Perspectives on opportunities and challenges in a predominantly flipped classroom-based pharmacy curriculum: A qualitative study

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Introduction: To adapt to flipped classroom pedagogy in universities, factors such as the amount of the program that is flipped, students' pre-existing educational experiences, and cultural background may influence adjusting to the approach. We investigated students' perspectives across four years of a predominantly flipped classroom-based pharmacy curriculum in a low to middle income country. 

Methods: We conducted five semi-structured focus groups with 18 pharmacy students from years one to four of the bachelor of pharmacy program at Monash University Malaysia where students came from different pre-university backgrounds. Focus group recordings were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Interrater reliability was performed to ascertain reliability of themes. 

Results: Three major themes were identified. Firstly, students cited issues moving past the initial barrier when starting flipped classrooms in terms of education background impacting adaptability and how/why they eventually adapted. Another theme was how flipped classrooms helped development of life skills such as adaptability, communication, teamwork, self-reflection, and time management. The final theme was on requiring a sufficient safety net and support system in flipped classrooms that included well designed pre-classroom materials and well-implemented feedback mechanisms. 

Conclusions: We have identified students' perspectives on the benefits and challenges associated with a predominantly flipped classroom pharmacy curriculum in a low to middle income country setting. We suggest using scaffolding and effective feedback approaches to guide the implementation of flipped classrooms successfully. This work can aid future educational designers in preparation and supporting a more equitable learning experience regardless of student background.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-251
Number of pages10
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Active learning
  • Flipped classroom
  • Higher education in developing countries
  • Qualitative
  • South-East Asia
  • Students' perspectives

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