Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Flip the staff meeting

Now that classrooms are being flipped all over the world it's maybe time to see how we can flip other practices at work. Take the average departmental meeting. Most of these meetings are taken up with monologues where the manager or sometimes another staff member simply presents information. Since the supposed aim of a meeting is to discuss it's surprising how little time is spent actually doing that and how much time is devoted to one way communication.

Steven Anderson has written about this in a post called Flipping ... It's not just for the classroom. He proposes prerecording the information element of the meeting and letting members see it before the meeting, thus freeing up meeting time to discussion and decision. He offers several suggestions of tools that can be used to distribute information in advance of a meeting and even starting the discussion in advance. Tools like Google Docs, Edmodo, Jing, Screencast-o-matic and VoiceThread can be used to present the facts and start an asynchronous discussion so that when we actually do meet we can discuss the issues with a better understanding.

"No matter what you use, try it! See what you and your staff can do with that extra time if you share that information digitally and reserve that faculty meeting time for faculty learning time. Try the Faculty Flip!"

It's difficult to have a meaningful discussion when you've only just been given the information. Many people need time to digest that information before voicing an opinion. In many meetings only the most vociferous staff members are heard. By flipping the meeting you ensure that everyone has had time to consider the facts and hopefully a more informed and less spontaneous dicusssion can take place. 

Worth trying at least.

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