The flipped learning model enables Instructors to enhance the classroom experience with less lecturing and more hands-on activity.
Flipped: The Instructor guides the lesson via a virtual classroom, podcast, precourse work or through the Learning Management System.
Flipped: The Learners work in the classroom environment with experiences that give a deeper understanding of the applications or concepts. The Instructor recognizes the true meaning of participation by the performance of the learner in their pre-course work assignments.
Traditional: The Trainer instructs while the Learner takes notes. The Learner follows the instructions. The Trainer gives assessments and homework. Once or twice week, the Trainer will provide a lab to address the hands-on applications.
Training has evolved drastically. Fire Rescue training is still a decade behind the training evolution and what training is truly becoming. The workforce is changing and if training isn’t corrected or changed now, today’s agencies will not exist in the future. One of the most debatable topics is the flipped learning model. How can educational class time and professional training time be maximized to meet the demands of specialized instruction, difficult schedules, various learning styles, expensive travel costs, and constantly changing curriculum?
The flipped learning concept helps address these concerns by delivering all low-order content before the face-to-face instructional time. This model gives the training department the ability to focus more on the hands-on than the traditional lecture.
Flipped learning is an instructional method pioneered in the educational and Fire Rescue sectors throughout the world. The basic premise behind the method is that direct instruction and lecture are not effective teaching tools in the group learning space but is only effective when delivered to individuals. Direct instruction delivered to individuals would require a teaching staff much larger than most institutions or corporations could afford. So, direct instruction is delivered using the power of eLearning technology.
As a training organization, we had a problem. Our primary audience is Independent Business Owners in various parts of the world. We were trying to offer a uniformed training program in which all of the clients were able to attend. If a Business Owner missed a session, they missed critical content and either fell behind or met with Instructors after scheduled class time to be enhanced with the material they had missed.
In the fall of 2012 we launched our training program via our LMS and virtual propriety classroom called Xlearning. We had the Business Owners do precourse work before logging into their scheduled class time within our virtual classroom. Once in the classroom we would verify that the student completed their precourse work via our reporting feature. We would then summarize what they had watched and answer any questions they may have. Once we addressed this, we would go right into the hands-on process via screen sharing or joining the review in our enhancement Sandbox. When the course was complete, we would then put the recording of our sessions on the platform for the Business Owners to review as refreshers later on.
The flipped learning model is now moving into several Fire Rescue sectors. For example, some experts in the Technical Rescue sector have changed how they train their personnel.
Currently, training consists of classroom instructional time followed by hands-on training in the operation of the selective skill. Once these groups and rescue trainers move to a flipped learning model, they can replace the class instructional time with online instructional modules: eLearning and embedded videos to be viewed and completed before the training session. The trainers can then use the face-to-face time to have the students apply their learning to either using equipment, or engaging in simulations. The LMS is used to track the training, and a robust assessment system is used to make sure the rescue workers have mastered the content before practicing in the field.
The flipped learning instructional model is growing in popularity throughout the world. Fire Rescue trainers are beginning to consider and embrace this model. If an agency is concerned about a new piece of equipment that will be rolled out and how they will be training so many of their employees, flipped training allowed the staff will be able to learn the new piece of equipment on their own time, at their pace. This model does not diminish the need for expert teachers or trainers. In fact, experts are even more essential in a flipped learning setting because the learners require much more individualized attention. The role of the trainer changes from that of a presenter of content to a coach who is developing the talents of his or her learners.
Many people, who hear about flipped learning, say that “it just makes sense.” Does it make sense in your setting? Do you see how implementing flipped learning could maximize training time in your organization? Do you see how you can be more efficient and your employees could learn more effectively?
Consider the flipped learning model to help maximize the time trainers have with learners. One of the most common questions about flipped learning is “What do I do if my employees show up to class and have not viewed the assigned content?” An effective method to ensure that adult learners are prepared is to design a system that prevents the learner from attending the classroom session until after he or she has completed the pre-course work. In addition to preventing individuals from arriving for training unprepared, a system of filtering out unmotivated learners is established. This can be done by having the student print out hidden messages or few question assessments at the end within the precourse work or the use of an LMS that can track and report if the student spent the time in reviewing the content before attending face to face or virtual class time. Sodon’t fall behind in how training is evolving but take it in full force.
FREDDIE BATISTA is a revolutionary Training and Development Expert with over 20 years ofexperience in hands-on learning. He has a master’s degree in Executive Management with a minor in Instructional System Design. Freddie has pioneered the adaptation of open-source LMS’s and eLearning environments for both Corporations and Government Agencies. Freddie has worked with Government Agencies and Corporations in many different training environments.