Written by SEWI-ATD Guest Blogger Tresha Lovell Program Manager at Johnson Controls.
Due to economic pressures, competition and stakeholder demands, organizations are steadily looking for ways to operate more efficiently. In many cases, this involves organizational streamlining and cost reductions to projects and initiatives and Learning and Development is often included in these budget cuts. In their book, “Training on Trial,” Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick detail the scrutiny that training often undergoes to prove value by asking this question: “What evidence can you provide to demonstrate your value to the bottom line of the business in relation to your efforts?” (Kirkpatrick, pp 3). The business climate demands that learning and development evolves to find new methods to increase learning transfer, improve employee performance and show significant return on investment while spending less time and resources to do so. One solution has been the introduction of the Flipped Learning model in corporate training. In this article, we’re going to explore how this model provides quality training that increases employee engagement and learning transfer while reducing cost over time. By leveraging this model, Learning and Development teams can significantly improve employee performance, thereby, proving their value to their organizational leaders.
The Flipped learning method was introduced by Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams and is based on the premise of introducing “direct instruction and lecture” material using on-demand tools before class and reserving classroom time to apply knowledge through interactive modalities like exercises, discussions and projects (Bergman and Sams, pp 29). With the increased development of low cost, easy-to-use technologies, organizations can create high-quality videos, screencasts, podcasts and eLearning materials that can be deployed ahead of instructor-led sessions (Jacot, Noren & Berge, pp 23-24). This approach allows focus and attention to be given to complex topics, individual instruction and real-world application during training sessions (Bergman and Sams, pp 29-30).
Although originally introduced in K12 classrooms, the Flipped learning model and has been adopted in corporate training to answer the question if “professional training time [can] be maximized to meet the demands of specialized instruction, difficult schedules, various learning styles, expensive travel costs and constantly changing curriculum?” (Bergman and Sams, pp 29). The model answers this question by providing “a blend of both mediums – e-learning and classroom training – is often considered best for engaged and effective learning” (Majumdar “Flipped Classroom in Corporate Learning, Concept or Reality”). In addition to a shift in instructional design and development, and the role of the instructor also shifts under this model to that of a ‘coach’ (Bergman and Sams, pp 31) This enables learner to move beyond the first two level’s of Bloom’s Taxonomy and to begin moving up the triangle to Application and Analysis while in the classroom versus remaining at the bottom levels of the pyramid because of lack of time and/or resources to practice applying knowledge within their business context (“Bloom’s Taxonomy”).
The final benefit centers around cost control and return on investment. Through extensive study on the Flipped Learning model and its benefit to corporate learning, researchers Melanie Jacot, Jason Noren and Zane Berge arrived at this conclusion:
“For organizations aligning with constructivist ideals, looking to integrate modern Web-based applications and cognizant of the need for a reimagining of the conventional classroom environment, the flipped classroom will prove impossible to resist. Equally, corporations that see the value of in-class instructional sessions prioritizing creativity, experiential learning activities and authentic skills-based training that directly correspond to increased levels of productivity and ROI will be similarly allured” (Jacot, Noren & Berge, pp 27).
As Learning teams continue to look for ways to both provide effective training solutions and control costs associated with Learning and Development, considerations must be given to non-traditional approaches. The Flipped Learning model is one such approach that has proven to be effective for talent development, improving employee performance and providing solid returns.
- Bergmann, Jon and Aaron Sams. “Flipped Learning: Maximizing Face Time.” T+D Training + Development, ASTD, February 2014, Vol. 82, No. 2, pp: 28 – 31.
- Kirkpatrick, Jim D. and Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick. “Training on Trial: How Workplace learning Must Reinvent Itself to Remain Relevant.” Amacom, 2010.
- Majumdar, Arunima. “Flipped Classroom in Corporate Learning, Concept or Reality?” G-Cube Blog, G-Cube, 13 Oct 2013, gc-solutions.net/blog/flipped-classrooms-in-corporate-learning-concept-or-reality/.
- Jacot, Melanie and Jason Noren and Zane Berge. “The Flipped Classroom in Training and Development: Fad or Future?”
- “Bloom’s Taxonomy.” Training Industry, Training Industry, 23 May 2013, trainingindustry.com/wiki/content-development/blooms-taxonomy/.
About the Author
Tresha Lovell is a Talent Development professional with over 7 years of corporate learning experience. After starting her career in IT and business development, Tresha transitioned into training and development and has used her ability to design and implement learning solutions in various organizations, including Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual and SoftwareONE. Tresha's experience includes delivering training for complex technology solutions, systems, and consultative sales methodologies. A proven communicator and presenter, Tresha's passion is to equip both individuals and business leaders with the skills needed to uncover and fulfill their purpose.