FLIPPED CLASSROOM: AN ALTERNATIVE FOR TEACHING LIFE SCIENCE SUBJECTS
Flipped classroom (FC) is a teaching methodology that is becoming widely used in Higher Education Degrees. This technique allows student to learn independently with the help of the teacher. It combines synchronous and asynchronous teaching inside and outside the classroom, promotes the use of technology and a more efficient student-teacher interaction. Students normally have a positive attitude towards FCs, but a careful design of the materials for the students and the activities to be carried out in the classroom is required. In addition, assessment should be designed according to the methodology used inside and outside of the classroom. Life science subjects can be easily adapted to the FC methodology because a wide variety of materials is available related to these subjects. Moreover, Life Science students are prone to accept this methodology. In Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), FC is promoted in university degrees and an institutional project has been designed to build up elaboration of new materials adapted to this methodology. For all these reasons, FC is being implemented in several subjects related to Genetics and Plant Breeding. In this paper, the characteristics of life science subjects related to FC technique are reviewed, materials and activities are analysed and benefits and disadvantages of them are discussed. As a general recommendation, materials should be short, interactive and visual related to the behaviour and preferences of the students, activities in the classroom should be participative and discussion should be encouraged between students and the teacher and among the students. Besides that, assessment should be designed according to the materials and activities developed and critical thinking should be encouraged more than exposition of concepts of the subject. In addition, FC offers an adequate environment to train soft skills such as teamwork, critical thinking and knowledge of contemporary issue. The design of materials and assessments should be consider the development of these skills, and others that can be chosen, and their integration with the concepts, materials, activities and assessment of the subject being worked.