I just sat down with a group of 1st and 2nd year medical students to hear horror stories about their experiences with flipped classrooms. Although many of them liked the idea behind the strategy, these experiences had been overwhelmingly negative.
The stories mainly consisted of 4 categories:
Too Much Content
- A three hour lecture is boring in the classroom but it is unwatchable as an unedited video
- Asking students to read several articles written for medical professionals not medical students because the faculty member doesn’t have time to edit the content or doesn’t understand the knowledge level of med students leaves them confused and embarrassed by their lack of understanding. Worse it can mean avoidance of article reading once they graduate.
- Asking students to read articles without guiding questions so they know what to focus on
- Anything that takes more than 1 hour to complete (see Flipped Classroom for ideas)
No Follow Through Between Homework and Class Time
- Asking students to do homework but not following up and helping students make the connection between the time spend studying and classroom activity
Using Class Time for Lecturing
- The educational theory behind the flipped classroom is that content that must be memorized is best learned independently while higher order thinking is best done thru group activity. Flipping the classroom provides an opportunity for students to develop both factual and clinical reasoning. (see Using Classroom Time)
Not Attending Faculty Development
- The underlying issue seems to be with faculty who I know have never attended a single workshop on how to flip a medical classroom. Students have positive stories about what active participants in faculty development are doing.
image (C) Henry Fuselli