Today, we are all subject to a never ending flow of content, delivered through our smartphones, laptops and TVs. Content that’s different for everyone, because companies are able to adapt their message to each and every individual. Take for example the ads you see on your Instagram page, or the way Netflix personalizes its artwork.
In corporate learning we see a similar trend. Every employee has their individual learning and development plan, full of specific goals and actions. Some companies even offer their employees a training budget which they can spend on whatever fits their learning agenda. So far so good, we would argue. Everybody has their own learning preferences and needs, and accommodating for those makes learning more efficient and more fun.
When we dig just one level deeper, we observe something completely different. When we look at the actual training and development sessions employees go to, we often get to see a setting that is closely comparable to a twentieth century classroom: teachers going through pages and pages of theoretical content and passive students that come largely unprepared.
A fundamental change is needed to make training sessions much more engaging and effective: flip the classroom. Flipping the classroom starts with recognizing that just listening to a teacher going through a dozen powerpoint slides to explain a complicated piece of theoretical content, is not the way most people learn effectively.
Flipping the classroom starts before even entering the actual classroom. Employees should get the opportunity to review the theory beforehand, packaged in fun, engaging and effective ways: short bite-sized pieces and a mix of video, text, audio, games and quizzes. With such a variety, each employee can chose which types of bites fit their learning profile best.
Coming into the classroom with a basic understanding of the theory, allows for the session to be about activation of concepts through practice and implementation. Depending on the topic a trainer can facilitate role playing exercises, create real life examples, lead a debate, stimulate peer reviewing, etc. This experiential way of learning makes the session more fun and the impact more lasting. While debriefing exercises, a trainer can still chose to give short lectures, but now these short lectures can be question-driven and tailored towards the learning needs that arose from the exercises.
Flipping the classroom doesn’t stop when the session ends. The learning process continues in many forms, for example a short quiz a couple of weeks later, a reminder to apply a specific piece of content in everyday work or a short video summary of what was discussed. There could also be supported opportunities to seek feedback from co-workers or to message with the trainer and other training participants. All to help implement what you learned.
Flipping the classroom might sound like a monumental shift, and it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult. We, Lepaya, offer a digital solution that incorporates all of the elements mentioned above and many more. So there is really no reason why traditional, ‘unflipped’, twentieth century classroom sessions are still taking place.
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