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Evaluation of a flipped classroom approach to learning introductory epidemiology

Shiau, Stephanie; Kahn, Linda G.; Platt, Jonathan; Li, Chihua; Guzman, Jason T.; Kornhauser, Zachary G.; Keyes, Katherine M.; Martins, Silvia S.

Background
Although the flipped classroom model has been widely adopted in medical education, reports on its use in graduate-level public health programs are limited. This study describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of a flipped classroom redesign of an introductory epidemiology course and compares it to a traditional model.


Methods
One hundred fifty Masters-level students enrolled in an introductory epidemiology course with a traditional format (in-person lecture and discussion section, at-home assignment; 2015, N = 72) and a flipped classroom format (at-home lecture, in-person discussion section and assignment; 2016, N = 78). Using mixed methods, we compared student characteristics, examination scores, and end-of-course evaluations of the 2016 flipped classroom format and the 2015 traditional format. Data on the flipped classroom format, including pre- and post-course surveys, open-ended questions, self-reports of section leader teaching practices, and classroom observations, were evaluated.


Results
There were no statistically significant differences in examination scores or students’ assessment of the course between 2015 (traditional) and 2016 (flipped). In 2016, 57.1% (36) of respondents to the end-of-course evaluation found watching video lectures at home to have a positive impact on their time management. Open-ended survey responses indicated a number of strengths of the flipped classroom approach, including the freedom to watch pre-recorded lectures at any time and the ability of section leaders to clarify targeted concepts. Suggestions for improvement focused on ways to increase regular interaction with lecturers.


Conclusions
There was no significant difference in students’ performance on quantitative assessments comparing the traditional format to the flipped classroom format. The flipped format did allow for greater flexibility and applied learning opportunities at home and during discussion sections.

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Also Published In

Title
BMC Medical Education
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1150-1

More About This Work

Academic Units
Epidemiology
School of Professional Studies
Published Here
April 24, 2018

Notes

Public health, Flipped classroom, Epidemiology, Graduate level setting, Education, Instructional tecnology

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