Active Learning in Flipped Classroom and Tutorials: Complementary or Redundant?
Cambridge undergraduates have regular active-learning opportunities in small-group tutorials, in which they solve problems and discuss ideas based on course material. Would they see any value in performing similar tasks in flipped-classroom settings, or would they regard the introduction of a second active-learning modality as redundant? Following the replacement of traditional lectures with flipped teaching within three physiology courses, with tutorials ongoing, questionnaire responses showed that students felt that they learned and understood more, and felt better-prepared for exams. Although similarities were recognised, the context of the active learning evidently made flipped classroom and tutorial teaching feel very different, probably because of the different levels of attention from the instructors. Questionnaire and interview comments suggested a complementarity between the two approaches, in that engaging with problems within a flipped classroom could give students more confidence in tutorials and in essay-writing, while tutorials offered more opportunities for individually-tailored feedback.