Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Evaluation of a Flipped Drug Literature Evaluation Course

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Evaluation of a Flipped Drug Literature Evaluation Course

Article excerpt


Active-learning pedagogy in the classroom is highlighted in the 2016 Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Standards. (1) Specifically, the standards state the curriculum should actively engage learners, promote student responsibility of self-directed learning, and foster collaborative learning. The flipped model is one type of active-learning pedagogy that meets the 2016 ACPE Standards.

The term "flipped" was introduced in 2006, although the strategies behind the flipped classroom have been used for years. (2) Flipping a classroom essentially involves simple transfer of knowledge out of scheduled class time. Material can be delivered in a variety of ways such as videos, podcasts, readings, or websites and must be completed by the student before class. To ensure completion of materials, an assessment can be administered before or at the beginning of class. Homework is transformed into an in-class activity that allows the instructor to assess learning in a formative manner. Activities are typically completed in groups. The instructor interacts with students on an individual level, employs more active-learning techniques such as think-pair-share and team-based learning methodologies, and models expert thinking related to the subject material. The flipped model employs a constructivist approach to learning. (3) In this approach, students learn by experiencing and are responsible for building their knowledge. Students build knowledge prior to class and apply what they have learned during class. Such an approach aligns strongly with principles of life-long learning. The flipped classroom may also fit better with millennial learners because of their preference for active learning. (4)

There are a number of reasons that make flipping a literature evaluation course an attractive approach. The flipped classroom employs methods that could reduce anxiety and fear typically encountered in courses that involve statistics. Fear and anxiety related to statistics courses can be broken down into six main themes: interpretation of statistics, test anxiety, computation anxiety, worth of statistics, fear of the instructor, and fear of asking for help. (5) Test, interpretation, and computation anxiety are related to performing statistical tests and interpreting results. Fear of the instructor and asking for help can result in students not obtaining the help they need. "Worth of statistics" is related to students thinking that the material in the course is not applicable to the real world. The flipped classroom addresses these concerns by showing how the material is applicable to real world practice through activities, allowing for closer interactions with the instructor and giving students opportunities to practice skills prior to examinations. An additional benefit of the flipped classroom is that students are able to access material at any time outside of class. Lastly, the flipped model fits all recommendations from the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) from the American Statistical Association.6 These recommendations emphasize using active learning, real data, technology and assessments, improving conceptual understanding, and developing critical-thinking skills.

Studies in academic pharmacy literature show students perceive the flipped classroom model as a way of enhancing learning, increasing understanding of foundational content, increasing participation, increasing class attendance, and improving assessment scores. (7,8) Studies evaluating the flipped classroom have been conducted in a wide variety of health care education programs including radiology, nutrition, nursing, public health, and medicine. (7-13) Identified studies report mostly positive results, although some studies do not report quantitative outcomes.

We decided to flip the classroom after observing student inattention during lectures, difficulty completing homework assignments, and anxiety about the course. …

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