Changing classrooms

 

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Maybe you’ve heard about “flipping a classroom” or “flipped classrooms” and maybe you haven’t.  You might be wondering what a “flipped classroom” is.  Well, a “flipped classroom” is a new approach to learning!  Basically, the idea behind “flipped classrooms” is that students view material of learning without it being presented to them by a teacher in a classroom.  In fact we do away with the classroom altogether and the teacher so there is no real teacher centred approach. This allows students a better understanding of the topics so that more time can be spent on discussion, problem-solving, and then working with other students to complete certain aspects.  Another perk to “flipped classrooms” is that all materials are available online, outside of an organisation, and accessible 24/7. Mentoring is important rather than teaching or training and this is essential for the flipped classroom approach to work. In fact we can negate the word ‘classroom’ as it doesn’t really apply, as the learning environment is virtual as well as any designated spot you choose as the teacher or coordinator of the activities such as under a tree for example. Obviously we have to have professional teachers/trainers fully qualified to deliver and coordinate the programs as there are some high level skills required and to understand such as peer and self assessment regimes used in this type of assessment format. However the main focus is not of the teacher standing in front of the learning group or a whiteboard, monitor focal point rather than a more disparate arrangement when it comes to the learning environment that doesn’t in some cases require attendance. If attendance is required then it is to suit and augment the learner’s journey not to sit in front of a teacher and be told what to learn and do as with past Victorian styles of learning and engagement that have been proven to be redundant these days.

Have a look at the University of Texas instructional video on the subject and it can help you to understand the concept of flipped classrooms further.

We have helped many organisations engage with this form of learning for many years since we started in 2002 working with the University of Hull on a distance learning pilot that brought training to designers across the Humber region that was incredibly successful in delivering its objects of training ‘vendor skills’ over distance and without the individuals having to attend any place of training. Most designers on the program went onto achieve their design qualifications and gain their Adobe/Macromedia certification in their chosen software.

Using open source software like the tried and tested Moodle we can establish low cost distance learning platforms that can get you started with ‘flipping’ your classroom or getting rid of it altogether. As an organisation we have been supporting various companies for the last few years on engaging with students in this way and in some cases delivering national qualifications. There is nothing that you cannot ‘flip’ basically and if you want to learn how to deliver training over distance using this approach then contact the experts and we can help you decide what route is the best for your learners and in a way that is more cost effective and efficient than the Victorian models of learning that are still in place in a lot of organisations today.