A Three-Year Retrospective Analysis Comparing Student Retention of Human Physiology Concepts in Flipped Lecture, and Two-Stage Cooperative Testing Classrooms

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Journal of College Science Teaching


This retrospective study investigated the effectiveness of an active approach to assessment (two-stage cooperative testing) as a means of improving student retention of key physiologic concepts. In two-stage cooperative testing, unit exams are both an assessment tool and a learning tool. As an assessment for student retention, a comprehensive examination developed and validated by the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) was administered to sophomore students after they had completed two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology. Surprisingly, students in the flipped classroom performed no better on the HAPS exam than the students in the lecture-based class. Students who were in the group in which two-stage cooperative testing was used performed significantly better on the HAPS exam than did students in the flipped classroom and lecture groups. These findings indicate that active learning alone may not be sufficient for retention of key concepts and that a more active assessment approach may need to be incorporated as well if the overall goal is student retention.

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