Flipped learning: training got there first with flipcharts!
Flip one’s lid
We’ve all been there. That collaborative event where you’re forced to sit at round tables and asked to select a chair The trainer then poses some questions which you’re expected to answer with the Chairs of each table feeding back to the group as a whole, while someone writes it up on flipchart sheets and pins them on the wall, so that it can be collated and sent out to everyone.
What actually happens is that the extrovert quickly volunteers to be the chair (or becomes chair by default as no one else can be bothered), the table spends too long deciding what the ill-formed question actually means or shoots off on obscure tangents, the question forgotten. The chair then feeds back their own thoughts, ignoring all other contributions. Sure the flip chart pages are pinned up on the wall with bluetac, ruining the paint work, but you never, ever get the feedback sent to you afterwards.
This is what passes for collaboration in training, an tired-old ritual that is generally a waste of time. It’s illusory learning, pretend collaboration and just one of those awful things that only happen on awful training courses. I really do want to flip my proverbial lid when these sessions are suggested.
OK, the flipside of flipcharts is that they do have their uses. They’re a bit boring, but big enough to be seen by small audiences and small enough to be used by a presenter and a little more small scale and human than a massive projection. For small group brainstorming and sport’s coaching, they can be useful.
Of course, they don’t require batteries or computer technology, so many trainers see it as a safe bet. Unlike PowerPoint, paper is designed to be written upon, and so you can capture the thoughts of learners. Its popularity among trainers is due in some part to its suitability to small audiences in courses with fixed content.
Some flipchart tips include; writing straight by ruling faint lines before you start, write words or images in faint pencil and amaze learners with your free-flowing sketching skills or write faint notes to keep you on track.
Not much to them really but I do like this spoof entry under Flipcharts in Wikipedia,“Recently, scientists have developed a digital self-writing flip chart which writes word for word everything it is instructed to record. The disability action group "Armless" has stated that this is a significant step forward for disabilities groups to have conferences with people without disabilities. Also being released into public sale is a flipchart which is self-heightening. This system is known as the POGO system.”