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Adv Physiol Educ. 2016 Dec 1;40(4):522-528. doi: 10.1152/advan.00033.2016.

The flipped classroom allows for more class time devoted to critical thinking.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York


The flipped classroom was utilized in a two-semester, high-content science course that enrolled between 50 and 80 students at a small liberal arts college. With the flipped model, students watched ~20-min lectures 2 days/wk outside of class. These videos were recorded via screen capture and included a detailed note outline, PowerPoint slides, and review questions. The traditional format included the same materials, except that lectures were delivered in class each week and spanned the entire period. During the flipped course, the instructor reviewed common misconceptions and asked questions requiring higher-order thinking, and five graded case studies were performed each semester. To determine whether assessments included additional higher-order thinking skills in the flipped vs. traditional model, questions across course formats were compared via Blooms Taxonomy. Application-level questions that required prediction of an outcome in a new scenario comprised 38 ± 3 vs. 12 ± 1% of summative assessment questions (<0.01): flipped vs. traditional. Final letter grades in both formats of the course were compared with major GPA. Students in the flipped model performed better than their GPA predicted, as 85.5% earned a higher grade (vs. 42.2% in the traditional classroom) compared with their major GPA. These data demonstrate that assessments transitioned to more application-level compared with factual knowledge-based questions with this particular flipped model, and students performed better in their final letter grade compared with the traditional lecture format. Although the benefits to a flipped classroom are highlighted, student evaluations did suffer. More detailed studies comparing the traditional and flipped formats are warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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