The flipped classroom model is based on reversing the traditional approach to teaching. Normally, what we’re all accustomed to is sitting a lecture hall while students passively receive information from the instructor. There is no interactivity for teacher or learners. After each class, homework is assigned and completed by learners in isolation.

The flipped model, as the name suggests, reverses this situation. Students review lecture material at home while they are alone. This passive activity is best done in isolation anyway. This frees up class time for more interactive work: like doing problem sets together (what was previously homework) or simulation. In these activities, students can ask instructors questions and teachers can spot and immediately address the deficiencies of their learners. These activities are not possible unless the students first have the background knowledge from the videos.

The effectiveness of this method has already been proven in a large university physics class, but can we apply it to medical school? In medicine we don’t have problem sets which as they did in the physics experiment, but we do have cases (either on paper or in the simulation lab). Each case can not only test the material learned in the at home lesson, but has subtleties and nuances that allow faculty to teach the art of medicine. This is something a student cannot learn at home alone.

This is our goal here. To create a series of lectures based on the flipped classroom model using the curriculum created by the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine.   This is an experiment and a work-in-progress, so we welcome any and all comments and feedback.

– Rahul Patwari and Stella Yiu

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