Most American Job Centers/One Stops offer an array of workshops to job seekers designed to make them more proficient in various aspects of the job search. We offer resume writing, interviewing skills, navigating online job boards, etc.
In these workshops, job seekers usually are listening to lectures and/or watching a "sage on the stage" as he/she navigates through a website. Job seekers are then sent off to apply what they've learned by writing a resume or going on an interview.
But what if we flipped things, so that job seekers spent time outside of the workshop learning the content through online video lessons and then used the "classroom time" to practice skills and/or get feedback on work products? This is the idea behind "Flipped Learning."
Flipping The Workshop
Research on the Flipped Classroom approach in education has shown that students experience significant learning gains when they learn this way. Rather than spending valuable face-to-face time on simply listening to a lecture, they are able to actually improve their performance by using classroom time for practice and to receive feedback from instructors and their peers.
In a One Stop, this approach could ensure that people had actually mastered the skills and were able to implement them in their job search. We can't assume that because a person listened to a presentation on filling out an online application that they actually know how to do it. And how many times has someone sat through a workshop on interviewing, yet still gone on to interview poorly?
The flipped approach would also help us make more effective use of staff. Does it make sense to have a staff person spending their time repeating the same lecture over and over, when they could be putting that same valuable time into coaching and supporting job seekers in actually implementing their new skills?
The Flipped Workshop in Practice
So how might this look in practice?
A "flipped" resume writing workshop might look like this:
- Job seekers review online videos that walk them through the process of creating a resume.
- As part of each video lesson, there's a "homework assignment"--for example, to write a "Summary of Qualifications." Lessons could also include links to worksheets and additional resources as necessary.
- Face-to-face time in the workshop would be spent doing peer reviews of resumes or the workshop instructor could put each person's resume on a screen to review together as a group, offering guidance on how to improve it which could also lead to new learning for other participants.
Or in a "flipped" interview workshop, job seekers would review online lessons on how to respond to interview questions and then class time would be spent practicing responses and receiving feedback.
In a future post we'll talk about some of the nuts and bolts of flipping a workshop, but for now, I want to plant the seed . . . how could you get more of the "content" stuff online and then spend face-to-face, group time on practicing job search skills and getting feedback to improve those skills?