The Revolution of Reverse Learning

The Revolution of Reverse Learning.
I first heard about this concept during an #edchat (weekly online education twitter discussion) last April or May. I have wanted to try it ever since then. Finally, I took the time to execute it last week.
Reverse Learning is an amazing idea. Think about how your class schedule breaks down. Most teachers do not feel they have enough time to teach a lesson and do a lab, activity, or discussion. If only the students had the content knowledge before they came to class. Another argument I have heard involves mathematics. The teacher finishes the lesson just about the time the bell rings and students run out the door with the homework assignment. What happens when the student gets home? They realize they did not understand one part of the assignment and therefore are unable to finish the work.
Well, what if the student viewed the lesson online, dvd, or cd with notes, the night before they came to class? That would free up class for more hands on learning, more labs for science, more writing and discussion for English, more class projects for history. You get the idea. Now the students have the period to do the math homework in class. When he or she gets stuck they can just ask the teacher.
So when students walked into my biology and honors biology class last week I told them they would be watching the lecture at home online. “So I have to be bored at home” one said. “Yep” I responded, “but it is only for 15 min.”
This process allows students to get a basic understanding of a concept, come to class, and use the information with hands-on activities, and projects.
I gave a basic knowledge quiz at the beginning of class upon their return to see if they had watched and learned enough to continue with the day’s activities. The results of the quiz allowed me to see a couple of important ideas may have been misunderstood. I was able to address the problem easily and then move on. This feed back also allowed be to analyze the lecture. Maybe some parts were not as clear as others.
One of the draws was that 15 min lecture was actually 15 min. No more struggling for student attention or keeping them awake. Now, some will say, “then don’t lecture” and I agree. However, this is a great way to help students obtain a basic knowledge and be able to take that knowledge deeper during class.

So how do you make it happen?
1. Use a screen capturing tool like Camtasia Studio there are free sites like Screencast-o-matic. There are many other cheep or free screencasting tools. Just make sure they can record the length you will need for your lecture. I recommend keeping it under 15 min.
2.  Post the video on youtube or another video sharing site.
save the link and put it on your website or some other portal. Diigo, delicious etc. This will make it easier for students to access the vid while creating a database of your #revlearn files.

3. What about students who do not have Internet at home?
I used audacity to simultaneously record an audio file. I saved it as an mp3 file, burned to a CD then gave it to the students without internet. I also provided them with handouts of the notes because some pics were involved. Might try the dvd next time around.

What did the students think? Well most were bored. I’ll fix that for next time. However, they were able to pause the vid and move at their own pace, re-watch parts, or watch the whole thing again if they needed.
Other resources for reverse learning.
Twitter hashtag #revlearn
Tweeps who revlearn @jonbergmann @mrtrice_science
Thanks for reading.
Comments are encouraged.
Adam Taylor

About 2footgiraffe

High School Science Teacher Dickson, TN
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10 Responses to The Revolution of Reverse Learning

  1. make sure to check out the NING. We have over 200 educators who are interested and in many cases doing the reverse model (flipped model)

  2. John Sowash says:

    Nice initial post. Continue to share your insights and improvements over time as you continue with the idea.

    I have found that always lecturing in class or always doing Reverse Instruction leads to boredom. In my Anatomy class I have been switching it up. Some units are traditional some are Revlearn.

  3. I think it’s a great idea to make material available to students before time. However, in many occasions they just take it for granted and do not review the material before time.
    Perhaps the use of podcasts or class videos would be a little bit more exciting. Gotta try that.

    • 2footgiraffe says:

      Agreed. I had students prepare a lesson to teach a second grader on a science topic. Then they recorded the lesson with flip cameras, put it on voicethread, then comment on each others lesson. They had a blast but said it was really hard. Hope to do it again soon.
      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Margie Johnson says:

    GREAT Idea Adam….. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Gini pupo-walker says:

    You rock Adam Taylor!

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