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Abstract

Purpose: Using valid and reliable measures to assess curricula within health professions programs has gained significant attention in recent years. The educational environment is considered a key domain for student success. The primary aim of this study was to measure the educational environment following the addition of a flipped classroom model within a physical therapy course as measured by the Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure.

Methods: A first year doctorate of physical therapy course, “Physical Agents”, was redesigned to include a flipped classroom model, incorporating 24 videos that students reviewed independently, prior to hands-on laboratory learning. Following the conclusion of the course, students (n=57) completed the Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure, a valid and reliable survey designed to measure the educational environment within health profession programs. The Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure contains 50 items, rated from 0 to 4 (5-point Likert scale, “0” strongly disagree to “4” strongly agree), assessing five domains: students’ perceptions of learning; perceptions of teachers; academic self-perception; perceptions of atmosphere; and social self-perception. Descriptive statistics included mean global score (out of 200, 151 to 200 being an excellent environment) mean domain scores, and mean item scores. Cumulative grade point average between students in the flipped classroom model (n=58) and those who previously received a traditional teaching model (n=59) for the course were also compared. Student’s t-test was utilized with significance accepted at p<0.05.

Results: The mean global score (168 ± 13.3), indicated that the flipped classroom model fostered an excellent educational environment. Additionally, all mean domain scores, including students’ perceptions of learning (41.3 ± 3.9), perceptions of teachers (39.2 ± 2.9), academic self-perception (25.1 ± 2.5) perception of atmosphere (40.1 ± 4.1) and social self-perception (22.1 ± 2.9) fell into the highest rank of each subscale. Individual item analysis demonstrated 26 items (52%) were identified as especially strong areas, five items (10%) were identified as areas that could be improved, and no individual items were identified as requiring particular concern or immediate attention. Further, no significant differences were seen in cumulative course grade point average between the flipped classroom model (3.74 ± 0.44) and the traditional teaching model (3.71 ± 0.46).

Conclusions: The flipped classroom model, utilizing an online learning environment, fostered an excellent educational environment for the physical therapy Physical Agents class. No difference in course grade point average between the flipped classroom model and previous traditional teaching model was seen. Further investigations examining performance on didactic and psychomotor activities within the flipped classroom model are recommended.

Author Bio(s)

Brad W. Willis, MPT, Assistant Teaching Professor of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is also a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy and a licensed physical therapist in the state of Missouri.

Evan L. Prost, DPT, CEEAA, Associate Teaching Professor of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is also a Certified Exercise Expert for the Aging Adult and a licensed physical therapist in the state of Missouri.

Stephen Sayers, PhD is the Director of Scholarly Activity and Associate Professor of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to honor the memory and contributions of Claire Garden. We are thankful for her support and insight throughout the editing process of this manuscript.

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