Posts tagged Reverse Learning

Improving my vodcasts?



Science teacher goes wrong

For those that follow my blog over this past academic year I have been flipping my IB diploma Physics class.  In a previous blog (I Launch myself onto You tube) I shared my initial vodcasts and the related reflection.  So now a few months further down the line I am returning to further reflect on the vodcasts that I produce.  I have happily continued to use the Camtasia software for recording and editing as I find it easy to use and crucially upload with.

The first improvement was quite straight forward.  MOVEMBER was over so I could thankfully remove that ridiculous moustache.  This took an even greater importance when I recognised the unnerving similarities between myself and the lead character of the excellent series Breaking Bad which unfortunately depicts a science teacher loosing their way.


The second issue I highlighted was my own hand writing.  For this I did what I often do in the classroom used type text in some for of presentation software such as PowerPoint.  I had been looking at other vodcasts on the net and was aware that some students had commented negatively about vodcasts which spent an excessive amount of time watching the presenter write things out.  Yet had also seen examples where the teachers then rushed through content. With this in mind here is one the vodcasts I produced using these tools considering practical methods to deduce a specific heat capacity.


I selected this vodcast as it highlights two reflections of my own.  Firstly I recognise that at the end as I am going through some calculation examples my explanation kind of tails off.  I really should add some statements like “now consider this question….. and now pause and do you own calculations before the answer appears”.  Secondly my discussion about practical Physics is not very practical – it is a PowerPoint and a floating head.  To capture this aspect I will need to more carefully consider where I set up my webcam or bring someone else into support my filming.  An example of the integration of techniques I am therefore considering is shown here with a vodcast by noted practitioners of the flipped classroom technique Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmanns who are discussing a similar topic.


With respect to my own class progression my first semester has been completed and the average class results are higher then in previous years as are those of the best students but this is a small and talented cohort some I don’t want to over analyse those facts.  For now my flipped classroom journey goes on.

Reverse Learning – My adventure begins


Next academic year I will be teaching a year 12 standard level IB Physics course.  As advised by Mr. Bennet in his excellent informative presentations I am starting with one class and building from there.  With this class I hope to really integrate the concepts of a flipped classroom and where I really feel it will be most beneficial for the following reasons:

1) The requirement of the course itself and the impact the achieved levels have on future university acceptance provides a fairly big motivational stick.

2) I believe that increasing the amount of one-to-one teacher time with these students will result in the greatest improvement of achievement (as standard level students they are often not the next Physics university majors but they have a level of interest and the additional support will be important)

3) I can see the opportunity to self pace their learning will provide a great benefit to these students.

4) The course itself already has a clear structure with explicit learning objectives which I can use as the scaffolding for the course.


Some issues that I am aware of and am starting to think about solutions (comments relating to these will be warmly welcomed) but have not yet put anything in place:

Misconceptions – I know that it is crucially important to challenge misconceptions (and I am mentally flagging this point) but feel this can provide fun content for class time.

Monitoring – It is not going to be as simple as providing a % mark for the homework problems and a little general feedback.  This means that I will not have such a clear paper trail but I hope it means my greater involvement means that I am able to use my interaction to effectively monitor.  Plus at the end of each unit I will still set a test to cover that content.

Different types of learner – Videos are not going to suit everyone so also identifying parallel sources (textbook, websites…) is something I am looking to do.

Video production – I don’t feel that I need to produce every video.  I think the present online resources are great start (Khan AcademyBrightstorm/  However, I have signed up to a vodcasting social network and have downloaded Jing (although have not really done anything but get annoyed by the yellow blob over my Google Chrome tabs)

Developing a positive learning environment – I recognise that I need this to be a really trusting learning environment and hope that some peer teaching/ learning will help with this.

Learning Blog – I hope to use this to get students to show synthesis of understanding (but would this lack the community feedback which helps a blog blossom?

Critical thinking – I want it in my classroom

Practical opportunities – Identifying both practical tasks which promote understanding of concepts and those which fit the requirements for the internal assessment aspect of the course.



Reverse Learning – My Introduction


Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education



It all started with the video above were Salman Khan advocates using video to help re-invent the classroom.  Ivan Beeckman’s blog provided the background to the concepts of reverse learning.  I was sent a link to another educational video resource point called brightstorm by a colleague.  This all leads to me start following the comments made which led to a range of further viewpoints:


  1. Dereck Muller, Physics educator and science blogger, suggested one of the most important features that should not be overlooked is overcoming a students already present misconceptions.
  2. The Action-Reaction blog thought the Khan Acadamy is an indictment of education.
  3. Cybraryman advocates flipped classrooms
  4. Mr. Bennet discusses how a flipped classroom work for him

The title of this posting indicates that I think some of the ideas of reverse learning could be successfully integrated into my own teaching.  I hope this blog can help people follow my own reverse learning adventure.

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