when delivered to individuals. However, direct instruction for individual learners would require a teaching staff much larger than most corporations and institutions can afford. Instead, the direct instruction is delivered to learners via instructional videos.

Nine years ago, educators Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams decided to record their lectures and host them online for their students to watch. The educators spent the subsequent classroom hours helping students with concepts they had the most difficulty with and leading hands-on activities. Bergmann and Sams concluded that students who were taught in a flipped learning environment demonstrated a deeper understanding of the course material than those who weren’t.

Flipping the corporate training environment
Flipped classrooms have been steadily gaining popularity in the corporate training environment. In a corporate context, the flipped classroom is a form of blended learning that combines interactive instructor-led training with online learning activities.

Learners typically watch training videos and participate in other forms of online learning prior to participating in classroom-type activities. Interactive instructor-led trainings include discussions, group work, collaboration, simulations, and other modules. Using this strategy, instructors can actively engage with learners to help them learn more effectively.