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Learning Without Lectures. Optimizing the Flipped Classroom

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 05/05/2015

What’s the best way to learn? Getting beyond clichés, how exactly is the flipped classroom an improvement over traditional learning? How is Erickson Coaching International doing it differently?

In the second part of our interview with Amy Davis-Bruner, a Professional Online Coach and Trainer’s Assistant with the new Online Academy, we got down to brass tacks.  

How does the flipped classroom work in practice in the online coach training course offered by Erickson?  

First of all, learners are participating in a hosted web platform, so they don’t need to be physically in the same classroom. They get together twice a week for 3.25 hour slots. They go to the Online Academy site to watch videos and contribute to a blog.   Students can watch demos and then talk about what they’ve just learned immediately. They’re working in pairs and trios in a process that’s geared for high impact –as we’ve seen, they can get dramatic results right away that they can implement in the real world.  

What are some new strategies for teaching that are helping learners actually retain what they take in the course?  

One strategy we use is to condense the learning into a metaphor that contains all the elements of what you're learning. There’s an element of fun and comedy to it, to remember the metaphor in the image. But it works.   Another part, which I’ve already touched on, is to ensure that the tools are relevant and can be used to solve problems that our students are working on in their careers. In high school, you were in classes you may not have thought were relevant, or your classmates just weren't engaged. But in an environment where people are paying to be there, or their companies are paying for them to be there, it makes the lessons much more relevant. Our students are getting tools they can use in their everyday lives.   Getting quick results is another way to engage learners. Students can apply what they’ve seen in a demo to a very realistic case study, take it to their peers and get results in as little as 30 minutes. They support each other like a dedicated think tank.  

Beyond making the lessons relevant to students’ working challenges, how else is the new learning paradigm helping them get results?  

It’s not just thinking through real-world problems. They’re also learning to do so in a modern social environment where not everyone is going to be in the same physical space – which is just a challenging reality of modern life.  

They’re learning to engage within those parameters, so they’re as effective in a room as they are when they’re coaching, advising or consulting remotely.  

Read Part One of the interview, Peer-to-Peer Learning. How Students Help Students Succeed, here

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