Flipping the classroom

The flipped classroom describes a reversal of traditional teaching where students acquire exposure to new material outside of the class room. Class time is then dedicated to assimilating that knowledge through strategies such as problem solving, discussion or debate (Vanderbilt University, Center for Teaching).

The recent trend of ‘Flipping the classroom” has seen a proliferation of video lectures available for students to access online. These examples of content delivery evoke a passive consumption of information…with little thought to instructional design, learning outcomes, learner engagement or behavioural change.

To create online learning experiences that encourage active learning, the content needs to be redesigned or re-created from scratch (born digital content).   The redesign of the learning materials into interactive activities promoting decision making and problem solving ensures user engagement and higher order thinking, thus promoting deeper learning. Emphasis is placed on chunking content into learning snacks that allow the user to reflect, synthesize and perform.

This then frees up the the valuable face-to-face workshop time to focus on interaction, discussion, and the practical application of the online content. The key to the success of this flipped approach is that BOTH delivery components (online and face to face) involve active learning and engagement.

I have been using the flipped classroom approach for a number of years,  and work closely with content experts/clinical teachers/academics to create high quality online modules that compliment and support their teaching programs.

I have adopted this flipped classroom model to support the teaching program for 3rd and 4th Year medical students at the UQ Rural Clinical School, Toowoomba, Australia.

The online content is specifically designed to introduce new concepts through a series of activities and demonstrations that allow the learner to process the information through decision making tasks, clinical reasoning and observations. The learner is then equipped to attend the workshop with:

  • a good understanding of the concepts and theory
  • basics in clinical reasoning and decision making

This allows for interactive discussion, sharing perspectives and transfer of knowledge and skills to new cases or context (under the guidance of the clinical expert).

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The following 4th year programs illustrate this approach

  • Flipped Simulation: A series of online simulation scenarios that support the clinical skills simulation program offered to 4th year medical students. In creating the online content, the LIVE simulation learning materials (scenarios and scripts) are re-designed to incorporate authentic decision making activities.  Students work through the scenario demonstrating how they would communicate with the health professional team, and interact with the patient to inform their diagnosis and manage the patient.  Each scenario is supported by observation charts, pathology, radiology and relevant medical notes. Students attend the live scenario feeling better prepared and more confident in their ability to diagnose the presenting complaint and manage the patient.
  • Flipped intern readiness program: a series of e-Tutorials followed by cased based workshops.
    • The introductory learning package consists of an online ward round where the student is taken on a virtual patient round and completes tasks such as handover and filling in medical charts as they move through the activities of the ward round. This is then followed by a live classroom mock scenario, in which students are given patient details and then complete the medical notes, order investigations (pathology, radiology). This exercise is followed by small group reflective discussion with past residents and clinical teachers.
    • Ward Skills: Preparing for the Ward Round, Attending the ward round, After the ward round
      • the eTutorials provide practical examples and demonstrations and tasks; the face to face interactive workshops are based on mock ward round scenarios, hands-on activities, small group reflective sessions.
  • Intern readiness presentation AMEE2015 (Click link)

IMG_2443attending the ward roundAW1


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