Developing effective corporate learning programs can be challenging; more often than not, poorly planned training is not only a waste of money but also disruptive to your business and demotivating to your employees.

There’s a lot of buzz in the HR world about how new learning techniques such as the flipped classroom can motivate learners and accelerate learning, so let’s look at how it can be applied to corporate learning programs.

Flipping your classroom essentially involves exposing corporate learners to learning content before attending the training session, often using online content. This means that contact time with the trainer and other learners can be spent understanding and applying what they’ve learned, rather than the trainer spending time imparting information. It also means that you need less scheduled contact time with (expensive) expert trainers than is the case with traditional training models.

Here are five reasons why the flipped classroom is more effective than traditional models of corporate learning programs.

1. Reduces Stress

Organizing your employees to all be in the same place at the same time to attend their learning program can be an organizational headache, not to mention being disruptive to the day-to-day running of your company.

The flipped classroom approach is far more flexible, as the personal study phase of the learning program can fit around each employee’s individual schedule, and the amount of scheduled contact time can be reduced. Your employees, therefore, do a lot of the learning when they themselves decide they have time, which has been shown to reduce stress.

Providing a less stressful learning environment is not only kind to your employees, but research shows that the less stressed they are, the better they will learn.

Providing a less stressful learning environment is not only kind to your employees, but research shows that the less stressed they are, the better they will learn.

2. Empowers the Learner

With the flipped classroom, employees don’t just have more flexibility about when they learn, but also what they learn. When you have everyone together in group training sessions, all the participants cover the same content at the same pace.

Allowing the learner to go through this content in their own time before the session means they can choose to skip the parts they already know or that are less relevant to them. Employees can then focus their time and energy on exactly what they know they need to know.

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The learning process becomes tailored to each individual’s needs, and learning time is therefore used more effectively. Learning can happen at a pace that suits the individual, and employees are empowered by being given more control and responsibility for their own learning. While some might see this as putting a lot of trust in your employees to complete their learning programs, using an effective VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) means both you and your employee keep track of their progress.

3. Promotes Active Learning

Having your employees sit together in a classroom listening to an expert trainer for hours at a time is not only inconvenient and expensive, it’s also not particularly effective.

The flipped learning approach fundamentally challenges the traditional training model of an expert imparting knowledge to a learner. Of course, knowledge-transfer may be one aim of a corporate learning program; updating employees on new policy or regulations, for example.

But rather than taking the traditional approach of learners passively receiving and understanding training material during training sessions, the flipped approach gives the learner a more active role. Contact time in the flipped classroom focuses on employees taking part in activities that get them applying and analyzing what they’ve learned; the kind of higher-order thinking skills that have been proven to accelerate learning.

The flipped learning approach fundamentally challenges the traditional training model of an expert imparting knowledge to a learner.

4. Bridges the Skills Gap

In today’s corporate world, the aim of training is often less about filling a knowledge-gap (after all, we have access to most information we need at the touch of a screen) than it is about bridging a skills-gap. The flipped approach makes sure employees can apply what they are learning, so employees can spend precious face-to-face time working on tasks which boost these skills.

Contact sessions can take an experiential approach to learning, accelerating the success of your learning program by getting your employees to use their new skills during training sessions, rather than just learning about the theory.

5. Leverages Talent

One challenge of flipped learning is that with reduced face-to-face contact time, networking opportunities between staff may be more limited. However, programs can use a range of tools for staff to connect digitally, and the contact time they do have is far more collaborative than with traditional learning.

Well designed corporate learning programs with flipped learning use contact time for task-based, experiential learning which employees work together to complete. This means that quicker learners can help others, and expertise can be shared in a way that seldom happens when participants attend traditional style training presentations. Rather than relying solely on expert trainers, this means that you can leverage the talent you have on your staff to accelerate the learning process.