Acceptability of a blended learning model that improves student readiness for practical skill learning: A mixed-methods study
Background: The most effective method for teaching practical skills to healthcare professional students is unclear. Traditional teaching models perpetuate a passive learning pedagogy, whilst variation between tutors reduces target clarity. The flipped classroom model provides opportunities for enhancing student engagement. In a flipped classroom, skill explanation and demonstration is delivered online prior to a face-to-face session. The ideal model should generate an incentive for engagement while avoiding content overload. The aim of this study was to evaluate a flipped classroom teaching method that created an imperative for learner engagement among third-year physiotherapy students.
Methods: The new teaching method required students to view high production-quality preparatory material and complete unsupervised peer practice as prerequisites for receiving tutor feedback. Two skills classes were taught with the new method. Evaluation data was collected using an anonymous online survey, and responses were analysed to identify key themes. Year-on-year delivery costs were modelled by manipulating key variables, such as class size and video update schedule.
Results: The survey was delivered to 72 students: 75% responded after the first class, 32% after the second class. Respondents identified improved readiness for and receptiveness to feedback, and increased control over their learning. Emergent themes included a power shift towards the student, enhanced skill development and improved efficiency. Using parameters relevant for our department, video production costs were recouped after 3 years.
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