Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Timmerie Cohen


The purpose of this study was to compare the flipped and traditional classroom pedagogies in relation to retention, critical thinking skills, and student engagement as measured by the multiple choice and short answer questions on the final exams, course evaluations, and CUCEI scores. Radiologic technologists, nuclear medicine technologists, and radiation therapists play vital roles in both diagnostic and therapeutic applications in patient care. Employers today are seeking graduates who know more, are better able to apply this knowledge, and solve more challenging problems (McLean, et al., 2016). This quasi-experimental study aimed to compare the flipped and traditional classroom pedagogies at increasing retention and critical thinking skills, as measured by final exams, and student engagement, as measured by course evaluations. The model was delivered and assessed for 61 radiation science students at Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Health Professions Radiation Science program. Based

on numerical results for the final exam and College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI), no significant difference in critical thinking skills, retention, or student engagement was observed between the flipped and traditional pedagogies for radiation science students. For the purpose of this study, pedagogy referred to the application of a method of teaching, the flipped or traditional classroom, in relation to constructs of the Cognitive Learning Theory (CLT). For this study retention is defined as the amount of information that a student can retain for the length of a semester, 15 weeks. Critical thinking is defined as the students’ successful ability to take several concepts and put them together to make an analysis of a given situation. Student engagement for this study was defined as the level of attention and interest for the material being taught. Further analysis of the results indicated that the demographics (gender, age, years in college, and race) did not affect preference for flipped or traditional pedagogy. Statistically significant results on the CUCEI subcategories of satisfaction and innovation indicate that students found the flipped classroom more enjoyable and innovative than the traditional classroom. These results support professor exploration of different teaching pedagogies that they are comfortable with. Further studies are needed to ensure model validity and generalizability of findings.


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