Reverse Instruction – See things differently

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Reverse Instruction – See things differently

13 Feb ’11 Teaching 2

Fresh orange fruitReverse Instruction is an innovative instructional strategy that was originally used by chemistry teachers Aaron Sams and Jon Bergman. The basic idea involves having students watch recorded lectures at home and working on homework assignments at school and has more recently been referred to as flipped teaching.

The reason I think I was intrigued by this concept is that it is presents learning in an unfamiliar yet innovative way for both staff and students, requiring both parties to think differently about learning and teaching.

There are a number of ‘flipped’ lessons blog posts to review, “flipping” Anatomy and Physiology class here, the Connected Principals blog covered it here which led me to Daniel Pinks article in the Telegraph and Shelley Wright adapted the idea using Khan Academy videos and a couple of TED talks. Its certainly an idea that is making an impression. Expect to see Sams and Bergman at Educational conferences in the new future, book to follow, it is certainly an idea that is making an impression.

What are the challenges / questions that need to be asked to prepare for this approach?

Apart from the very obvious, students not watching the lesson, I want to explore this technique further, but with which students?

Which subjects best lend themselves to this approach?

Is internet access a barrier (yes) and how to get around it (Netbooks, Ipods / mp3 mp4 players)?

How do students ask questions? Forums? Hot Questions in Moodle? Research? Ask one another?

My task first task is to select an appropriate lesson, then record it and finally set the extended learning task to be completed in lesson? Like Shelley, I think I might go for a ‘prepared’ resources before I go for a self-prepared vod or podcast. (Not forgetting Youtube tool – embedplus allowing you to add comments to existing Youtube videos.

It will be interesting finding out and drawing conclusions on how to gain student engagement. As an aside, I may upload the lesson to O2 learn – a project that is trying to build a video library of lessons, from teachers across the country, we will see.

What are the benefits?

The ability to pause / pause and reply the lesson.

The lesson can be learnt at any time.

Time is not wasted on extended learning tasks students are not able to answer as this component is covered in class.

Peer support outside of class, and in the classroom.

Lesson time is defines and focused on the support students where they need it most.

Blog Advisories

Make sure that you clearly and carefully explain the purpose of reverse instruction to students. This is a radical idea for students as well as teachers.

Use a platform, the school VTLE (t-teaching) or Google docs or itunes.

More from the Vod couple here.

Screencasting Tools

  • Camtasia Studio: the best screencasting software on the web. Free 30 day trial but not cheap.
  • Jing: a web-based screencasting service. There is a free version (limited filetypes) and a subscription version.
  • Wink: Free
  • Powerpoint and narrate your commentary.
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2 Responses

  1. Nick says:

    Good post mate. If you havent already seen it, last night’s post and discussion here: http://mattpearson.org/2011/02/12/to-flip-or-not-to-flip/ touched on some of your points and some others as well.

    • Kristianstill says:

      Thanks Nick, I have left a message for Matt, we will see how we get on.

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