Hybrid, Online, and Flipped Classrooms in Health Science: Enhanced Learning Environments

Hybrid, Online, and Flipped Classrooms in Health Science: Enhanced Learning Environments

Lynda Tierney Konecny (A.T. Still University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8571-0.ch003
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With the changing face of education and increased need for unique and technology-enhanced learning environments, educators must have current and relevant information to assist in making informed choices about how to create the most effective learning experiences. In this chapter, hybrid, online, and flipped classrooms are defined based on information found in relevant peer-reviewed and professional literature. Examples in practice within health sciences education are provided of each classroom type, as well as uses in environments where students take control of their own learning. Positive and negative aspects of each learning environment are discussed. Recommendations and best practices are suggested to facilitate the practical application of each.
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In the broad timeline of higher education delivery, hybrid, online, and flipped classrooms are relatively new concepts. Each format involves some form of distance education and students spend little to no time sitting in the back of a large lecture hall. Students are able to use technologies and media available to them and explore new options. Settings are conducive to problem-based learning which allows students to work on projects and learn by developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. There are no set formats or procedures, and educators continue to experiment, study, and develop new ways to incorporate technology and innovative teaching methods to enhance the learning process. Hybrid learning is typically a combination of face-to-face and online education. Online classrooms involve a learning management system which allows students to interact via the Internet either synchronously or asynchronously. The flipped classroom enables students to view learning materials such as recorded lectures on their own time schedule and then engage with the educator in activities designed to deepen learning. Each learning environment provides teaching methods which are aligned with the concepts of transformative learning. Student engagement is a requirement for success, and studies show students are indeed more successful in these enhanced learning environments than in traditional classrooms.

Alternate learning environments allow for more flexibility than traditional learning settings which may appeal to adult learners who may be balancing work and family while furthering their education. This also supports the adult or constructivist learning theory which asserts that adults benefit most from learning environments where they can apply information to real-life situations and places responsibility for learning on the student rather than the educator. Students learn by participating in hands-on activities rather than listening to in-class lectures or simply writing papers. This applied learning aids in the transition from knowledge to understanding and enhances the transformative learning process.

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