A Shift To Virtual Learning And Flipped Classrooms – Adapting To New Business Models In The Education Sector

Businesses are working in a dynamic environment. The sudden novel coronavirus pandemic is one such example where firms are forced to change their business models and working styles to adapt to the changes brought about by the outbreak. Work from home has been a new practice being adopted everywhere. Educational institutions have a responsibility of not just adapting to such tcircumstances but also prepare the future workforce for these unforeseen crises better. The Education sector in the current few weeks has also seen a drastic change in the way it operates and is innovating its practices by switching on to online teaching and learning with a greater focus on personalized learning. Let’s look at an approach that will come in handy in doing so.

Blended learning and Flipped Classroom Approach

Blended learning refers to the usage of a mix of offline and online teaching-learning.  Flipped classroom is an innovative teaching method offering blended learning wherein students are provided with lecture materials online before class, and the classroom time is utilized for discussion, learning activities by engaging students in various activities and providing feedback. A recent study on Flipped Classroom Model in a Business School in Oman by Pandow et. al. published in FIIB Business Review evaluates the impact of this model on student learning, performance and participation.

Key Takeaways for Educators

1.       Cost-effectiveness

As a substantial part of the learning process takes place online and the physical presence of students is limited, educators can use classroom space to introduce more courses. Further, while the industry trends suggest that a major chunk of business activities are going online in the existing and coming times, introducing parts of online learning is very favourable to give a first-hand taste of this new normal working routine to the students as well.

2.       Greater outcomes

Compared to traditional classrooms, students in flipped classrooms perform better as there is reduced pressure of a classroom schedule. Blended learning enhances problem-solving abilities. The study found a strong relationship between knowledge understanding and success of the flipped learning

3.       Facilitates self-learning

Flipped classrooms have a significant positive impact on the learning and development of students thereby enhancing their overall academic performance. This, in turn, makes the student self-reliant and they are able to work independently which fosters leadership qualities.

4.       Development of other skills

With less pressure on students, there is more focus on building an all-round personality by engaging them in learning to improve their soft skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication skills. As support material is provided online, they have more control over their learning.

5.       Technology Reliant

The study recommends the institution and other higher education institutions to focus more on the new technologies which will, in turn, help to create a better environment for the teaching and learning practices (Pandow et. al. 2020, p. 20)

While these takeaways are primarily aimed at the education sector, a more technology-friendly and independent workforce is the order of the day. With working from home becoming the ‘new normal’, professional and personal lines are intersecting with each other, and are teaching today’s employees to maintain an equilibrium between the two. It goes without saying that today’s balanced student is tomorrow’s high performing manager, therefore, introducing such approaches in teaching not just enable students to collaborate and communicate much more effectively but also make them proficient in online tools that are needed for the 21st-century world of work. Read the full paper here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2319714520909006

About the Research: 

Bilal Ahmad Pandow, Nihan Kutahnecioglu Inan, Ananda S. (2020). Evaluation of a Flipped Classroom Model: A Case Study from Oman. FIIB Business Review. Volume 9 Issue 1. pp 15-22