Turn tech laggards into learners — adopt the flipped classroom model

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Preparation, monitoring are key

This all takes careful preparation because the time in class needs to be used differently. Indeed, flipping the classroom sounds simple, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds and it is easy to get it wrong.

At first glance, it may seem that it is enough to just have the videos and so why pay for an Agile consultant (or Java trainer, etc.) to do the in-class training part? This would be OK, if it weren’t for the fact that you still need to apply the principles to your specific context. There is still a very strong need for in-class work.

Another drawback is that you need to ensure that people are actually watching the videos and come prepared for class. If people come to class expecting to be spoon-fed the basics, as they are in traditional lectures, they will slow the whole class down, causing frustration and delaying what is an accelerated process.

In addition to providing better learning, the flipped tech class will cost less. Classes can be shorter because the instructor is spared the time of repeating the same lecture of basic, common principles: Thus, the same value is delivered in less time for both the trainer and the trainee. The other alternative is that the class remains the same length, but more value is delivered in class because there’s more attention on the application of principles and on addressing specific questions. Either way it is a win.

The flipped classroom model is a powerful change in educational pedagogy. By the way, my middle daughter had a flipped classroom for math and she loved it. 

The technology world should embrace this new method of teaching to increase the speed of adoption of new technologies and reduce the costs of training.

About the author:

Joseph Flahiff has more than two decades of experience executing, coaching, consulting and training in traditional and agile delivery across large-scale complex enterprise IT organizations, as well as smaller boutique agencies. Email him at [email protected] or text Joseph at (206) 276-1386.