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Remember those huge lecture halls in college with hundreds of kids sitting and listening to the professor chat up the finer points of differential equations? After furious note-taking, you were sent on your way to go home and practice what you have learned. Unfortunately, I was a bit sleepy that morning and didn't exactly grasp what the instructor was telling me. So how do I practice what I have not yet learned?
Quite the conundrum. Yet, this is largely how most classrooms, including corporate models, work. You come, you listen to us talk. We give you some very tightly scripted hands-on labs, because if you go down the wrong path we don't have time to let you finish and get to the rest of our lecture.
What if we flip this model? We point you to what you should read, or a video you might view. You do the pre-work whenever you can be focused and on the device of your choice. Then, you come to our class and we practice as a group. The instructor is right there to help before anyone gets frustrated.
We can work in teams and address some real life scenarios together. The instructor is equipped with a variety of use cases and troubleshooting tasks. We all talk (social network) in advance of the class and choose the ones that apply to the majority of the attendees. No more dozing off in class as we are all actively participating, not passively listening.
Flipped classrooms are gaining ground in academia. The U.S. Department of Education is issuing grants to teachers to help them convert their curriculum, because early evidence is showing very positive results.
But what about in the corporate world? Would it really work? Are corporate learners motivated enough (and have the time) to view the lectures prior to coming to class? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so post a comment and let me know!