Flipped Learning for Law Firm Trainers

What is flipped learning and how could it reinvigorate your law firm training program? This article shares simple ways to flip your program.

We recently received an exhausted plea from one of our law firm trainer friends. She was getting burned out and needed a way to breathe new life into her training program. Like many trainers, she often finds herself teaching the same concepts over and over, so she was looking for new ideas.

Our very own Terry Aurit, Savvy’s Chief of Instructional Design, suggested that she check out flipped learning, and she sent the trainer some videos to get her started. A few weeks later, we heard back from the trainer and she said that flipped learning had completely reinvigorated her, and that she feels like she’s become an even more impactful trainer.

So, what is flipped learning?

Aaron Sams, a Woodland Park, CO teacher, has made several videos about flipped learning and he explains how it has… well, flipped the way he works.

“The classroom was centered around me,” he explains. “I told them what to learn, how to learn it, what assignments to do to learn it, when to learn it, and how to prove to me that they learned it. I don’t do that anymore.”

Now, he makes videos about the lessons and sends them out, then the kids show up to apply that new knowledge under his guidance. Instead of lecturing all class, the students get the lecture while they are at home. Then, they come to class to do the “homework.”

Jon Bergmann is somewhat of a flipped learning guru and he puts out tons of videos about flipped learning. This video in particular simplifies the concept into the idea of “spaces:”

· Group space, and

· Individual space

Traditionally, the teacher gives a lecture in the group space and students are passive receptors of that knowledge. They then go home to their individual space to do homework, which is the hardest part of the lesson, as far as they are concerned.

When you flip that model, the learning starts in the individual space with the student watching a lesson online at home. Then the student goes to class, the group space, where the teacher works with the students on the homework, which is usually the pain point for students. Teachers end up helping with the hard stuff rather than using all their in-person time to deliver a lecture.

So, how might this work for law firm trainers?

Let’s imagine that you have to teach a class on Microsoft Word (over and over, and in your sleep!). Instead of hosting an in-person class where you lecture for 30 minutes, make a video of your lecture, then host an in-person experience in which you provide exercises for people to tackle as soon as they sit down. (If you are a SavvySMART Content Library subscriber, you likely have oodles of webinars that you can assign in advance so that you don’t have to make your own video.)

If you are making your own video, don’t fret about the small stuff! It doesn’t have to be long and you don’t need to be a great editor or producer to make a video that is engaging and informative. Prop your cell phone up and hit record. Or, get a low-cost screencast program that records your screen while you are working through a lesson.

Then, bring your learners together for hands-on exercises during which you float around the room providing guidance and help on the tricky stuff. You no longer have to drone on in front of the class – you get to help them advance their knowledge with hands-on activities!

This can also be a very effective tool for new hire orientation training.

If you have a great flipped learning tip for your law firm trainer friends, we’d love to hear from you! We can share it in our next Tips & Tricks newsletter!

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