Editor’s Note: The following post is the second part of a series on “The Flipped Classroom: A Course Redesign to Foster Learning and Engagement in a Health Professions School.” We asked a few of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy faculty and student participants to share their perspectives on the experience. You can read the rest of the posts in the series here.
By Jacqueline McLaughlin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Educational Innovation and Research and Associate Director, Office of Strategic Planning and Assessment
When I joined this project, I had recently completed my doctoral degree in Educational Research and Policy Analysis. I was thrilled to be invited to participate in a project that employed rigorous educational research methods to examine student outcomes associated with the flipped classroom. Understanding the impact of innovative pedagogical approaches is imperative for fostering student development and preparing students to meet the needs of 21st century health care.
At the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, this project has raised awareness about the importance of educational research and its ability to provide evidence and support for meaningful change. This project serves as a model of hypothesis-driven educational research for our School and has inspired others to collect, analyze, and disseminate data that describes innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Given the complex relationship of student engagement and satisfaction to academic performance, these constructs should be carefully considered and examined during a course redesign to fully understand the impact of curricular revision on the educational experience of students.
We believe that faculty are uniquely positioned to engage in educational research that informs course design and guides curriculum transformation. As a result, we have established a roadmap for the conduct of educational research that we believe will facilitate these types of studies. The results from projects like ours can provide compelling support for implementing changes that enhance learning and improve student outcomes. While we hope that this project stimulates instructional innovation, we also hope that it demonstrates the ability of educational research to inform educational practice.