Of late, there has been lots of talking about why NEBOSH  courses should be offered as a “flipped classroom“, and many people are still trying to understand the concept. So, what is a flipped classroom and what’s the different between traditional classroom and flipped classroom.

Traditional Classroom: To understand what ‘flipping’ means we must first understand how the traditional classroom operates before they are flipped. So, traditionally a tutor teaches a lesson via PowerPoint where instructions are given on the topic and then homework is handed over to be completed.

A flipped classroom turns this model on its head. Here students are encouraged to watch videos and other multimedia material that explains a concept just like a tutor would do during a class. Hence during class, the student would go through what they watched, participating in group activities and discussions and asking the teacher more questions to help them understand concepts.

History:  This method was discovered by Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams. They were two teachers who taught at Woodland Park High School in 2007. They happened to come across a software where they could record their PowerPoints and lectures. Thus, they began posting them online. This gave students (the opportunity) those who were ill or had missed class to still ‘attend’ the lectures. This went on to be viral to an extent, students even the ones attending the class began watching the lectures again and again to extend their knowledge. It was also shared with students who were not taking classes.

The top 10 benefits and reasons why students should be excited if their tutor uses flipped methods while teaching:

1. A classroom experience, you never thought you wanted

So, when we think of a NEBOSH IGC classroom, we think of someone going through a PowerPoint presentation standing in front of the class for hours together. A person who is trying to teach us something we previously never knew.

Now, to describe a flipped classroom: Do you remember the super cool experiments you did in high school? Now think of opening your classroom doors and see students huddled together, talking and even laughing. You have now already seen the lectures for the previous day. So, you now have some background knowledge of what is going to be taught in class today. You all work through your theories or problems together, discussing and helping each other on the topic. Your tutor is more like your coach moving around interacting with different groups. He notices students struggling with the same concept. So, he goes to the front of the class and gives a mini-lecture that focuses precisely on the points you are missing..

2. More hand-on classroom

Have you ever been in class staring at your watch, just waiting for the next 30 minutes to go faster than the last 10 minutes?

A flipped classroom for the NEBOSH course is transformed where time flies by once your class begins. The tutor puts together interactive lessons, organises and encourages discussions. Then, he provides ample opportunity for you to keep asking a question about things you do not understand from reading. This helps time pass by quicker. And by the way, studies show that you usually retain 90% of what you learn by interaction. Whereas you take home only 20% of what you hear.

3. Build better relationships with your peers in class for a larger network campus

Flipped classroom not only helps you in enjoying your learning and retaining the information but also gives you the chance to connect with your friends. Many students show up to their NEBOSH IGC class expecting to build lasting relationships. However, they are disappointed because during traditional classroom there is no chance to have meaningful discussions with your classmates. But not so in a flipped classroom. Here tutors design the learning that flourishes because of group discussions.

4. Tutors of flipped classrooms are generally more devoted because of its effectiveness

In a flipped class, tutors must build the experience to catch your attention before class begins. This is in addition to preparing engaging activities, discussions, and quizzes. This requires more work than a traditional classroom. Tutors are not usually rewarded in a way they should be for spending tons of time and energy on their teaching.  So, any tutor who is putting in this amount of time and effort into their training is taking a risk for your benefit. They care about bringing the subject to life in ways that will help you gain excellence and retain that knowledge for your entire life.

5. You will learn how to be flexible & independent and become comfortable with uncertainty

At some point in life, you will inevitably be asked in what way did you develop one of these three skills in a job interview. You will often be the guinea pig, in your future positions. You will usually be given a project by your boss and told “good luck, let me know if you need anything, go figure it out”. Which usually means “you better know how to do this on your own”.  Without following the usual recipe of sitting in a class, taking notes, go home and read the textbook and attempt to make a test the next morning. A flipped classroom requires you to learn on your own and to figure out things yourself. When you figure out how to get ahead without being told what you should do, it will help you face future obstacles. This will be a good learning experience to prove to yourself in that job interview!

6. You learn to be accountable because you are responsible for your own learning

Once you graduate, there are no tests (except for professional certifications). You have to take it upon yourself if you want to learn the skills to develop as an occupational safety officer. You are required to read, watch the video lectures, or/and do some work before class in a flipped class by tutors. In other words, to be successful in your education, you would be required to take matters into your own hands. This is good for a couple of reasons. Firstly, videos are more appropriate because it gives you a chance to decide when and for how long you will watch them, you can pause and re-watch them as much as you want. At the beginning of class to help you retain what you read or watched, the  tutor would usually have designed a quiz, so it also holds you responsible. Moreover, the more time you spend thinking about your study content, the better you will learn and remember it in the long run.

7. You learn the most undervalued and useful skill: To ask good questions

“It’s not that I’m so smart, I stay with the questions much longer.” – Albert Einstein. As a NEBOSH IGC student in a flipped class, you should ask questions to your classmates and your  tutor. You will get tons of opportunities to talk about what you wonder about, and this skill will directly translate into your future occupation.  In this century, most of the work we have to do has no clear path or answer. You are better equipped to solve problems and think critically, when you ask questions and listen for the answers. Therefore, flipped classrooms creates a breeding ground for being a good question asker and curious thinker. On top of that, people are impressed that you ask thought out questions, even more than giving right answers.

8. A clear sign to indicate your tutor cares – Your insight and feedback will be likely sought

Who wouldn’t want their  tutor to ask how you think the class is going and how can we improve the quality even better? The student experience entirely decides the direction of a flipped class. Most  tutors want to know what is working as well as what you like most about the quality. So that they can do more of it and reduce certain aspects of the class that perhaps you don’t feel are as useful. In a flipped class, tutors see themselves as learners and value your insights very much–in fact; they depend very much on it!

9 Leadership opportunities is a direct result of lateral learning

The best word used by most students is…leadership. A flipped class is not only packed with opportunities to lead and teach your peers but also to get to know your tutor in ways traditional classes do not offer. Teaching helps you learn the material in a better way. Besides, it also helps you learn how to explain things in ways other people could understand. Every leader needs to develop their communication skill. This is something you will also see for the rest of your life on every job posting.

10. You learn more by all the above, and isn’t that what you’re here for anyway?

You are paying for an education. This does not mean sitting back and chilling while your professor stands at the front and does all the hard work. Therefore, you need to acquire the skills that will solve the world’s problems, that means doing more than what is required. In a flipped class, it might initially feel uncomfortable but will be worth it.

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