Embracing the Flipped Classroom

Sep 15, 2021 • 4min read


We have all experienced it - the dreaded “death by PowerPoint”! Students disengaged, shopping, social media-ing, even napping. Something needs to change. The solution: The Flipped Classroom

Flipped classrooms is an umbrella term encompassing teaching and learning pedagogies and strategies where students prepare for learning at home and problem-solving in teams in the classroom. Examples of structured flipped classrooms include team-based learning (TBL) and problem-based learning (PBL). The teacher’s role transitions from spewing information at students to a conductor of learning.

Traditional classroom teaching methods are characterized as teacher-centered, passive learning environment where instructors guide students. Students often regurgitate information on exams and promote a competitive environment. The advantages to lectures include scalability, only restricted by the classroom size and dissemination of a huge amount of information. The burden of effort is primarily on the instructor in the preparation and delivery of presentations.

Image Source: Wey-Han Tan. FlippedClassroom Drawing. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FlippedClassroom_Drawing_WeyHanTan_CCBY2020.png

The flipped classroom is characterized as a student-centered, collaborative approach where students come to class to apply knowledge obtained from assigned scaffolded materials prepared by the instructor. Students prepare by engaging with preparatory materials ahead of time and reviewing missed concepts after class. The preparatory effort is rewarded by performance on interactive classroom activities. Flipped classrooms are sometimes difficult to scale due to classroom logistics and personnel required for effective facilitation. 

Briefly, studies demonstrate that regardless of discipline, flipped classrooms have an overall positive benefit on learning achievement and learning motivation. Let’s take a closer look: 

  • In Public Healthcare Education courses, the flipped classroom deployed TBL. It resulted in improved soft skills, learning satisfaction, and learning outcomes compared to traditional lectures.

  • Lockman et. al. reports that the flipped classroom improved learning outcomes as evidenced by objective structured clinical examinations and traditional multiple-choice examinations in a doctor of the pharmacy curriculum. 

  • Studies in Social Work showed improved academic performance using flipped classrooms compared to lecture-based teaching in a randomized controlled study. 

  • Medical Education has also benefited from the flipped classroom with improvements in academic performance, self-learning, and learning experiences. Clear examples of the effectiveness of the flipped classroom in radiology, and emergency medicine, among other bolsters skills development, deep and broader learning, and learning satisfaction.

  • Emergency Nursing Continuing Education Course demonstrated effectiveness in being able to “enhance learning…attendees were able to focus their efforts on skill acquisition… rather than attempting to grasp the foundational concepts.” 

To summarize the benefits of the flipped classroom are:

  1. Deeper learning: Facilitator-driven engagement on difficult content moving towards mastery and discovering limits of applicability.

  2. Student accountability: Learners are responsible for their own learning experience by coming prepared to class.

  3. Soft skills developed: Critical professional skills such as communication, critical thinking, and complex problem-solving are practiced in active learning.

  4. Increased retention: Students spend most of the class time applying core concepts solving real-world problems, leading to a reduction of cramming before an exam and improved student achievement of learning outcomes.

  5. Student satisfaction: Research indicates higher satisfaction with the learning experience.

Ready to start? Say goodbye to the lecture? Consider TBL, which has a proven record of benefits. InteDashboard offers opportunities to learn about TBL and software to make the implementation of TBL easy. 

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