The 5 Best Flipped Classroom Strategies for Health Science Classes

I never understood the concept of the flipped classroom until I talked to Daniel Limmer. He said, ‘You make them do the work. You get them doing this at home and when they come in to you, they’re prepared.’ It’s such a great concept! I do that with a lot of my students and it has really worked out.

Kozy Hubbard
Bartow High School, FL

As a CTE health science teacher, you’ve heard the phrase “flipped learning” from administrators and fellow teachers.

At its core, flipping the classroom is a type of blended learning in which students do typical class work at home.

A flipped classroom is also a great differentiated instruction strategy when you want to meet the needs of your diverse students.

It also allows you to have more in-class time dedicated to working on hands-on health care skills.

You may have already heard why flipped learning is so important, but actually doing it can seem like more trouble than it’s worth. This is especially since you have so many other things to do and so little outside support for trying something new.

So how can you get started? You need some strategy ideas!

These are the five best flipped classroom strategies to help you spend less class time lecturing and more time doing hands-on activities and skills practice.

1. Assign Readings with Questions to Answer

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One of the easiest ways to flip your classroom is to ask students to complete readings at home instead of during class.

This may seem like just giving students homework, but you can tweak it slightly to flip your students’ learning!

Ask students to answer some questions about the readings to then review in class. You could give all students the same questions or vary your questions to spark discussion on different parts of the reading.

This way, your class time can be more focused on discussions and activities about the topic. Rather than spending the first part of your class time on reading, you can get right to the discussions and more in-depth information!

2. Create Lecture Videos

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Many teachers associate flipped learning with using technology. One way to incorporate technology is to ask students to view videos on the topic you want to cover.

One way to do this is to record your lecture and upload it to a class website for students to watch at home. This way, students will receive all of the important information you want them to know, but it frees up in-class time for discussions, answering questions, and doing hands-on skills work.

To save some time, consider recording your live lectures during class, rather than doing so outside of class time. Then, you’ll have recordings that you can use in future courses to make flipped learning even more effective.

Creating your own videos is a lot of work up front, but in the long run you will find it’s worth the time and effort!

The biggest bonus to this is that absent students can easily watch the videos to stay caught up. Talk about two birds with one stone!

3. Provide Demonstration Videos

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If you’d prefer to keep your lectures in the classroom, you could use videos in a different way.

Some health science teachers use YouTube videos (or other online sources) to demonstrate health care topics — especially procedures.

Kozy Hubbard from Bartow High School, Florida frequently uses this strategy for flipped learning.

Specifically, Kozy uses it when her class is learning about bone fractures. She instructs students to view specific videos before class to see real-life injuries and relate them to what they are learning in class.

You could also assign videos that deal with EMT procedures, phlebotomy, resuscitation, and other medical procedures.

There are many great health care topics that lend themselves to video demonstrations -- you just need to find the right videos for them!

4. Create an Online Class Discussion Group

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Another way to flip the classroom is to host digital discussions.

Teachers like this strategy because online discussions encourage students to “speak their minds,” including those who don’t usually speak up in class.

There are many variations to using online discussion, such as:

  • Setting up ‘starter questions’ to spark discussions
  • Asking students to include links to relevant articles they found
  • Having students initiate discussions with their own questions

You can mix and match these discussion styles to provide some variation for your students.

Some schools have dedicated class websites that you can use to create a discussion group. Check with your colleagues to see if you’re set up to go!

To relate these discussions back to your in-class time, pick a few interesting remarks that students brought up online. Use them to expand discussion in-class and link to what you’ll teach that day.

This is a great way to praise student participation and reinforce that their thoughts are an important piece to the learning process.

5. Use Digital Curriculum

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One of the fastest and easiest ways to flip a classroom is through digital curriculum. It allows your students to access the bulk of base knowledge from a computer, making it easy for you to flip the classroom whenever you like.

Using a digital curriculum for flipped learning is similar to asking students to do traditional classwork at home. In this case, you instruct students to go through eLearning lessons within the curriculum system as homework. That teaches them the material for the next class session.

After completing the lessons, students take the integrated quiz as a formative assessment. A digital curriculum system will even record and show you the grades (and other student data) from a convenient dashboard.

Student grades let you tailor in-class instruction to where your students are in your syllabus. If most students have trouble with a certain concept, you know to talk about that concept more in class.

If most students have zoomed through a unit, you know that you don’t have to spend much time on it in class.

Using a digital curriculum is one of the easiest and least time-consuming ways for you to flip your health science classroom. Videos, lessons, and assessments are already there waiting to be used.

You just need to decide which lessons you want to flip!

Start Flipping Your Classroom

At Applied Educational Systems, we provide a digital curriculum for health science instructors to use for blended learning, flipped learning, and differentiated instruction.

HealthCenter21 is used by thousands of health science instructors across the United States to save time and meet the needs of their diverse students.

Want start flipping your health science classroom?

Learn more about the HealthCenter21 curriculum!

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