Idea Learning Group

What Can We Learn from Flipped Learning for Business Training?

Flipping classrooms has become a popular pursuit in education. The concept of “flipped learning” moves direct instruction from the classroom to the learner’s own space, allowing for more practice time, one-on-one observation, and interactivity when learners get together with the instructor in class.

Organizations like the non-profit Khan Academy, which makes 2,500+ free videos available to anyone at any time, are leading this revolution in learning. This video featuring educator and flipped learning pioneer Aaron Sams gives a great overview of the concept as he used it in his classroom.

The Flipped Learning Network breaks this approach down into four pillars. (I’ll summarize here, but be sure to check out the complete guidelines on their website too.) The instructor can use these guidelines to flip a single lesson or an entire instructional approach:

  • Flexible environment: Design space and timeframes for student interaction and reflection; observe and help students as needed; provide various ways to learn and master content.
  • Learning culture: Take the focus off the teacher; let students engage with each other through meaningful activities; make activities available to all learners and give feedback.
  • Intentional content: Focus on concepts in direct instruction that learners explore on their own; create or organize relevant content (usually videos) for learners; differentiate for accessibility and relevancy.
  • Professional educator: Observe learners and be available to them for individual, small group, or class feedback as needed; observe learners and provide assessment; record data to design future instruction; collaborate with other instructors.

So what can the business world learn from this model used in progressive schools?

It’s all about shifting focus from simply receiving information to demonstrating what’s been learned. Here are some ideas for getting started:

  • Make a conscious effort to shift away from the lecture. We all know what too much lecture-based training leads to. Instead of making the face-to-face time all about listening and taking notes, make the lecture content available in brief videos or elearning segments that your learners watch before attending the class. With the ability to pause, rewind, and skip ahead, online learning gives learners more control over how they choose to experience the lecture.
  • When creating the design for your learners, genuinely keep the focus on what the learner needs to do as a result of the training, not what the learner should know.
  • Design your classroom experience with plenty of open-ended situations. Invite the learners to be part of discovering or building solutions.
  • Create meaningful activities and projects for learners to work on during face-to-face time; the more clearly connected to their jobs, the better.
  • Be available to observe and provide feedback on the spot as learners are working on their activities.

We’ll be focusing on the concept of flipped learning during our next Collaborative Learning Network session on April 2. It’s free and open to anyone in the learning and development community who’s interested, but an RSVP is required.

The flipped learning model has plenty of promise in the business world. How many of you have used it, and what were your results?







February Collaborative Learning Network – Measuring Results in Learning

ILG_Collaborative Learning logoRegistration is now open for the February session of the Collaborative Learning Network, Measuring Results in Learning.

Measurement metrics are essential to illustrate the value of our work to stakeholders. In this session, we’ll discuss some of the many aspects of measurement metrics including planning, levels, instruments, data sources, and timing. We have ideas, tools, and best practices to share with you, and we invite you to share your own experiences, successes, and learning during the upcoming session.

Lisa Rebagliati, Senior Learning Consultant at Idea Learning Group, will facilitate the free session!

Registration is free but is required. Please give us 24 hours’ notice if you need to cancel.

The Idea Learning Group Year in Review: 2013

2013 has been a fantastic year at Idea Learning Group. We’re grateful for our amazing clients and our creative, dedicated staff and contractors who make it possible to engage hundreds of thousands of learners. Here are some highlights for the year: 

Exciting Projects for New and Existing Clients

This year we completed more projects than ever, and the diversity of our work continues to grow with new and existing clients like Costco, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Marion County, New Seasons Markets, Northwest Community Credit Union,, St. Helens Credit Union, ValueOptions, and Viewpoint Construction Software, to name a few. We estimate that our training programs and materials reached at least 135,000 people in 2013 alone.

New Website, Logo, and Identity

Our new website and identity truly reflects who we are and what we seek to do: Transform workplace learning from dull and predictable to engaging and meaningful. We collaborated with the creative minds at Factory North and Nicolle Clemetson Photography to launch in the fall.

New Staff

We added two additional Senior Learning Consultants to our line-up this year! In February, Sheila Kemp came on board. Sheila’s versatile skills include developing business processes, people processes, change management solutions, system implementation, ERP training, technical training, leadership training, performance improvement, and coaching programs. In November Lisa Regabliati joined us. Lisa brings years of experience in performance consulting, leadership development, OD work, instructional design, and measurement metrics.

Collaborative Learning Network – First Anniversary

We celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Collaborative Learning Network in November! Every session is free and open to anyone in the learning/development field, and we focus on a different topic each time we meet. For 2013, our topics included:

  • Transforming Required Training into Inspired Learning
  • Storytelling as a Structure for Training
  • Social Media in Training
  • The Inspired Introvert: Energizing Techniques for Training
  • Constructivist Learning
  • Grand Openings! Hooking Learners From the Very Beginning
  • The Evolving Role of the Modern Training Professional
  • Play-Based Learning
  • Fostering Creativity
  • Review Activities for Classroom Learning
  • Visuals in Learning

Workshops and Facilitated Conference Sessions

In addition to our many client projects, we spent a lot of time developing programs for professional organizations—traveling as far away as Florida to present and facilitate sessions.

Happy new year to all our beloved clients and partners. Here’s to an even brighter 2014!

The Cafeteria Learning Roadshow

We have been riding an exhilarating wave of activity at Idea Learning Group this season! We added Senior Learning Consultant Lisa Rebagliati to our staff. We launched our new website, logo, and brand. And we introduced our new learning model at three conferences. Whew!

For the past few years we’ve been working on developing an alternative model of classroom-based workplace learning we call “Cafeteria Learning.” Instead of an instructor at the front of the room with a cued-up PowerPoint file, we design interactive stations stocked with hands-on materials. Instead of verbal delivery of content, learners are free to explore and absorb the content at their own speed and direction. It’s self-directed and exploratory. Think of it as “Montessori for adults.”

On October 3, Jillian presented the Cafeteria Learning model at the Western Region Research Conference on the Education of Adults (WRRCEA) in Seattle as part of her “Your Brain is Not a Bucket: Learning Through Experience” session. During the session, participants explored games and other activities. Our research and insight report to support our model was included in the conference proceedings.

On October 4, Emily and Jennie facilitated the Collaborative Learning Lab at the annual ASTD Cascadia conference.


Participants explored interactive content focused on topics such as “conflict and collaboration” and “collaboration tools.” They also had the opportunity to construct a group learning guide using the online Moxtra tool.

On October 25, Jillian and Jennie traveled to Sarasota, Florida to facilitate a session at the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA) called “Play to Learn: The Cafeteria Learning Model.”


For NASAGA we designed 12 interactive stations where participants constructed things with playful materials, collaborated with others, completed challenges, and contributed their own discoveries and insights to a real-time online binder.

As we continue to expand our projects and add new clients to our business, it’s an exciting time at Idea Learning Group!

NEW BUSINESS Contact us with business inquiries or to discuss your project needs and vision.
CAREERS We always enjoy connecting with talented professionals in the learning and development field.
CONNECT 503.208.3256
LOCATION 2701 NW Vaughn St #103
Portland, OR 97210

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