A SURVEY STUDY EXPLORING OPINIONS OF SECOND-YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS ON THEIR PARTICIPATION IN A FORMAL DEBATE WITH FLIPPED CLASSROOM ACTIVITY
The flipped classroom model is a student-centered learning approach that increases student active learning as compared to traditional classroom-based instruction. Flipped classroom aims at allowing students to become critical thinkers, engaging them and instructors in the teaching and learning process, stimulating the development of a deep understanding of the subject. In this regard, there is increasing pressure for Higher Education institutions to undergo transformation, to adapt in ways that meet the conceptual needs of present time, promoting, among others, the flipped learning approach. However, this approach requires more independent work from students who, in Medical School, are often more focused on final exam marks than in knowledge acquisition itself. Here, we surveyed second-year medical students on their expectations about the possibility of participating in an innovation experience involving formal debate with flipped classroom. During the 2017/2018 academic year, we proposed an activity consisting of flipped classroom and formal debate to second year medical students. The general aim of the innovation experience was to improve communication skills and critical thinking, as well as to develop educational strategies for autonomous learning and to encourage the active participation of students in the construction of knowledge. After the initial proposal, students were asked to fill in a questionnaire with eight questions regarding their expectations about the activity. Students were asked to rank each question from 0 to 3, being 0 the minimum and 3 the maximum score. This study collects data of the survey to sixty-seven medical students from Complutense University of Madrid on their future participation in the afore-mentioned innovation activity. Generally, the students showed positive expectations for the activity. None of the questions was ranked 0 from any of the surveyed students and all questions received over 80% positive scores (2 and 3) with a mean of 90% positive scores. The highest expectation was shown for training student capacity of obtaining information from scientific articles (97% positive answers; 61.2% maximum score). The lowest expectation was shown for improving their problem-solving ability (80.6% positive answers; 44.8% maximum score). The proposal of an activity combining flipped classroom with formal debate created positive expectations in medical students. Although our results confirmed that it was a feasible and useful alternative to the traditional classroom, our students were more interested in the possibility of increasing their capacity of analysis, improving their oral and written communication skills and training their capacity of obtaining information than in developing a critical attitude towards research or improving their problem-solving ability.