Our course setup was changed to the “flipped classroom” concept, to promote active student participation and to deal with the different entry levels of the students. Therefore, using the program “SoftChalk”, 8 ICT modules were developed with interactive exercises and a reader was written to complement these modules. The modules and reader were made in a way that it enabled students with different entry levels to understand it by self-study. If things were unclear the students were motivated to discuss this using the program “FeedBackFruits”. The questions raised here were discussed in the “response lectures”. We also changed the tutorials, in which students discuss an immunology Case related to the topic that they have studied.
Active student participation and being able to deal with the different entry levels of the students.
The students were more actively involved. This was particularly clear during the tutorials, during which we noted much more active discussion between the students. This was most likely because they started better prepared, due to the combination of the “flipped classroom” principle with early assessments that activated the students and motivated them to actively study from the start of the course.
With the new setup of the course the students were more active during the tutorials. They also gained their theoretical knowledge earlier in the course (due to the early assessments) which was of benefit to the rest of the course. It was also easier to study for the students, because they were not be assessed on a whole text book at the end of the course, but they were assessed regularly on parts of the theory.
Although many students liked the new setup, quite a few students did miss the traditional lectures. This was particularly the case for students who find it more difficult to study by reading text and viewing pictures. In particular for dyslectic students this may be a problem. We intend to search for additional suitable “knowledge clips” material and make some of these clips on topics for which we cannot find suitable ones.
Be aware that these kind of changes will cost you a lot of time; block this time in your agenda well in advance to prevent too much stress near the start of your adapted course. We also had some very useful advice from Ellen Torfs (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would advise to make use of her support.