A flipped classroom model improves accessibility and affordability of coding bootcamps, helping students keep their jobs and build new skills.

Coding bootcamps could benefit from flipped learning

A flipped classroom model improves accessibility and affordability of coding bootcamps, meaning students can keep their jobs while also developing new skills in a new field

The traditional models of education have some serious problems that need to be addressed. Seeking a four-year degree is time consuming and expensive, especially for people who are already in the workforce. Attending college presents challenges for those who can’t afford to take time off or leave their current job. The process takes years and can quickly accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt for students.

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has reported that college enrollment continues to decrease. And gap year enrollment rates for the class of 2020 declined, even compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

Another recent survey from The Princeton Review found that high school students are 20 percent less likely to attend a four-year school.

People are shifting away from four-year college degrees. They’re moving towards accelerated, intensive, affordable education options that work with their budget and schedule, not against them – such as coding and technology bootcamps, certificate programs, and apprenticeships.

Because many of these programs are online, students don’t have to commute to or live near campus. They can participate no matter where they live. Most of these programs have flexible schedules as well, giving students more control over when they study, and thus alleviating some of the stress of trying to balance work with getting to class.

Judging by the online reviews, students are very satisfied with these alternative education programs. This includes graduating high school students, people looking to change careers, and those looking to upskill to advance in their current job.

The educational path to a lucrative career is evolving, and it’s flipping the script on traditional classroom learning as it forges ahead.

What is a flipped classroom?

In a flipped classroom, students gain access to new subject matter days before the teacher’s in-class. Outside of class, students review the learning content at their own pace using the provided material to guide them. This way, the teacher can use the in-class time to reinforce the topic and focus on the specific areas where the students may still be struggling.

The concept of the flipped classroom has been around for over a decade, and its popularity continues to grow. Various universities have implemented it in different ways.

Boston University’s Center for Teaching and Learning supports and assists professors who want to flip their class. Harvard’s Higher Education Teaching Certificate uses the flipped classroom. And, prior to the pandemic, the University of Vermont College of Medicine planned to be lecture-free by 2019.

How coding bootcamps are implementing the flipped classroom

One approach to the flipped classroom that works for coding bootcamps is to structure each week into two sections: One week of guided self-study, followed by a four-hour Saturday workshop with a dedicated instructor. This one-week/four-hour pattern continues for several weeks until the end of the bootcamp.

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