We are all familiar with the traditional learning model that consists of learning from an in-class lesson and then applying that to exercises done at home. Our current digital reality has completely transformed the way companies handle training by removing the constraints of time and place all without really distancing the process from traditional learning models.

This is where the flipped classroom comes into play, allowing to that model to a new level. But what does it entail exactly and what is its link to eLearning?

The flipped classroom first appeared at Harvard University in the 1990s. Eric Mazur, a famed physics professor, surmised that classes with interaction and practical exercises were more effective than traditional ones.

Mazur proposed re-evaluating education to the point where students learn the theoretical aspects on their own and then testing their understanding via a questionnaire. Once in class, the teacher then goes over the points that posed difficulty and corrects the questionnaire. The class is then invited to break up into groups and do exercises that put the subject matter into practice.

By doing so, he was able to prove that flipped classes lead to excellent results.

The flipped classroom is an approach which:

–          Utilizes educational activities which are supported by technology outside the classroom;

–          Promotes the differentiation of learning through a reversal of conventional activities both inside and outside the classroom;

–          Facilitates interactions between students and the teacher.

The benefits of this approach are significant: they promote respect for the pace of learning and autonomy, increased monitoring and collaboration, increased motivation, the possibility of working in groups and reducing training costs.

What exactly is its link to eLearning?

The appeal of flipped classrooms is their ability to teach theoretical concepts both individually and remotely before going into further detail in the classroom. The initial part of that process could entail online training modules or use of a virtual classroom.

This then opens the door for a company to turn to what is known as blended learning.

The inherent limitations of traditional class settings encourage trainers and students to try a new approach. This type of inverse learning is an effective and economical training solution. Recently, it produces positive results for companies, but it has been used successfully in the academic world.

Caroline Irrmann, web editor