Publication date: Jan 23, 2024
The flipped classroom (FC) is nowadays a popular principle of blended student-centered learning. Students first prepare basic knowledge at home and subsequently meet for consolidation and a more in-depth look at a certain topic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, several groups developed approaches to also transform the characteristic FC second session into an online-only format. Herein, we present a pilot study on establishing an online-only FC format with elements of collaborative learning and its evaluation by medical students. The FC design related to diseases of the salivary glands was transformed into an online-only event. After studying the basic information online, supported by self-made interactive videos and/or lecture recordings, students met in a video conference enriched by breakout sessions, interactive demonstration of the related clinical examination including ultrasound, and a formative assessment. A questionnaire with 27 items was answered by participants to evaluate the concept and the event. Use of common hard- and software systems led to a technically stable video conference. A total of 55 students completed the questionnaire and were included into data analysis. During the breakout sessions, lively interaction between participants was observed. The evaluation of both the event itself and the related learning progress showed good results despite the lack of preparation beforehand in 27% of participants. Online-only FC designs can result in high satisfaction. High quality of online preparation, a solid technical platform, accurate time management, and a reasonable selection of topics are the main parameters contributing to successful course design. Nowadays, embedding medical imaging can be realized in appropriate quality for educational purposes. The implementation of breakout sessions and voting tools enables collaborative online learning with high levels of interaction and satisfaction for both teachers and students.