Why Flip the Classroom?

When it comes to medical education, whether nursing, pharmacy, or medicine, it is critical that students don't just memorize information they will forget.  They must internalize and understand it so they can apply it in clinical practice. Healthcare education isn't just academic, it impacts the wellbeing and outcomes of real patients the student will someday serve.

Healthcare education isn't just academic, it impacts the wellbeing and outcomes of real patients the student will someday serve.

Cognitive research has shown active and collaborative learning allows adult learners to engage with the material in a way that improves knowledge gain and recall abilities. Students need to engage with the material to gain a deeper understanding.[1]

This presents a challenge to faculty who have an ever-growing number of demands on their time and curriculum requirements. How can there be time to carefully and thoroughly cover the core content that students need, and time to engage with the students in discussion and educational activities that allow them to apply critical thinking and collaboration so those concepts become deeply understood knowledge?

One educational approach that has been researched for more than a decade is the flipped classroom model. Simply put, the flipped classroom model is the practice of assigning didactic material to be completed before class (traditionally lecture material), while using face-to-face or course time to engage in active learning activities. The benefits to the learner are both the ability to control the speed and repetition of the core lecture material before class, and the increased opportunities for engagement that lead to more complex understanding and competency. [2]

High-Yield has supported the flipped classroom model for more than a decade, offering focused lecture material for drug classes, disease states, and evidence-based practice through a variety of courses. Students can watch at the speed they choose, pause, and re-watch material as needed, and faculty receive administrative reporting to keep students accountable.

Nurse practitioner programs use the Advanced Pharmacology course to flip their classrooms and elevate their course time. Preceptors assign disease state lectures to NP students on clinical and pharmacy students on APPE rotations, so they come to clinic ready for rounds. Pharmacy schools use the drug class review lectures to lay the foundation in their courses that they build up with learning activities. And, medical residency programs equip their physicians with our Evidence-Based Medicine lecture content to equip them to evaluate their training through the lens of EBM.

What would you do in your class time if you didn't have to lecture?

What would you do in your class time if you didn't have to lecture? Here is a list of a few active learning strategies that are popular in healthcare education.

  • Case Studies integrate knowledge across domains and require critical thinking from learners that prepare them for clinical practice.
  • Share - Pair activities present a problem or question and have sets of learners work together to find their answer and share with their peers.
  • Group Presentations prepare future clinicians for the interprofessional collaboration that is essential in the modern healthcare system.
  • Role Play bridges the gap between the classroom and the clinic applying lecture knowledge to patient scenarios.
  • Debate and Socratic questioning forces learners to not only state an answer but defend why it is the best response.
  • One Minute Paper effectively checks learners' progress and understanding as they respond to short questions in a limited amount of time.
  • Fish Bowl allows students to write down a clarifying question from the didactic material and put it in a bowl. The faculty can either answer selected questions or have the class answer in a discussion format.
  • Games like Quizlet or Kahoot that create fun competition and allow faculty to focus discussion on areas that their learners need additional instruction.

  • There is so much opportunity for creativity and interaction in a flipped classroom. We'd love for you to add your favorites in the comments!




    You may also like: 

    Knowledge Transfer Explained

    What to Expect: The New AACN Essentials Roadmap

    High-Yield Products: 

    For Institutions: Advanced Pharmacology and Clinical Rotation Support for NP Programs

    For Institutions: NAPLEX and APPE resources for Pharmacy Programs

    For Institutions: Resources for Residency Programs