Flipped Learning: What it is and Why You Should Be Using It

Posted in: Corporate , Education , Healthcare , UC&C

By Joshua Herring on Mar 02, 2015

Have you heard of the concept of flipped learning? It is one of the new trends in training and education, and we think it is something that you will want to take a look at when it comes to your training and educational programs, whether they are online or in the classroom.

Straight from the Flipped Learning Network, the official definition of flipped learning is “a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.” Need a translation? What that really means is that you upend the traditional learning process and take the lecture out of the classroom. Teachers provide lecture material to students in advance, allowing them the opportunity to review the material on their own, in advance of a lesson. What happens as a result is that the classroom time can then be used to interactively discuss, implement, and apply the learned concepts.

Hence, the name “flipped learning.” As implied, this teaching method rearranges the typical approach to learning, and allows teachers to spend more classroom time explaining concepts and reinforcing lessons. This allows students to be an interactive part of the process, creating a dynamic learning experience instead of a static one.

But really, why make the flip? The underlying belief of the educators who coined the term “flipped learning” is that “direct instruction and lecture is not an effective teaching tool in the group learning space, but is effective when delivered to individuals.” Since teaching staff and budgets constrain the opportunity to individually give direct instruction to students, they began to use instructional videos and videoconference learning methods to prepare students in advance. They found that utilizing class time in a way that allowed for more individualized assistance and hands-on activities increased the mastery level of the concepts taught to their students, along with the ability to provide students instant feedback. As a bonus, they found that students typically experience less frustration when learning new lessons or concepts and get more benefit out of the training in general.

In one university case study prior to implementing flipped learning 50% of freshmen failed English and 44% of freshmen failed math. After making the flip, 19% of freshmen failed English and 13% of freshmen failed math. That is a rather significant improvement by all standards. This infographic from Knewton lays out some of the advantages of flipped learning specific to the classroom, but they translate just as easily to the business environment.

When you think about it, it makes sense. Students come into a discussion, whether it is an online videoconferenced training session or an “in real life” training session, already familiar with the lecture material and prepared to discuss. As a result, they can dive deeper, ask questions, and perhaps even get more benefit from the class or training session.

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