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General medicine
Controlled comparison of a flipped classroom evidence-based practice course delivered online or on-campus
  1. Clarisa Martinez,
  2. Julie K. Tilson
  1. Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Clarisa Martinez, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA; clarisa{at}

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The flipped classroom model is a well-known evidence-based educational approach for student-centred learning. In a flipped classroom, students receive instructional content before class, and use classroom time to engage in assignments and discussions. Studies have shown the flipped model to result in comparable1 2 or better3 4 outcomes compared with a traditional lecture-based model. A meta-analysis in 2018 found a significant effect favouring the use of a flipped classroom model with videorecorded lectures as part of preclass materials, for graduate-level healthcare education compared with traditional instructional models4.

The flipped class model is in line with educational theory for adult learners, or androgogy,5 which posits that effective educational experiences are those that actively incorporate the learner. The flipped classroom promotes self-directed learning during knowledge acquisition followed by interactive problem-based assignments in which the learner applies knowledge acquired during self-study.6

In most of the recent studies on the flipped classroom, the preclass materials were accessed via online learning management systems or websites, and the class meetings were typically completed in a physical classroom setting. However, healthcare programmes are beginning to move toward online/distance learning models, in which most—if not all—interactions occur online. As universities continue to expand the availability of online healthcare degree programmes, educators of evidence-based practice (EBP) courses may soon face the task of redesigning their courses for an exclusively online experience. It is important to address the question of whether online learning experiences in EBP education can produce equivalent results to those seen in long-established on-campus teaching models.

In 2017, the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California, USA) Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy initiated a hybrid (online/on-campus) pathway of their long-standing on-campus Doctor of Physical Therapy programme. Thus, each course in the programme was translated to accommodate students in the hybrid …

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it first published. The provenance and peer review statement has been included.

  • Contributors CM and JT conceived of the study and implemented it, CM and JT conducted the primary statistical analysis, CM and JT contributed to and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.