Flipping the classroom: how to go about it?
Have you ever heard of flipping the classroom? It means you reverse the traditional trainer-participant relationship. Forget a training where the trainer talks and participants are just passive listeners. Flipping the classroom is a method in which the theoretical part isn’t discussed in a live environment. In the office or at home, participants study course materials in a ‘passive’ way so you can use live meetings for in-depth discussions and interaction. Participants can, for example, solve problems in groups and present results. This way, they actively engage with course materials, which ensures the theories learned sink in. Sounds great, but how to go about it in practice?
Hard vs. soft skills: how do you spend your live meeting?
Usually, a distinction is made between hard skills (learning facts by heart) and soft skills (how to respond to your interlocutor’s reactions during interactions). A few weeks ago, we attended the ATD conference in Washington, where Seth Godin said soft skills don’t exist. He calls them ‘real skills,’ because if you think about it, everything revolves around these types of skills.
The point is, you don’t need anyone else for hard skills, because there’s a clear line between right and wrong. Here’s an example: ‘1 + 1 = 2’ will always remain the same, so it’s easy to independently check the sum and its outcome. Real skills, on the other hand, should be sharpened during interaction with people. Suppose participants want to learn sales or leadership qualities. They can read a ton of theories on these subjects at home or in the office. But ultimately, they’ll need to apply the skills they’ve studied during an interaction. You should spend the precious hours of a live meeting on that – by organizing a role play with participants (and/or actors), for example. That’s flipping the classroom.
Flipping the classroom with LearningStone: how does that work?
In LearningStone, you can easily make documents and audio or video materials available to participants. It’s possible to create certain reminders that encourage them to study materials at home or in the office in a timely manner. You can use practical standard formats for this, so you don’t need any special equipment. Whatever the format of the course materials (from Word documents to video files), you can upload them for participants. You can also let participants take a test to see whether they’ve understood the course materials. And if you want, you can link this test to the next live meeting – for example, by placing participants into study groups as soon as they’ve successfully completed the test!