Flexible content delivery, student-faculty interaction frees time without hurting grades

Medical students face an intense schedule and workload and often struggle to juggle their priorities. Similarly, medical school faculty must find time in their busy schedules to prepare lectures and for face-to-face interaction with their students. In an effort to optimize student and faculty time and increase engagement between them, researchers from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center “flipped” their content delivery strategy upside down. They will present their findings today at the American Physiological Society (APS) Institute on Teaching and Learning in Madison, Wis.

The researchers transitioned much of the material from their second-year pathophysiology course — including nearly all live presentations by faculty — into prerecorded videos and a suggested schedule of study. The faculty also scheduled daily interactive sessions where students could apply their learning. Some sessions were mandatory, but most were not.

“Student performance, as measured by in-house exams and high-stakes standardized exams, has not declined, and in many respects is improving. Moreover, evaluations of the course suggest that most students appreciate the flexibility and independence available with this approach,” the researchers wrote.

Thomas Pressley, PhD, professor of physiology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, will present “Flipping the course: Independent study of online videos and interactive sessions in a medical pathophysiology course” in a poster session on Tuesday, June 19 at the Madison Concourse Hotel.

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