I’m currently embroiled in a British Triathlon Level 2 Coaching qualification. My spare time is consumed with cycling, swimming and running sessions; not to mention the coursework and preparing for an exam. Setting aside the desire to become ‘qualified’, the process is a great example of ‘flipped learning’.
‘Flipped learning’ is where the learner is significantly predisposed to the subject matter to be ‘taught’ before they experience any formal learning. Traditionally people are invited to train at something under the assumption that they know little or nothing; that they arrive as an empty vessel ready to be filled with knowledge, after which they disembark into their workplace to possibly transfer this learning into practice. If we are lucky they have some experience we can hang the training onto, although this experience might be either high quality practice or low quality floundering. It also has nothing to do with how long people have been in a job. Two years of high quality practice can yield the same expertise as 20 years of floundering.
Our assertion here is that to ‘flip’ the traditional approach to training by designing appropriate pre-learning such that people arrive at their ‘course’ with some background and a shared understanding allows trainer/facilitators to work more effectively, in greater depth and to greater effect within the vital face-to-face training environment.
Given my professional background in training and coaching alongside my ‘extracurricular’ sports-coaching and competing, I arrive at the taught elements of my Triathlon Coaching course with a different mindset than if I had no predisposition. My fellow coaches and I become sponges desperate to refine the techniques we use. We are keen to identify how others have applied them in different contexts. We are eager to hear about the latest thinking and what the Brownlee Brothers (world’s best triathletes) are doing! Most importantly this learning will be applied into our practice the moment we are with our next group of athletes.
What if more organisational training was like this? What sort of return on your training investment could be achieved? How quickly could your organisation be transformed?
To check out our Flipped Thinking: Part 1 article, simply click the link.