Evaluating nursing students' engagement in an online course using flipped virtual classrooms
Flipped classroom models allocate more time for active learning approaches compared with more traditional pedagogies, however what is less clear with the utilisation of flipped learning is evidence to support whether students in flipped classes are given more opportunities to develop higher order thinking skills (HOTs) to effect deep learning compared with the traditional ways of teaching. Focussing on this gap, this study compares on campus and off campus student engagement in two courses using different deliveries: online face-to-face (f2f) mixed mode (on campus students attend traditional f2f on campus classes and off campus students study exclusively online) versus fully online mode, utilising flipped classes (all student study off campus engaging in flipped virtual classes). Final course grades were similar for both deliveries; however, the study suggests flipped classes offered students more opportunities to develop HOTs and engage more deeply in the learning process. Students’ evaluations of the online flipped delivery were mixed, with those students previously enrolled exclusively as on campus, particularly dissatisfied with fully online delivery and virtual class tutor experience. Recommendations are made concerning both the timing of the introduction of fully online delivery in a program and the need for continual up-skilling of staff who teach in online environments.