When Brandon Hall Group first examined flipped classrooms a couple of years ago, there were no case studies in our library focusing on learning programs that leveraged this method. But there certainly are today. We share some here.

A few weeks ago I had a flipped classroom learning experience, but not in the way you’d think. It started when I watched some video from the elementary school my children attend. Then I visited the school, and the teachers demonstrated the classroom technology, encouraging the students do a few exercises for us to show how they are learning. shutterstock_306153968

It was an interesting feeling, because experiencing it is different from writing about it. It also reinforced the value of spending in-class time on more productive activities than lectures and PowerPoint slides.

In case you’re not familiar with the concept, I’ll use this great definition from my colleague David Wentworth’s previous blog on the topic:

Flipping classrooms, for the uninitiated, is a form of blended learning in which students learn new content online by watching video lectures, usually at home, and what used to be homework (assigned problems) is done in class with teachers offering more personalized guidance and interaction with students, instead of lecturing. This is also known as backwards classroom, reverse instruction, flipping the classroom and reverse teaching.

When David examined this topic a couple years ago, there were no case studies in our library focusing on learning programs that leveraged this method. But there certainly are today. One of the best is referenced below, because I would rather show you than tell you about how companies are using this to improve learning outcomes.

Using Flipped Classroom Elements at RiverSource Insurance

A 2015 award winner, RiverSource Insurance developed a flipped classroom approach to create an inclusive, yet extensive, training plan for its financial sales employees.

The flipped classroom of video lectures for technical and detailed product training before live training enabled the wholesalers to take the pre-recorded, short webinars over a three-week period to learn the technical details about the new products.

This opened up the live training, both in-person and via webinar, to have discussions with peers, product strategy stakeholders, and product development teams. The learners engaged interactively with each other and began problem-solving as a group.

How Philips Healthcare Incorporates Flipped Classroom Content in Onboarding

Philips Healthcare, a winner of our 2014 awards competition, was in the midst of revitalizing its call center onboarding program, and it used the flipped classroom element as part of an overall approach to get learners engaged with the program and up to speed as quickly as possible.

All classrooms were flipped so the learners spent their time learning and practicing real-life issues with their cohorts in a lab-based, hands-on environment. The classroom focus is to enable the new hire to gain confidence, skills, and knowledge of the “Top calls” for the particular platform they are studying, so the day they leave the classroom they are productive, prepared, and self-assured to perform the job.

To flip the classroom, Philips had to first convert the lecture and how-to instruction material that was used in the traditional classroom environment to a self-study format. The team decided to go with video and put out a “call for presenters” to the Business Innovation, Service Innovation, and Technical Project Service Teams to help create the modular, bite-size videos which would be focused entirely on the knowledge and skills to resolve the top calls.

How to Flip Your Classrooms

What is great about this learning delivery method is that it relies heavily on the interactions of the audience. If you can generate the initial content, whether using pre-recorded webinars, podcasts, videos, or other methods like the examples above, then it is as simple as delivering it and providing an opportunity for the learners to interact, engage, and more fully explore the concepts.

Has your company ever used flipped classroom methods for learning? What has been your experience?

Ben Eubanks, Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group
@beneubanks

Ben Eubanks

Ben Eubanks, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is an HR professional and industry influencer. His experience working as a leader in the human resources field has provided him with a broad range of experience encompassing smaller organizations, government contracting firms, and the nonprofit sector. He has hands-on experience with various HR disciplines, including recruiting, benefits, employee relations, and compensation.

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