Strong evidence supports the use of active learning in the classroom (Freeman et al., 2014). However, in tertiary education, where we are faced with large enrolments, limited class-time and considerable content to cover, active learning can be difficult to achieve. In 2016, we set out to activate the human bioscience learning of 270 first year students enrolled in a Bachelor of Health Science (including specialisms in Paramedics, Radiation Science, Public Health and Human Services). Using Flipped Pedagogy, we delivered all content online via a series of video vignettes, conversational text and formative quizzes. Completion of pre-work was compulsory for entry into workshops, which focussed on a hands-on, collaborative, exploration of the learned content. Content was further contextualised during tutorial classes which were case-based, encouraging students to apply and consolidate their learning. We used surveys, focus groups, written reflections, student grades and learning analytics to gauge the success of this approach. The findings from our research demonstrate that activating the classroom in this manner leads to decreased fail rates, higher-order thinking and improved student experience.
Freeman S, Eddy SL, McDonough M, Smith MK, Okoroafor N, Jordt H, Wenderoth MP. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proc Natl Acad Sci 111, 8410-8415.