Integrating a Flipped Teaching Approach into a Clinic-Based Student Lecture Series


The clinical education of physical therapy students is based on a partnership between university programs and clinical placement sites. After seeing the success of flipped teaching when working with a university partner in the academic setting, the team at Kessler Institute researched the concept of flipped teaching and modified an existing onsite Student Lecture Series to incorporate this methodology. This presentation will outline utilization of the flipped format as it pertains to a selected lecture series topic, Wheelchair Skills, and share a developed Student Lecture Series Questionnaire to facilitate the potential for other clinics to replicate a similar flipped approach when providing onsite education for students.


The original content of a 10-part lecture series was adapted from a standard lecture format to a flipped style of teaching. As opposed to listening to a staff member provide a power point presentation on topics such as neurologic evaluation, orthotic prescription, and wheelchair skills, students were asked to independently review lecture material and complete a Questionnaire to be discussed with a staff member and other students weekly. The Questionnaire ensured students both read and processed the content through asking specific probing questions, but enhanced active learning through student-driven, client- centered discussions that were not addressed by using the previous lecture structure. The Clinical Education Team then formally assessed effectiveness of the flipped teaching approach through surveying all students and staff involved in the Lecture Series over the course of one year.


Seven students who were affiliating during the time of transition from the traditional to flipped format were specifically asked to compare the two teaching methods, and 100% reported preference for the flipped model. Once the format was fully implemented, all students participated. One-hundred percent of the students (27 out of 27) reported they found the flipped teaching format to be a positive and effective way to learn the material, and noted benefits of collaboratively discussing specific patient cases. Additionally, all staff involved were surveyed and 100% (17/17) reported this method appeared to more effectively facilitate collaborative interactions and active learning.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

The flipped teaching approach has been deemed effective for promoting initiative, collaboration, and problem solving, all of which are important skills for adult learners in an evolving health care field. By incorporating progressive teaching strategies from the academic realm, clinical educators can further foster development of advanced critical thinking skills to maximize knowledge translation and facilitate best practice.


-Bayliss AJ and Warden SJ. A hybrid model of student centered instruction improves physical therapy student performance in cardiopulmonary practice patterns by enhancing performance in higher cognitive domains. J Phys Ther Educ. 2011; 25 (3): 14-20.
-Boucher B et al. Flipping Texas State University's physical therapist musculoskeletal curriculum: Implementation of a hybrid learning model. 2013; 27 (3): 72-77.
-Gilboy MB, Heinerichs S, and Pazzaglia G. Enhancing student engagement using the flipped classroom. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015; 47 (1): 109-114.
-Moraros J et al. Flipping for success: Evaluating the effectiveness of a novel teaching approach in a graduate level setting. BMC Med Educ. 2015 (Feb): 15-28.
-Prober CG and Heath C. Lecture halls without lectures: A proposal for medical education. N Engl J Med. 2012; 366 (18): 1657-1659.

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  • Control #: 2527684
  • Type: Platforms
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Lauren Snowdon, Christine Schaub
  • Keywords:

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