The flipped classroom

Case Study: the flipped classroom approach to web evaluation

As part of a series of information literacy sessions which are embedded within the curriculum, Pharmacy students attended a workshop on web evaluation.


A flipped classroom approach was used for this workshop along with peer-to-peer learning, discussions and group teaching on the critical appraisal of web materials.  Our observations were that these techniques encouraged critical thinking on the part of the students and the feedback was positive.


A few weeks before the workshop the students were allocated a herbal medicine and placed in groups ready for their group assignment. Before the workshop, they were asked to watch a short video about Wikipedia, complete a short online tutorial on evaluating information and submit two websites (via Grademark on Learning Central) on their herbal medicine that they thought were of sufficient quality to be used in academic work. They were also provided with a web page evaluation checklist and flowchart to assist them with evaluating the websites. Materials we used are available to all via the ILRB Resource Hub.


In the workshops, students were asked to sit together in their allocated groups. We had a short discussion on information quality related to the video & tutorial. Each group was given an iPad with their list of websites that had been combined and anonymised from those submitted by individuals in the group. The students were asked to nominate someone to report back their discussions to the rest of the class. They then spent twenty minutes looking at the websites and deciding between them if they can be used for academic work/group presentation. We facilitated the discussion where necessary without giving away our opinion on the websites and referred them to the checklist.


When they reported back it was obvious that they had spent a lot of time assessing the quality of the websites and there were differing opinions within the groups on which were good sites and which were less so.


We also asked them to select one website (possibly one on which they couldn’t agree) to give to a different group and then that group looked at the quality and gave feedback. The students were even more rigorous when giving feedback to the other group and this added another dimension.


We feel this new and dynamic approach has enhanced the learning experience of the students and has had a positive impact on students’ marks.


Zoe Young – Subject Librarian, Optometry & Pharmacy



In the next section we look at designing accessible lessons.