Stanford Study Suggests Exercises First, Lecture Second

I found this study fascinating. It shows what "real" flipped classrooms could look like. The study found that when learners were given a chance to engage in a hands-on project before reading, watching a video, or attending a lecture, "student performance improved substantially." 
Stanford School of Education
"Our results suggest that students are better prepared to understand a theory after first exploring by themselves, and that tangible user interfaces are particularly well-suited for that purpose," said Bertrand Schneider, a GSE graduate student who led the research.
Of course the jury is out whether such a method is generalizable to other topics and settings, but I believe there are many subjects for which this could work. Software training for one. And any other subject in which a task is performed.

So the next time you design a learning experience, think about putting that exercise, activity, or assignment first. Then get into presenting the topic after.