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Active Reviewing Tips 1.4 Playback | High Tech vs. Low Tech.
A C T I V E . R E V I E W I N G . T I P S ~~~~~~ Volume 1 Issue 4
Welcome to Volume 1 Issue 4 of ...
~~~~~~ A C T I V E . R E V I E W I N G . T I P S
~~~~~~ the free monthly ezine linked to the web-based
~~~~~~ 'GUIDE TO ACTIVE REVIEWING AND DEBRIEFING'
~~~~~~ From the editor ~~~~~~
H I G H . T E C H vs. L O W . T E C H
Reviewing can be 'high tech', 'low tech' or 'no tech'. 'Low' or
'no' technology methods often provide the best opportunities for
reviewing - especially when they are simple, straightforward,
versatile and adaptable. Nice to know if you have limited
With 'high' technology reviewing methods there are risks that the
technology takes over, or is unreliable or less accessible
(perhaps learners are unskilled in its use or need to take
turns to view it or use it).
One of the worst misuses of 'high' technology in reviewing is
video playback. Used well, video is a wonderful resource for
reviewing - but a straight playback is rarely the best use of
Here are some options for more creative and effective uses of
video as a reviewing aid. Most options also apply to the use of
audio tape recorders - a much overlooked 'medium tech' aid to
~~~~~~ Reviewing Tips ~~~~~~
P L A Y B A C K . 1 ~ 8
Before pressing the PLAYBACK button on your video or audio tape
recorder, consider these options:
PLAYBACK 1: CHARTS
Ask everyone to make individual HAPPY CHARTS during the
The recording is played back with about ten pauses. At each
pause, everyone marks a cross on their graph.
The completed charts are compared and discussed. They can also
be redrawn onto a giant HAPPY CHART to see what other patterns
It is possible to chart themes other than happiness such as
confidence, effort, influence, motivation etc.
PLAYBACK 2: QUESTIONS
During the playback, press the pause button every minute or
two, or whenever requested to do so.
Ask everyone to write down questions each time the playback is
"Questions you actually asked at the time."
"Questions in your mind at the time."
"Questions you would like to ask now - to anyone or everyone."
Everyone reads out their questions while the reviewer quickly
notes down the subject of each question on a poster.
Repeat this process for each pause, starting a new poster each
time. (The sequence of posters produces an interesting profile of
the activity and there will also be plenty of questions to
PLAYBACK 3: CHANGES
During the playback, anyone can request a 'pause'.
The individual requesting the pause now proposes something they
would like to have changed:
"I wish I had ..."
"I wish you had ..."
"It would have been better if ..."
PLAYBACK 4: SOUNDS
REPORT: A microphone (dummy or amplified) is passed round in
turn while a video is played back without the sound. The holder
of the microphone provides a 'voice-over' commentary on the
action in the style of a news reporter or sports commentator
THINKING ALOUD: whoever is on-screen is passed the microphone
and speaks aloud what they were thinking at the time.
MISSING SOUNDS: the viewers provide the missing sounds and
PLAYBACK 5: SIGHTS
Before playing back the audiotape (or video soundtrack) explain
that "the picture has been lost", and you are asking the group to
provide the 'silent film' to go with the soundtrack.
A space for ACTION REPLAY is cleared and it is explained that
no props are to be used.
The audio-tape (or video soundtrack) is replayed. The group
re-enact what happened, synchronised with the soundtrack.
PLAYBACK 6: BRIEFING
If there is a verbal briefing of about 10 minutes before a
particularly special or challenging activity, then record it!
During the review, play back this recording, pausing it every
minute (or when requested), and ask each person to recall what
they were thinking or feeling at the time.
PLAYBACK 7: STATEMENTS
Before the activity, each person records a brief statement
about their hopes, fears, expectations, responsibilities,
These recordings are played back after the activity. (This is
less formal and more dramatic than referring to written
PLAYBACK 8: INCIDENTS
If a key incident has been captured on film, then everyone is
given the opportunity to provide a commentary during the playback
or to explain what they were doing or thinking at the time.
If you want to know more about the HAPPY CHARTS or ACTION REPLAY
mentioned above, you will find these described in the 'Online
Guide To Active Reviewing'. Type the words into the site search
or in 'Playback: A Guide to Reviewing Activities' where the 8
tips above were first published. For more about 'Playback' see:
or send an email (mentioning your interest in Playback) to:
If you have any interesting experiences (or tips) about the uses
of high technology in reviewing (video, electronic meetings,
electronic flip charts, electronic diaries, video/telephone
conferencing etc.) please write in.
If you prefer 'low tech' reviewing, don't unsubscribe yet :-)
- there are plenty of low tech tips on their way - and on
~~~~~~ Site News ~~~~~~
The interactive tutorial was up for a short while. It's now
offline while some technical problems are being fixed.
Watch this space for news of this 'high tech' problem getting
fixed! :-) Meanwhile your interactivity is always welcome -
please write in with comments, tips, questions etc.!
~~~~~~ Other Websites ~~~~~~
Thank you to the subscriber who recommended Supercamp at:
Their approach to developing learning skills is clearly
explained. The principles apply to all ages even though their
market is clearly young people. This is _their_ intro:
"SuperCamp Is The Leader in Student Success --
Changing the Lives Of Over 25,000 Students Worldwide
Imagine A place of nonstop work and play, learning and growing,
classes and outdoor challenges. It's renewed confidence emerging
from a sense of belonging. It's intense days of discovery and
motivation from wake-up to lights out. A program taught by
experts, offering skills that last a lifetime. Imagine
experiencing success every step of the way. That's SuperCamp."
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