Scrambling the Active Learning Classroom

A paradigm shift in nursing education is occurring; one that is changing the role of both the nurse educator and the student. Active learning strategies are being integrated into more and more classrooms to “shift the focus from covering decontextualized knowledge to teaching for a sense of salience and situated cognition” (Benner, 2010, pg. 82). To accomplish this goal one recommendation has been to flip the classroom. A flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the activities commonly associated with homework and lecture are reversed or “flipped”. Students complete pre-class assignments and come to class prepared to engage in interactive learning strategies. However, the execution of a flipped classroom has been met with opposing reviews. A study by Missildine, Fountain, Summers, and Gosselin (2013) found that while learning is improved by the use of a flipped classroom student satisfaction is lower. So is lecture versus flipping the classroom an either/or issue for the nurse educator? Dr. Pamela Bartlett (2014) suggests “scrambling the classroom” instead of flipping in the pure sense allowing both lecture and active learning strategies to be used in a complementary manner.