Flipped classroom combined with case-based learning is an effective teaching modality in nephrology clerkship

BMC Med Educ. 2021 May 15;21(1):276. doi: 10.1186/s12909-021-02723-7.


Background: The flipped classroom (FC) is recognized as an effective teaching approaches by emphasizing on the development of high-order abilities; however, the implementation of FC has not been well explored in nephrology education. The present study aims to investigate the efficacy of FC in teaching nephrology via comparing with the traditional lecture-based teaching (LBT).

Methods: Sixty-two medical clerkship students at Zhejiang University School of Medicine were equally allocated into either LBT or FC group demographically matched. The glomerular diseases module was chosen for the teaching content. Students from the FC group were required to study the pre-class materials in annotated PPT format in advance. In the class, case-based learning (CBL) was employed, students encountered the related clinical cases and participated in the face-to -face discussion. Students from the LBT group attended a didactic lecture during the class. Quiz and questionnaires were performed to assess the efficacy of FC versus LBT.

Results: Participants from the FC group performed better in the quiz than those from the LBT group with higher total scores (78.06 ± 2.515 vs. 65.16 ± 3.209, mean ± SEM), particularly the scores of the case analysis-related questions (35.81 ± 1.657 vs. 27.42 ± 1.910, mean ± SEM). In the survey, more students considered FC beneficial to comprehension, critical thinking, patient management and team work as compared with LBT. Meanwhile, more participants agreed increased in-class pressure in FC than in LBT.

Conclusions: This study shows the positive impact of FC combined with CBL approach on nephrology education and provides an alternative pre-class and in-class format for the FC implementation.

Keywords: Flipped classroom; Medical Education; Nephrology; Traditional lecture-based teaching.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nephrology*
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Students, Medical*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching
  • Thinking