The application of the flipped classroom technique to the teaching of Veterinary Neurology

O'Neill, Emma (2014) The application of the flipped classroom technique to the teaching of Veterinary Neurology. In: The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). May 29th and 30th, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.


Educational research has realigned away from considering the delivery of information towards the enhancement of learning. The analogy of the student vessel being filled with content has been brought sharply into focus by the avalanche of information available at every turn. Expecting to be able to deliver more and more content to students is neither possible nor appropriate and will not equip them for life in a rapidly changing society; a topic of much debate in relation to veterinary education. The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ? Alvin Toffler. It is important to consider ways to equip students with the skills for life-long learning. Teaching strategies that engender a deep approach to learning by promoting active student engagement are key to this aim. However, this has to be achieved against a backdrop of increased student numbers and ever stretched resources. The main aim with this pilot study was to trial the use of a flipped classroom method in the teaching of veterinary neurology. The objective was to promote active student engagement in a subject they have always found challenging. In addition, it was hoped to alleviate problems that had arisen from increasing student numbers. The trial involved replacement of a standard practical class with a flipped classroom-style practical. Several videos were provided prior to the practical class, which was then run more as a discussion and debriefing session with peer-peer interaction and critique of the subject material. Student feedback was then sought using a basic 10-question survey administered on-line using Survey Monkey (Palo Alto, CA). The overall response rate to the survey was good with 53% (56/121) of students completing the survey and 98.5% agreeing that the approach was helpful to their learning. This paper will examine the use of this approach to facilitate active learning with increasing class sizes.

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