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FLIPPED CLASSROOM COMBINED WITH FORMAL DEBATE AS A STRATEGY TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND CRITICAL THINKING IN HEALTH SCIENCE STUDENTS

S.D. Paredes1, L. Rancan1, C. García1, J.M. Asencio2, I. Garutti2, L. Huerta2, G. Marañón1, C. Simón2, J.A. Zueco1, E. Vara1

1Complutense University of Madrid (SPAIN)
2Complutense University of Madrid-Gregorio Marañón University General Hospital (SPAIN)
Health Science schools face the challenge of transforming biomedical education radically in order to prepare undergraduates better for basic research and clinical practice in such a dynamic environment as health care. To achieve this, University professors need to develop effective strategies to facilitate learning and involve students in active and self-directed teaching. Literature indicates that the use of the master class is no longer a fully successful method for students who are currently enrolled at University. In this context, the flipped classroom has been described as an adequate strategy so that University students can reach the learning goals that are part of the degree program. Flipping the classroom means that students gain first exposure to new material outside of class, usually via reading or lecture videos, and then use class time to do the harder work of assimilating that knowledge, through problem-solving, discussion, or debates. On the other hand, the use of formal debate as an innovative method of teaching and learning seems to be an effective tool to develop the capacity of reasoning and logical communication of students. Particularly, the Karl-Popper debate format focuses on relevant propositions that are often inherently divisive, which emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills and tolerance for different points of view. Thus, in Karl-Popper debate sessions a controversial subject is taken and framed as a resolution statement (e.g., a proposal or recommendation). Subsequently, one group of students is required to affirm the resolution and another group has to argue against that resolution. Although there is evidence that proposes this methodology as a successful model in various subjects of other areas of knowledge, the number of publications that describe the use of Karl-Popper formal debate together with flipped classroom in Health Science contexts is still limited. This combination appears to offer the best possibilities to improve communication skills and critical thinking of students in response to their demand of having future biomedical professionals better trained in these fields.