Training & Development - Flipped Learning: The Why's and When's of Using the Flipped Training Model

By Tom Phelps posted 10-13-2016 16:08


Why and When We Are Using the Flipped Training Method


When we began the process of planning our training for our upgrade to Windows 10 and Office 2016, we explored a number of training options.  Our firm currently uses a Learning Management System (LMS) to host most of our training – whether they be tip sheets, videos, or instructor-led sessions, it is primarily housed in our LMS.  In effort to maximize our efforts, minimize our cost, and keep current with trends in the Training & Development industry, we decided to keep the training in-house.  We leveraged the training we had in place from our last upgrade, created a few brief training videos, and launched our Flipped Training campaign.


Cost and Utilization


While exploring training options, we contacted a number of vendors to see what was available.  Options ranged from a myriad of training documents to a variety of videos.  We were given an opportunity to peruse the available resources to determine the direction we wanted to go.  The main pinch point came when discussing cost – depending on the depth of our desired training, it seemed that the anticipated cost was much higher than we expected and what we could justify. 


So to bring some balance to the investment discussion, I decided to pull some reporting from our LMS to see how much it had been used, specifically with regard to the current Office 2013 suite.  I’ll spare you all the details (which I enjoyed reviewing immensely!), and tell you that there was NO WAY we could justify spending the anticipated thousands of dollars on resources that would be used as much, or as little, as they had been in the past.


So, one of our managers suggested the Flipped Training method.  After some research and discussion, it was decided that this was truly an excellent solution. 




Because time was somewhat limited for us, we had to move relatively quickly to get some training in place.  I took time to record a few basic training videos in some of the Microsoft Office products, included some links to the Microsoft website for their resources, and then employed a brief Windows 10 introductory video that was created by one of our Desktop Support Specialists. All things considered, I think we did great work in a relatively short amount of time.


Since employing the Flipped Training method during our Windows 10 upgrade, I decided to expand our Flipped horizon and “sneak” the method in on another group when one of our managers requested that her team be trained further on Skype for Business. 


I set up a one-hour session, reserved a conference room for the training, and then put the method to work.  In the body of the invite, I provided a tentative agenda and, most importantly, links to all of the Skype for Business training we currently have available.  I explained that it was our expectation that these materials would be utilized ahead of time, and that the actual training session would simply be an extension of the training we provided ahead of time.


Still catching on…


I’ll admit, some of the initial utilization reports for our training resources were somewhat less than I expected.  But, my first StrengthsFinder strength is Positivity, so I always aim for and expect the moon.  So simply reaching the stars…or at least the stratosphere…didn’t seem like a win to me.  When I received feedback from some of the other trainers, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  People were spending a bit less time in training, getting trained more effectively (taking opportunities to ask specific questions rather than being held to an agenda that may or may not apply to their specific training needs), and providing valuable feedback that is enabling us to create more firm-specific content.  A win-win…win.


So while we continue to learn more about and from the Flipped Training model, I’m still a fan.  We continue to learn more ways to incorporate it, learn from it, and use it to improve our training methods.


Until next time!