The Flipped Classroom Goblin

I just sat down with a group of 1st and john_henry_fuseli_-_the_nightmare2nd 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:

  1. Too Much Content

      1. A three hour lecture is boring in the classroom but it is unwatchable as an unedited video
      2. 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.
      3. Asking students to read articles without guiding questions so they know what to focus on
      4. Anything that takes more than 1 hour to complete (see Flipped Classroom for ideas)
  2. No Follow Through Between Homework and Class Time

      1. Asking students to do homework but not following up and helping students make the connection between the time spend studying and classroom activity
  3. Using Class Time for Lecturing

      1. 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)
  4. Not Attending Faculty Development

      1. 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

Active Learning in Large Classes

The following article is a continuation of Active Learning – Remembering
In an active learning environment, formative assessment of learning is important because:
• it allows both the professor and the students to evaluate on a regular basis how they are progressing in achieving the class objectives
• both professor and students can adjust their activities based on the feedback they receive.
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The images below represent how Dr. Kalyani Premkumar, an assistant professor in our College of Medicine answered the question, “How can my students and I best understand the nature, quality and progress of their learning?”* The class had over 80 undergraduate medical and dental students studying about the general characteristics of hormones. Dr. Premkumar wanted students to demonstrate their understanding of the classification system, she had just lectured on.
Before Class Began
Classification terms were printed, cut and sorted into piles.
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Piles were placed in 10 envelopes with 4X4 cards that were printed with the major headings for the classification.
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After The Lecture
Groups of five students were given an envelope
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The whole room was engaged in learning.
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Within 5 minutes, they had completed the sorting
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Dr. Premkumar checked the results and provided feedback. Class debriefed with questions.
The question “How can my students and I best understand the nature, quality and progress of their learning?” comes from the book What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/BAIBES.html.