Advisory Boards, Working Groups, and the Flipped Classroom

At a dinner party the other week, one of our teacher friends was telling us about the Flipped Classroom, a teaching style in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before class, while class time itself is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions.

She loves it because she can spend her time talking with students instead of talking at them – or worse, sitting idle as they read. And the students love it because they’re actually engaged and not being talked at for 70 minutes.

The more we talked about it with her, the more validated we felt by our approach to advisory boards and working groups, because it’s exactly the Flipped Classroom model.

If you search “Flipped Classroom” online, you’ll find a wealth of information about its history and application in the school system, but for the purposes of an advisory board or working group, here’s what you need to know about implementing it and making it work.

More of Less Is Better Than Less of More.

If you want your board/group to educate themselves before showing up to collaborate, you have to make it easy for them. This means not scaring them off with cumbersome materials they feel they don’t have time to go through. Break up the material into smaller, more digestible chunks.

Then, with a Longitudinal Expert Engagement Plan™, you can decide the frequency of content delivery. The key is consistency, which won’t be hard to do if you’re breaking up the material.

Watch To Learn.

Many proponents of the Flipped Classroom are big fans of video for a few reasons. It’s a quick way to get a message across. It has the ability to resonate far more than written material (especially if it has music). And there’s a much better chance that students are actually going to get through a video than a reading. The same can be true in the advisory board/working group setting. It doesn’t have to be a big production – you can always shoot something yourself on your computer, iPad, or phone.

Set The Ground Rules.

Whether you use a Longitudinal Expert Engagement Plan™ or regular email to stay in touch with your board/group members, the first thing you should do is explain the model, what you expect of them and what they can expect of you. And be explicit in your instruction ⎯ remind them they’ll get case studies Tuesdays and videos every other Friday (for example). And let them know how the meetings are going to run ⎯ big group vs. small group ratios, discussion formats, participation points, etc. The more people know what to expect, the better able they’ll be to deliver.