Training budgets continue to come under pressure with HR and L&D departments struggling to deliver their corporate learning objectives. While eLearning may offer cost saving on traditional instructor-led programs, the learning outcomes and employee satisfaction ratings do not always match. How can HR and L&D departments deliver training that makes a tangible impact on employee performance while working within the constraints of shrinking budgets? The answer may well be Flipped Learning methodology.
“Flipping” your corporate training programs means training can become more effective. When your employees spend time learning before the training session, the time spent with the trainer can be spent practicing the skills your company needs them to build, rather than on knowledge transfer. This may sound good, but how much is it going to cost?
The good news is that flipped learning is not only more effective than traditional learning, it’s also more efficient, which means you can save money on your training budget. What’s more, the scalability and flexibility of online learning mean that you’ll be able to train more employees. Here’s why flipped learning can help you cut your L&D training budget:
Scalable Digital Pre-session Learning Content
If your company needs its own customized training programs, then you may be concerned about the resources you’ll need to invest to prepare your flipped learning methodology and learning content. Investment in this content is hugely important to the success of any flipped learning program.
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The pre-session training content should not only contain all the necessary learning content but also need to be carefully designed so that learners are fully engaged with the online training before they connect with their trainers. However, some of this investment can be avoided by using training partners who can adapt existing high-quality courseware to your company’s needs. And once any online learning content is created, the cost of delivering this material to hundreds, or even thousands of employees is minimal compared to the cost of delivering this same material in face-to-face training sessions, so the initial investment is used to train many more employees.
And once any online learning content is created, the cost of delivering this material to hundreds, or even thousands of employees is minimal compared to the cost of delivering this same material in face-to-face training sessions, so the initial investment is used to train many more employees.
More Effective Use of Expert Trainer Time
Flipped learning methodology isn’t only about the pre-session training; the contact time between trainers and learners is crucial to its success. The training sessions, of course, aren’t as scalable as online learning, as you still need a low ratio of trainers to learners for them to be effective. And, as the trainers are themselves trained professionals, quite rightly their time comes with a cost.
However, whereas in the traditional training model an expert trainer is present during all of the training time, in a flipped model the expert trainer comes in after the learner has already covered the basics and filled in the specific gaps in his or her knowledge. The contact time your employees spend with expert trainers can, therefore, be far more effectively used than in traditional training models; for diving more deeply into areas of specific importance to your employees, and helping them to build key skills, rather than sitting passively through long presentations.
The expert trainer comes in after the learner has already covered the basics and filled in the specific gaps in his or her knowledge.
Reduces Employee Time in the Training Room
One significant cost of traditional training is the loss of productive time whilst employees are in training sessions, not to mention the logistical problem of getting everyone in the same place at the same time. But with flipped learning, employees do a lot of their learning either in their own time or in quieter periods at work.
And because learners in the flipped classroom have more control over the content they study, they can choose to study what’s relevant to them, and fill in their personal knowledge gaps. This means you don’t have your employees wasting company time sitting through training sessions when they are already familiar with 90% of the content, or when only 10% is relevant to them.
This is key to the efficiency of the flipped learning methodology, as employees can be provided with personalized learning paths without eating up your company’s training budget on one-to-one training for individual learners. What’s more, employees can come back to online training material when they need to refresh their knowledge or skills, without needing to schedule more training time.
Spaced Learning is More Cost-Effective and Efficient
Of course, some direct contact between the trainer and learners is crucial to flipped learning. However, rather than being done in day-long marathon training sessions (which if done poorly are not only demotivating but are also ineffective), flipped learning is more likely to be organized as a series of shorter training sessions, interspersed with online training.
Spacing learning in this way has been shown to be far more effective than one-off training events. What’s more, for some types of corporate training, connection time between groups of learners and their trainer can be moved into a virtual training room. This is not only more flexible and convenient for most employees as they can connect from their desks, but it’s also often significantly less expensive than having external trainers come to your company to give traditional face-to-face training.
Eliminates Learner Drop-out
Flipped learning allows your employees to take ownership of their learning, focus on what they know they need to learn and build their careers. Because flipped learning empowers learners and gives them more control over what and when they learn, your employees will be more engaged and enthused by flipped learning than with traditional training, and dropout rates from training courses will fall.
Flipped learning allows your employees to take ownership of their learning, focus on what they know they need to learn and build their careers.
Why? For a start, the flexibility of blended learning means that your busy employees will be able to use periods of downtime for training. And because they get more choice about their course content, they have far greater levels of intrinsic motivation to learn than when they are required to sit through lengthy training presentations. This means that you don’t end up paying for employees who only partially complete their training courses.
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Leverages Your Organization’s Internal Expertise
Not only does the deployment of a flipped learning methodology make better use of the expert trainer’s time, but it also leverages talent within your own company, as your employees can learn from each other. Because the focus in well-designed flipped learning is on your employees connecting with each other and completing tasks together, they’ll be able to share expertise in a way that rarely happens when employees attend traditional training presentations.
Well-designed flipped learning emphasizes social learning, connecting your employees and building learning communities. Rather than paying for all of your training to be done by external trainers, this makes the most of the skills-base of your employees themselves.
Gives More Bang for Your Buck
Put simply, flipped learning works. Rather than wasting resources on less effective traditional training models, you’ll be investing in far more effective and efficient training. The flexibility of the bite-sized pre-session learning content and the focus on experiential and skills-based learning during the trainer-led sessions provides a winning formula for corporate skills training.