What is a "reverse conference"?

The reverse conference, an innovative way to share, disseminate and produce contents!

Unilasalle, as the host of the second multiplier event within the Teach with Erasmus+ project - Innovative methodologies for mobile academics, an international pedagogical conference - will use the reverse conference format during their event. How does it work?

The audience produces the content and the experts discover it! This is a rather crazy idea, but in the end it's quite natural for creative people who like to break the rules and reinvent them. What if we diverted an amphitheatre from its usual function, which consists of placing experts, masters, and knowledgeable people in front of an attentive audience so that they can dispense their knowledge in a top-down fashion? Could we abandon, just to try, the 1.0 mode of transmission and move to 2.0?

During the first part of our conference, no one is at the lectern giving a talk. No experts are invited to speak. The hosts of the event welcome the audience and explain that there is no one to start the conference, but that it will be based on... their own production. This is the DIY approach. It is up to the audience to construct the content of the presentation they wish to hear and to prepare the subsequent discussions.

Participants are grouped in Breakout Rooms under Zoom Tool, around a shared support. Each team of each session has 40 minutes to produce a single slide showing an illustration and/or a series of sentences, definitions and key words that can help answer the question posed.

After the time allowed for two rounds of production of these mini-presentations, everyone is asked to come back to the main Zoom Room. Normal mode will resume. Well, almost! Two to three experts are then invited to take the floor, they will be able to speak on the subject they know, as they have been invited as experts. The slides of each breakout room are then projected randomly and the experts then have 5 to 10 minutes each, including discussions with the audience, to react and give their opinion. What inspires them about the presentations they see live? Do they agree or disagree with the definitions and keywords that appear before their eyes? In short, what do they think?

It is thus possible for them to respond to an idea, to question themselves live, to agree or disagree, to clarify this or that point of their convictions in agreement or not with the production of the assembly that is listening to them. The participants in the conference can also take the floor, clarify the content of what they have produced and question the experts as in an academic conference. Dialogue takes place between the experts and the audience.

-Nathalie Schnuriger, Unilasalle-