sales training

Flipped Primer – Part 5

Alright.  I have already talked a bit about flipped learning – what it is, how to do it, pros and cons, and tools for implementation.

This last installment is a set of examples of how flipped learning is being used in the workplace.  There are some cool uses in here so please read on!

New hire onboarding48_l

Think about the last time you were a new hire.  How was the onboarding process?  More than likely, it was a lot of manual reading and directions with very little application.

Lee and Recker tell the story of a US technology company that flipped this model. They used to hold a standard six hour classroom session for all new hires. Now the company immediately gives students access to a training application full of exercises completed with the help of a manual. The go-getters are able to complete this part of the training in just three hours. Of course, some follow up is needed, so a virtual one hour session is conducted to emphasize the key points, assess understanding, and answer remaining questions.

The outcome? Training time was decreased and retention was increased.

Sales Skills training

Lee and Recker also present a model for flipping sales training. I don’t know much about sales training – it’s not something I have ever done or participated in. But from what I gather, it usually requires sales people to leave work, travel somewhere, and sit in a classroom for a few days listening to a lot of  lecture and occasionally participating in some role playing (bleh).

2233425566_55ce200871_oThis flipped model for sales training looks a bit like flipped learning in college or a K-12 classroom.  It starts with some recorded lectures, then students answer questions and discuss the material in online forums. The live session can occur either face-to-face or virtually and is used to answer remaining questions and practice, practice, practice. A wonderful key feature of this model is that the collaborative tools used at the beginning (forums, or some other virtual tool) are also used after the synchronous session to support students in the field.

I love this model as it is a simple, low cost, effective way to switch up any kind of skills training.

Product training

I found a couple of great examples of how flipped learning can enhance training on how to use new products – an type of training where flipped learning really makes sense.

cat-244060_640Vayuvegula presents an example of a company switching up training on a new software product. Traditionally an instructor conducted a face-to-face training lecturing on what the software does and how to use it. In the flipped model, employees completed an eLearning course on product theory and were able to experiment with the product before a synchronous virtual session with an instructor. During that session, users asked questions and shared their experiences rather than listening to lecture. The learners found that the information was immediately applicable and tailored to their needs.

Sams and Bergmann share an example of how a hair care company is reconsidering how it trains stylists to use its products. The company usually conducts one day workshops for a new product where a trainer presents information in the morning and students practice on models in the afternoon. The company is looking toward a flipped learning model using instructional videos viewed prior to the event in order to give stylists more time to perfect their application of products.

Flipped webinar

One of my favorite examples I came across was this flipped webinar by Jane Hart. What she did was simple and had a great impact.

6736359515_7d6cfa0e3e_zJane didn’t want to host a typical webinar with very little up front information, then lots of talking during the event interspersed with some Q&A, maybe a poll or two. Instead she asked participants to read an article beforehand, do some exploration of the topic if they wanted, and leave questions and comments on a blog site. The comments and questions helped shaped her presentation, which was pretty informal. During the actual webinar she answered questions that were left on the blog, encouraged discussion, and integrated some collaborative activities.

Flipped Conferences

I don’t know about you, but every time I attend a conference there is at least one breakout session where I wished I had made a different choice.  738px-Socks_cat_1

Well, the Professional Convention Management Association hears our pain and is working on ways to encourage meeting planners to flip meetings and conferences. A key component to this is assisting presenters in creating short videos explaining what the session will cover in the hope that participants can better decide what sessions to attend. A great side effect of having some preview material is that sessions could be more interactive.


So that’s it!  Flipped learning in 5 nut shells.

If you have a great example or idea of how flipped learning can change up the corporate classroom, please share in the comments below.


And of course, some further reading:

Hart, J. (2011, December 11). The flipped (or social) webinar. Learning in the Social Workplace. [Web log]. Retrieved from

Lee, B. & Recker, J. (2013, May 23). How to apply the flipped classroom model for buisiness learning. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Sams, A. & Bergmann, J. (2014) Flipped learning: Maximizing face time. Training + Development, 68(2), 28-31. Can be found at

Vayuvegula, A. (2012, October 11). Have you heard of flipped classroom in corporate training? CommLab India Blog. [Web log]. Retrieved from

Vayuvegula, A. (2014, January 13). Key element for the success of flipped classroom concept in corporate training. CommLab India Blog. [Web log]. Retrieved from