The “flipped classroom” is a pedagogical method where students learn basic material before class from videos or other sources and come to class prepared to engage in active learning exercises. We sought to study the effect this approach had on student learning behaviors and satisfaction.
Four topics (14% of curriculum) in the “Microbiology and Infectious Diseases” course for 1st year Columbia University medical students were redesigned according to flipped classroom principles, without changing total time allotted to those topics. Three lessons utilized online video modules and one utilized a PowerPoint module, all containing embedded assessment questions. Students were required to complete a home pre-test and then attend an interactive classroom session. Each session utilized audience-response-system assessment questions and three employed “Just in Time Teaching” strategies. The remainder of this lecture-based course was unchanged. After the course, students were surveyed to compare flipped lessons to lectures using a 3-point scale (“more”, “same”, “less”). Data were analyzed with the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test.
Eighty-nine (56%) of 158 students completed the questionnaire. Responses were aggregated across the four flipped lessons. Respondents reported that video and PowerPoint modules led to “more effective learning” than standard lectures (50% more, 15% less; p<0.001), as did interactive in-class sessions (54% more, 13% less; p<0.001). Respondents said less time was needed to re-study material covered in flipped lessons for the exam (12% more, 29% less; p<0.001) and anticipated that they would remember content learned in flipped lessons for longer (38% more, 9% less; p<0.001). They enjoyed the flipped lessons more (41% more, 14% less; p<0.001). Fifty-five of the 89 respondents also submitted free text responses. Most requested more flipped classroom teaching (60% more, 9% less; p<0.001).
Flipped classroom sessions allowed medical students to learn more efficiently with better reported long-term retention and increased enjoyment. The flipped classroom is a promising method to teach microbiology and infectious diseases to medical students.
P. Van Nieuwenhuizen,
A. Swan Sein, None