The McCammon Method of teaching uses three simple and powerful research-based instructional strategies.
First, all of my lectures are recorded and published, creating a self-paced learning resource for my students. They can watch my 1-take lecture videos anywhere, any time and as many times as they need in order to process the information. According to research, self-paced learning environments can increase student achievement.
We also know that these video lectures can be 60-80% shorter than live lectures that cover the same information. My videos free up a significant amount of class time that I can use to challenge students to be active in their learning.
Second, throughout every lesson, I challenge my students to work in groups to re-teach the content. This is the best way for me to know if they learned what I wanted them to learn - I ask them to teach it back to me. We know from research that collaboration and peer teaching can drastically increase retention of the information.
And third, I take every opportunity throughout each lesson to get students out of their seats, up and moving. Movement increases blood flow to the brain and can promote attention, memory, and creative thinking.
So, this is how these three strategies can work together in a classroom to create an extremely efficient and active learning environment.
Today’s economics lesson is about demand. This lesson used to take me around 60 minutes to lecture live in the classroom because of interruptions, tangents and repetition. My 1-take video lecture covering the same information is 15 minutes long.
My 30 students come into the room and take their seats. After welcoming them, I have the students get into groups of three. Once they have their groups, I ask them to stand up and move to a whiteboard station
(before the students arrived I pinned up 10 whiteboards around the room, on the walls). Once the students are standing at their stations, I explain the simple assignment.
I say, “I am going to play the first three minutes of my video lecture about demand and then I am going to press pause. When the three-minute segment is over, I want you to collaborate with your group to reteach it, in your own words, using your whiteboard to illustrate.
I want you to teach the segment back to me but your version has to be 20 seconds or less, so you have to be concise.”
When the students are ready, I play the first three minutes of the video and then give them another three minutes to prepare their lesson.
Then, I have each group teach their new 20-second lesson to another group. While this re teaching is going on, I listen and watch in order to find out which group did the best job. When I have identified the best version, I select one member from that group to teach their 20-second lesson again while I record it using my cell phone video camera (in 1-take).
We do the same process four more times to get through my entire 15-minute video about demand. Once my lecture video is complete, I have the students sit down and we watch and discuss the five 20-second, student videos that I recorded throughout the activity. After playing each video, I have the student who was featured do a quick reflection, sharing what they liked about their presentation as well as what could be improved.
Of course, my 15-minute video lecture is available online for students to revisit anywhere and anytime. But now, in addition, I also publish the five student-created videos so those can be accessed as well, creating a completely transparent teaching and learning environment.
This lesson takes about 60 minutes. So, instead of lecturing live for 60 minutes while the students sit passively, I chose to move through the content efficiently and actively. Throughout my 60-minute lesson students are constantly challenged to teach the information and are up and moving most of the time.
The McCammon Method, the combination of these efficient and active learning strategies, can be used by any teacher, every day to encourage students to strengthen their active listening, collaboration, critical thinking, creative thinking and communication skills.