News in Brief

‘Flipped classroom’ model blends online and face-to-face learning

PCOM is among medical schools that combine online activities prior to class with discussion and analysis in the classroom.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) is among the U.S. medical schools offering blended learning opportunities—classes presented partially online and partially in person. The school’s efforts were highlighted in a recent U.S. News and World Report article.

Also known as the “flipped classroom” model, several U.S. medical schools are requiring students to watch videos and complete online activities prior to class, and then spend face-to-face time on discussion and analysis, rather than passive forms of learning such as taking notes during lectures. Schools like PCOM even integrate blended learning into the clinical rotation phase of medical education.

While doing his pediatrics rotation last year, Phil Koehler, OMS IV, participated in online discussion boards with physicians and other students and viewed computer-based simulations of different patient scenarios in addition to his in-person clinical training. The online components enabled him to ask questions after his rotations.

“There were times I wished I could have sat down with the clinician to ask some questions and get their thoughts on a certain topic,'” Koehler tells U.S. News and World Report. “The online component was neat, and really expanded the learning environment there.”

Learn more about the “flipped classroom” model.

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