An Evaluation of the Flipped Classroom Model in a Master’s Level Environmental and Occupational Health Course - Part 1

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Tim Takaro, Faculty of Health Sciences

Project team: Craig Janes, Faculty of Health Science, Barb Berry, Teaching and Learning Centre, and Lindsay Galway, research assistant

Timeframe: August 2013 to February 2014

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: HSCI 845 – Environmental and Occupational Health

Poster presentation: View a poster (PDF) describing this project from the 2014 Symposium on Teaching and Learning

Description: The flipped classroom model is a type of blended learning in which face-to-face classroom experiences are integrated with online learning experiences. The flipped classroom has garnered widespread attention among instructors, the mainstream media, and society at large in recent years. Despite this growing interest, there remains a substantial knowledge gap regarding its utility and effectiveness, particularly as it applies to higher education. Knowledge pertaining to student perceptions of this teaching and learning model is also lacking. The overall purpose of this study is to examine the impact of the flipped classroom model on self-perceived knowledge, to assess student learning experiences and perceptions of the flipped classroom design, and to reflect on the experiences of designing and implementing a graduate level environmental health course using the flipped classroom design. Our project adopts the following specific objectives:

  • To design and implement a masters level environmental and occupational health course using a flipped classroom design.
  • To assess changes in student’s self-reported knowledge of environmental and occupational health after participating in the course.
  • To understand student perceptions of the course and the flipped classroom model and ways to improve it in the future.
  • To document the process and experience of designing and implementing a flipped classroom course that will facilitate other instructors.
  • To share research outcomes and experiences of designing and implementing a graduate level environmental health course with a wider audience.
  • To identify lessons learned and recommendations regarding the design and implementation of the flipped classroom model for graduate level public health courses.

Data will be collected through multiple methods:

  • Pre and post survey based on environmental heath core competencies: students will self-assess their knowledge of the core environmental health competencies
  • Post survey and focus groups sessions: will measure students’ perceptions of the flipped classroom model
  • Weekly in class observations and weekly post-class instructional team debriefs: will be used to document the process and experiences and a basis for identifying recommendations for other instructors in FHS who are interested in using a flipped class model.

Questions addressed:

  • Did the students learn what we wanted them to learn?
  • What are students’ perceptions of the flipped classroom?
  • How could the flipped classroom be improved?
  • What did we learn from the process of designing and implementing a graduate level environmental health course?

Knowledge sharing: Results will be shared within the Faculty of Health Sciences through a workshop/meeting on the topic of blended learning opportunities. Results will also be presented as a poster at the annual Teaching and Learning Symposium at SFU.

Keywords: flipped classroom