This epidemiology course for first year medical students employed blended learning to introduce foundational ideas within the domain. The instructor wanted to reach a large number of learners while also changing up the way that the course was normally given. To this end, the instructor recorded short, focused videos of their lectures by making screencasts and using the Interactive Video tool to enhance and encourage interaction with this content. This activity was a weekly preparation step for team-based learning activities, employing the flipped-classroom approach. Other aims of the instructor included focusing on learning rather than knowledge transfer, and activating students’ deeper understanding of materials.
The instructor prepares weekly interactive lectures which students use as a preparation exercise for team-based learning (TBL) activities. Students view the lecture video inside the tool and answer in-line practice questions designed to stimulate critical thinking and reflection. These can be both multiple choice and open questions. They are also able to add comments and reply to each other’s remarks within the platform.
Additionally, knowledge transfer was under expectation. Through experimenting with the screencasts and adding questions, students found the material more interesting, specifically mentioning that it kept their attention and focus.
Overall, there was a noticeable increase in the amount of discussion and the demonstration of knowledge and ideas, implying that the instructor’s chosen method was majorly successful. Using the flipped classroom approach, students were made more responsible for their own learning trajectory. Unlike with traditional lectures, they could participate in their own time and be guided in a streamlined manner by the added practice questions.
"There has been a noticeable spike in the overall average grade in the class compared with previous years." - Instructor, Leiden University Medical Center
"[This] has given me the opportunity to actively focus on important topics, and at the same time, saves me from conducting the same lecture every semester.”
Instructors using this setup can include a (summative) assessment component to this activity. In this way, students’ interaction with questions and their number of right or wrong answers contribute towards a score which forms an overall grade for this activity.
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