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Adv Physiol Educ. 2016 Mar;40(1):47-55. doi: 10.1152/advan.00098.2015.

Flipped classrooms and student learning: not just surface gains.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada; sarah.mclean@schulich.uwo.ca.
2
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada; and.
3
The Centre for Education Research and Innovation, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

The flipped classroom is a relatively new approach to undergraduate teaching in science. This approach repurposes class time to focus on application and discussion; the acquisition of basic concepts and principles is done on the students' own time before class. While current flipped classroom research has focused on student preferences and comparative learning outcomes, there remains a lack of understanding regarding its impact on students' approaches to learning. Focusing on a new flipped classroom-based course for basic medical sciences students, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate students' adjustments to the flipped classroom, their time on task compared with traditional lectures, and their deep and active learning strategies. Students in this course worked through interactive online learning modules before in-class sessions. Class time focused on knowledge application of online learning module content through active learning methods. Students completed surveys and optional prequiz questions throughout the term to provide data regarding their learning approaches. Our results showed that the majority of students completed their prework in one sitting just before class. Students reported performing less multitasking behavior in the flipped classroom compared with lecture-based courses. Students valued opportunities for peer-peer and peer-instructor interactions and also valued having multiple modes of assessment. Overall, this work suggests that there is the potential for greater educational gains from the flipped classroom than the modest improvements in grades previously demonstrated in the literature; in this implementation of the flipped classroom, students reported that they developed independent learning strategies, spent more time on task, and engaged in deep and active learning.

KEYWORDS:

deep learning; flipped classroom; strategy; student engagement; time on task

PMID:
26847257
DOI:
10.1152/advan.00098.2015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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