The Flipped Learning Experience comes to LFGSM

Carrie Buchwald

Monday, May 02, 2016

As the landscape in which we live and work continues to evolve, from new technologies to innovations in healthcare, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) is always looking to stay ahead of the curve. To do that, we recognize the importance of exploring new and innovative ways of teaching our students and training our Business Leader Faculty®.

Last month, LFGSM welcomed Jon Bergmann, co-founder of Flipped Learning Network™, a nonprofit organization that provides resources, training and research about Flipped Learning. Bergmann came to our Lake Forest Campus to lead the event “Ditch Sit and Get Learning” for our faculty.

Bergmann believes that classrooms are “moving from the teacher centered classroom to [a more] active, engaged, problem-centered, challenged based, inquiry driven classroom of the future.” That’s where Flipped Learning comes into play – it provides teachers with an innovative method to increase engagement with their students and improve their understanding of the topic being taught.


What is Flipped Learning?

Flipped Learning, also known as the “Inverted Classroom”, is an education approach where the lecture and homework elements are reversed. Students watch short videos and review coursework at home, and then the classroom is turned into an active and engaging learning space.


Benefits of Flipped Learning:

Flexibility – Giving students the freedom to learn at home is especially great for those with busy schedules, because they can chose the time that works best for them. For working professionals, this flexibility means you won’t get behind in your studies just because you have a work-trip or other responsibilities.

“It’s a win-win for busy employees,” says Dr. Neil Holman, Dean of Corporate Learning Solutions at LFGSM. “Flipping the training classroom allows participants to get the basics at their own pace, when it’s most convenient, and to optimize the time that they spend working together.”

Increased Engagement – Students enter the classroom setting already having an understanding of course material and are ready to apply it. Class-time is used to master the material learned at home through collaborative learning exercises, projects, and discussions. Students can apply what they learned to real-life scenarios. And the activity-based learning lends well to building teamwork and leadership skills.

Real-Time Feedback – During the classroom experience, teachers essentially become guides, mentors, and advisors, working with students individually and in small groups. Because students are spending their time in class applying the concepts they learned, teachers can identify errors in their thinking and give real-time feedback. By correcting any issues, students can feel confident applying what they learn immediately in their professions.

Mastery of ConceptsDr. Bryan J. Watkins, VP and Chief Academic Officer at LFGSM highlights that “one benefit of flipping the classroom is that it provides both the facilitator and the participant with an opportunity to focus their efforts on filling the knowledge gaps.” The video lectures allow students to learn the material at their own pace – they can re-watch concepts they find challenging while moving quickly through topics they are more familiar with. Students came to class prepared with questions and ideas that teachers can address through class discussions or in one-on-one sessions.


Does Flipped Learning ACTUALLY work?

According to a study by Sophia and the Flipped Learning Network™, the answer is yes! Based on a survey of teachers who flipped their classrooms:

  • 71% noticed improved grades
  • 90% reported improved a positive change in student engagement
  • 99% said they would do it again the following year

Flipped Learning is catching on – fast! In 2012, 73% of teachers recognized the team “Flipped Classroom” and 48% had tried it out. Just two years later, 96% recognized the term and 78% have flipped a lesson. And although the majority of flipped learning occurs in high schools, engagement by other levels of education – from elementary schools to graduate programs – is quickly increasing. Teachers are not expected to throw traditional methods out the window, but rather to incorporate flipped lessons a few times a month.

We hope that exposing LFGSM faculty to new education methods will lead to stronger relationships with students, will inspire new and different ways of engagement, and will allow us to continue paving the way for successes in and out of the classroom.


Carrie Buchwald

Carrie Buchwald is the Vice President of Corporate Learning Solutions at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. As a member of the Leadership Team at LFGSM, Carrie leads the team that supports the corporate and organizational channel offering flexible and customized learning with measurable business impact.

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