Kannada Page on Instructional Design

Reverse Jigsaw Technique of learning

Reverse Jigsaw

This is one of the newest methods created by Timothy Hedeen under the cooperative learning techniques used in classroom settings. It follows the same principle as the original [[Jigsaw (teaching technique)|Jigsaw]] method. The jigsaw technique in the cooperative learning methods uses a small group structure to facilitate group discussion through which the learning takes place. The reverse jigsaw method also resembles the original jigsaw method in some way but has its own objectives to be fulfilled. While the jigsaw method focuses on the student’s comprehension of the Instructor’s material, the reverse jigsaw method focuses on the participant’s interpretations such as perceptions, judgements through a very active discussion. This method was mainly created to cater the higher class students. It is best advised to give an explanation before the discussion the topics takes place. This not only ensure that  the learners are more effective in their discussion also saves time.


The process involved in the reverse Jigsaw method can be explained in 3 steps

  1. Students gather in mixed groups where they are each given a case study with a number of questions or one complex question and allotted time of about 15 mins to discuss. Each member of the team is given a unique topic and hence a discussion is initiated within the mixed group and the main points and the outcomes are noted. 
  2. Each member gather in the expert group or topic group and the points and outcomes are compared. A report is prepared compiling all the common and divergent themes. The time allotted for this could be between 15 - 20 mins.  A reporter is appointed to present the same before the class. 
  3. The class gathers as a whole and the reporters from the individual topic group present their report to the whole class by ways of Overheads, flipcharts or chalk broad, following which the instructor debriefs the whole exercise with review or evaluation of the process. 


This technique could be mainly used in two fashions:  Case study review and Topical Enquiry.

The complex questions that are imposed on the students can be in the format: "Why do X?"; "How to do X?"; "Why not do X?", or "In what situations would X not be advised?"; and "Give an example of X." These questions provide useful starting point and bring out the key elements of an effective discussion. 

Requirements and limitations

  • This method can be only applied to undergraduates, graduates and other professional training groups. 
  • It is best preferred for students to form groups where they can face each other while discussing.
  • In case the classroom has immovable furniture, the instructor can option to send the groups out for discussion and can give a time limit to assemble back in the classroom for the next part of the exercise.
  • During the discussions, the Instructor should float around the different groups to see if they are on the right track of discussion. 
  • The Minimum and maximum limit in a group depend on the number of topics for discussion.  It is recommended that if there are three topics to be discussed the minimum students required are nine and if there are four then at least twelve students, and if five topics then at least fifteen students are required.
  • Regular time checks have to be monitored as different groups may accomplish the task at different time.


 Hedeen, T. (2003). "The reverse jigsaw: A process of cooperative learning and discussion". Teaching Sociology, 31, 325-32.