While hospitals and birthing facilities continue to deal with the effect from the pandemic, many expecting parents are relying more on the internet for information about how to prepare for labor and birth. And although effective patient education remains vital for pregnant people, we are clearly navigating through a new way of educating expecting parents from afar.
In this environment, great childbirth educators are more valuable than ever. For patients, having access to high-quality childbirth education from the comfort and safety of home is critical. For educators, this moment presents an opportunity to flex your teaching muscles and reach your patients where they are. A hybrid teaching model or flipped classroom provides one of the best strategies for you to bridge that gap between online and on-site learning.
And we have just the solution to help you launch your own flipped classroom for labor and birth courses: CCI Childbirth Academy™. But we’ll get to that.
What is a flipped classroom when it comes to labor and birth education?
A flipped classroom is a combination of self-paced online learning and live instructor-led classes. So, what does that look like in real life? Imagine patients reviewing online classes at their convenience wherever they are, then joining scheduled live sessions with a childbirth educator or other maternity professional. This offers patients the chance to learn the basics at their own pace, allowing educators the time to cover more specific topics in an in-person or video conference setting.
One of the reasons we created our Childbirth Academy was to provide a solution for childbirth educators when life went virtual in 2020. Because it looks like online childbirth education, in some form, is here to stay, we wanted you to have all the necessary tools to deliver seamless remote teaching to your patients. So whether you’re making the pivot to a flipped classroom model or setting up your first online class, CCI Childbirth Academy is designed to help you provide evidence-based education you can trust directly to your patients.
How do I start hosting a flipped classroom for childbirth?
There’s no one way to host a flipped classroom. But here are some basics. First, you’ll want to choose a self-paced online childbirth course, such as the CCI Childbirth Academy. Next, to complete the flipped classroom experience, you’ll need to incorporate that online course with the live childbirth classes. This could be in-person or virtually over a video conferencing platform like Zoom. Then, keep doing what you’re great at: educating patients.
Once your course is up and running, encourage your patients to really dive into the online content and regularly review assigned course materials on their own time and at their own
pace. That way, patients are prepared for each class. And you can devote your live sessions to refreshing their knowledge of what they learned in the days leading up to class. So rather than using valuable class time simply restating information, you can spend it assessing patient understanding with games or quizzes, giving in-depth demonstrations, or answering specific questions.
To make hosting your flipped classroom as easy as possible, we’ve created a sample labor and birth course schedule for you to download. In it, you’ll also find suggestions for in-class activities and homework assignments.
What are the benefits of a flipped classroom?
First and foremost, by offering a flipped classroom, you are meeting your patients where they are. This is a key factor for increased engagement. Whether patients prefer to learn from the comfort of their home, have busy schedules or simply prefer to avoid group settings in-person, a flipped classroom ensures that you are still offering them the vital education they need for positive birth outcomes.
For patients and educators alike, a flipped classroom helps remedy the challenges of childbirth education while maintaining social distancing. Now, to the benefits of a fli childbirth course:
Flipped classrooms are efficient for a group yet can be personalized for the individual.
- Patients can use the online component to learn and review content at their own pace. Educators can personalize live sessions to the group, to the individual, or to the facility and let their own teaching style shine.
- Patients can ask questions during live sessions and educators can address them in real time. Educators can lead class discussions and make sure their patients understand the course materials and concepts. And patients can practice, say labor positions, with the supervision and direction of a childbirth educator.
- Educators get a platform where they can relay specific facility details: check-in or discharge processes, facility tours, parking information, as well as common interventions and guidance for patients about, for instance, when they should make their way to the hospital.
A flipped classroom provides safe and convenient remote learning, while keeping patients connected.
- Pregnant people, many of whom might still have concerns about COVID, can receive instructor-led education at home where they feel safe and comfortable.
- Babies continue to arrive whether childbirth classes are being held or not. So access to high-quality, evidence-based education is critical. For pregnant people, having access to and building a relationship with childbirth educators, like you, is more important than ever.
- Partners can get involved in the labor and birth education experience by practicing positions and comfort measures in their own home — before they get to the hospital.
- No travel required. Patients get the convenience of learning at home coupled with the social benefits of group sessions with other expecting parents.
- Patients receive direct support and supervision from a childbirth educator who stays with them every step of the way along their pregnancy journey.
A flipped classroom improves patient understanding and ensures they get practice.
- Educators can provide oversight and consistent guidance. We know that when patients are engaged, they have better outcomes. This teaching model helps keep patients engaged and actively learning.
- Patients who participate in live sessions are far more likely to physically participate and complete assigned exercises. By practicing activities during an instructor-led class, patients undoubtably gain better understanding.
Your solution to a flipped classroom? Welcome to CCI Childbirth Academy!
Look, we’ve always known that great childbirth educators do awesome work. And we wanted to help you continue to do your important work and to do it as efficiently and effectively as possible. So we designed the CCI Childbirth Academy — an online self-paced labor and birth course — with you in mind.
For patients, CCI Childbirth Academy will help them to better understand the process of labor and birth and answer any questions they might have. For educators like you, CCI Childbirth Academy can comprise the online learning component of your flipped classroom. But don’t just take our word for it. We know you’re going to love it, so we’d love for you to try The Academy for 7 days for free!
Where do we go from here? You tell us!
We’d love to hear from those of you who are already hosting a flipped classroom. How’s it going? What successes and failure have you had so far? Have you come up with other novel ways to give your patients the education they need? We invite you to join us on Facebook at CCI Hub to share your stories and to keep this conversation going.