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Flipping the Classroom

Wed, June 06, 2012 4:32 PM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)
There is big talk in Higher Ed (besides mobile learning) about the flipped classroom. Essentially, it means you have the students watch/listen to the lecture (learning transfer) outside of class and then have them do the homework (discussion/application) in the class. Since most of the learning comes from this level, it makes sense to have this come in a more facilitated environment to ensure correct application.

How does this apply to Workplace Learning and Performance (WLP)?

Even though you don’t have an entire semester to build on, you can still apply many of the same techniques to WLP. Let’s start by looking at Bloom’s Taxonomy and how you can use technology to assist in flipping your classroom.
Much of the time spent in the classroom is the learning transfer or lecture. This is the Knowledge/Remembering and possibly the Comprehension/Understanding level. As trainers, we know the learning and retention begins in the Application/Applying level. If a learner spends time with the trainer in the first level, and then returns to the job and applies the knowledge in the wrong way, no one is there to assist them in the correct application and the learning doesn’t stick or the wrong learning is applied. If you can have the learner use another method to gain the knowledge, and the trainer help facilitate the comprehension and application, you can ensure better learning.

Level 1:  Knowledge/Remembering

There are many ways to you can use technology to push the knowledge to the learner. Some obvious ones are podcasts or videos of the lecture. There are already a ton of videos on TED and TED Ed for a lot of things, but why not create your own podcasts or videos. Not only can they be used for the providing the knowledge prior to training, but can also be an easily accessible reference for after the training.

You can also use a variety of social media for this. You can create and share AuthorStream or SlideShare presentations. Share a Google Doc or SkyDrive document. Have learners explore specified Delicious or Diigo bookmarked items. Conduct a video chat via Skype, Microsoft Lync or Adobe Connect. Get creative and make it interesting. It doesn’t have to be flashy unless you want to. It is the content that is important.

Level 2:  Comprehension/Understanding

Some options you used for Level 1 can get you through level two, Comprehension/Understanding, such as the video chat that allows for a two way conversation. If not, you can easily cover this in the face to face time with the learners. If you need to catch up on the Comprehension when you meet, consider a review of the material using Poll Everywhere or another clicker option. Clickers give you the opportunity for a guided review to ensure correct comprehension. Otherwise, you can have the learners do a quiz or survey before arriving using any type of polling software, such as Survey Monkey, or create a quiz using Google Forms.

Level 3:  Application/Applying

Here is where the trainer is essential. In the application of knowledge, if it is not applied correctly, the learner will not be able to properly do their job or task. This level is also harder to correct if the wrong behavior is learned. You can provide the correct guidance for application.

Level 4:  Analysis/Analysing

Technology to the rescue, again! Here is where you can implement a wiki or discussion board for learners to return to and analyse their performance. Perhaps a quick video or instant message chat can help. Even something as simple as a Facebook page or group where the discussion and sharing can happen. A blog which allows for commenting or a YouTube video does, too, can also help with the analysis.

Level 5:  Synthesis/Evaluating & Level 6:  Evaluating/Creating

Many of the same tools used before can be used again, but instead of watching YouTube videos or commenting on Blogs or Discussion board, have the learner do the creating. Learners can begin their own threads or pages on wikis and facilitate the discussions there. Have the learner lead their own specialized Facebook group or start and contribute to Delicious or Diigo bookmarks and tags.

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