Flipped learning: the advantages and disadvantages

Your employees’ time and motivation can be big roadblocks to a successful employee training program, but a new approach called flipped learning can help overcome these challenges. Although it had its start in education, the flexible, learner-centered, and personalized nature of flipped learning can save your employees time and get them more engaged. Let’s explore how flipped learning can aid employee training.

Advantages & disadvantages of flipped learning
Product Owner
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Table of contents

  1. What is flipped learning?
  2. Advantages of flipped learning
  3. Disadvantages of flipped learning
  4. Flip your employee training with Easy LMS

What is flipped learning?

Your employees would go through their learning materials on their own

Flipped learning is an educational method where instruction, or lectures, take place in an individual learning space (e.g., at home) instead of a group learning space (e.g., in a classroom). Then the students apply the concepts that they learned independently, together with the instructor and other attendees. So, in practice, your employees would go through their learning materials on their own. The learning content is usually hosted through online courses and recorded lectures. Since the learning content is online, they can learn from the office, from home, or even from the train! Then, they practice and apply the concepts that they learned on their own in a face-to-face setting with their fellow colleagues and instructor.

Now that you understand the gist of flipped learning, let’s talk about its main advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of flipped learning

1. Flexibility

Limited time is a common obstacle that employees face when taking part in ongoing training, but flipped learning helps by eliminating the need for long, time-intensive in-person lectures. Instead, online courses can fill the role of an instructor as the main source of information. Online courses take much less time than face-to-face learning because they are easier to squeeze between other daily tasks and can be taken from anywhere and at any time. For this reason, it is also the preferred learning style of many employees [1].

2. Personalized

Flipped learning allows them to learn on their own

Flipped learning can help your organization’s continuous education program get off the ground by giving your employees the power to spend time where they need it most. In an in-person lecture, employees have to move at the same speed as everyone else and can’t pick and choose what to focus on. When you consider that the average employee only has 24 minutes a week to spend on training, it is especially important to maximize that time [2]. Flipped learning allows them to learn on their own, giving them the chance to spend their time on things that they don’t understand, and speed by things they are a pro at.

3. Encourages active learning

Flipped learning helps the employee take an active role. In traditional settings, it is the responsibility of the trainer to figure out what knowledge to share and make sure it transfers. As a consequence, it is easy for the employee to become disengaged during a lecture. Flipped learning puts the employees in the driver’s seat. It is now up to them to teach themselves what they need to know. Moving learning content from lectures to online courses is not only more convenient, but research also shows that it increases note-taking and decreases distraction [3].

4. Promotes practical-based learning

Flipped learning uses the contact time with instructors and peers as a chance to apply what they learned in a practical way. Theoretical knowledge refers to facts, theories, and reasoning. But practical knowledge is based on hands-on endeavors and tasks. Flipped learning means they get to use this practice time to work on these practical skills rather than sitting in a lecture. For example, someone would teach themselves the knowledge-based side of football, like its history and the rules of the game on their own. But then, they would spend the time with their coach and team to actually practice the sport! Therefore, flipped learning makes sure that what they learn ends up being applied in their day-to-day work.

No more travels expenses for trainers and employees

5. Reduces costs

Passing on knowledge through in-person training is more costly than through flipped learning. In-person training has the additional costs of hiring an external trainer, travel expenses of the trainer and employees (if they are commuting from different locations), non-worked hours, and a location to host it. Employees do the bulk of the work on their own with flipped learning so all of these costs are greatly reduced!

Disadvantages of flipped learning

1. Requires greater levels of self-discipline

The learner-focused nature of flipped learning can be a downside for employees who struggle with self-discipline. The employee must be motivated to engage with the learning content and put in the time he or she needs to learn. It is not enough to show up to a lecture and passively absorb what a lecturer shares. More employees might struggle with this than you think! In a survey of 204 employees, 41% indicated that their levels of self-motivation were a barrier to participating in online learning.

2. Reliance on technology

26% of adults worldwide were found to be computer illiterate in 2016

With flipped learning, employees get most of their information from learning content, which is often stored online, rather than an instructor. There are a lot of benefits to hosting the materials online, which you can read more about in our ‘Advantages and disadvantages of online learning’ article. Yet, some people might struggle to use technology. 26% of adults worldwide were found to be computer illiterate in 2016 [4]. Other times, employees do not have the appropriate setup for online learning. If they do not have convenient access to electronic devices, working speakers, or a reliable internet connection, it will be difficult for them to participate.

3. Resistance to change

Although flipped learning ultimately saves both the instructor and employees time, setting up your first flipped course will require more time and energy than continuing with the status quo. Instructors have to introduce the employees to an entirely new concept. And the employees will need time to adjust and embrace the move from a passive learning style to an active learning style.

Flip your employee training with Easy LMS

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? If your employees are tech-savvy, adaptable, and motivated, then our answer is an enthusiastic YES. Adding flipped learning to any employee training program maximizes the precious time that your employees can devote to training puts them in control and helps them transfer their knowledge into practice.

Easy LMS is well suited to implementing flipped learning in your organization. With Easy LMS, you can put all of your learning content online with effective training courses and challenging exams. Our tracking tools will let you keep an eye on their progress. And within the Academy, your employee can see everything available to them and keep track of their own progress through their courses.

Useful resources

  1. Athabasca University 
  2. Grovo 
  3. Harvard University 
  4. Nielsen & Norman Group 

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