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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)
The traditional classroom lecture is still commonly used in undergraduate medical education. However, classroom lectures can be considered teacher-centered strategies that are conducive to passive learning on behalf of learners. For this reason, there are calls for a shift in medical education away from the traditional lecture approach and toward other instructional approaches that encourage higher-order thinking and active participation from students. One such approach that has received much attention is the flipped classroom, which allows students to independently learn foundational concepts as required homework, and then use this gained knowledge during class time to engage in critical thinking opportunities and application of knowledge. In the flipped classroom model, learners are first exposed to educational content prior to formal class sessions via readings, videos, or other electronic exercises that have been formally assigned. Given that students have already acquired knowledge through this initial phase, the subsequent classroom time is dedicated to activities that allow students to apply their knowledge to challenging problems in a setting that promotes collaboration with peers and feedback and direction from professors. In addition, using formal debate in higher education appears to be a useful tool to prepare students to face the complexity of issues affecting the modern world and to work with individuals with different viewpoints and backgrounds. In fact, using formal debate in higher education has been associated with improving communication and empathy, critical-thinking ability, literature searching, and application of evidence, teamwork, and self-directed learning. Debates allow students an opportunity not only to identify that there is an issue to resolve, but also to demonstrate a deeper analysis of the issue, including appraisal, critique, and reasoning of the issue for a potential solution. Flipped classroom together with formal debate were proposed to medical students as innovative methodologies to improve communication skills and critical thinking in response to the demand to have future biomedical professionals better trained in these areas. The general aim of the innovation experience was to encourage the active participation of students in the construction of knowledge, as well as to develop didactic strategies for their autonomous learning and to design active processes of acquisition of skills and abilities for their professional performance. Here, we report the expectations of medical students from Complutense University of Madrid on their future participation in the afore-mentioned innovation activity. Participants considered that the experience would help them gain confidence and security when it comes to presenting scientific facts, be fluent when talking in public, and expand their knowledge on some controversial topics. Regarding the negative aspects, some showed concern about being sufficiently prepared to carry out the activity with guaranteed success, taking into account that for a significant part of the students it was the first time that they participated in an innovative activity that combined both flipped learning and formal debate.