Thanks for the great posts. I have much to mull over.
Welcome to H-World, a network for practitioners of world history. The list gives emphasis to research, to teaching, and to the connections between research and teaching.
My 2 cents worth: I used this approach the last two times I taught World Civ II (1500-present). In each case I taught a small class of about 25 students and utilized a modified flipped classroom approach as well as classroom discussion of primary sources (class discussions varied from about 15 minutes in length to the entire class period of 75 minutes depending on the topic).
MY response to this approach was "meh" and I am reverting to the regular 1500 to the present approach this fall.
I haven't checked on Ancestry, but I convinced procrastination dominates my genetic makeup.
This idea was extensively discussed on a number of H-Net's networks over the years. Here's a quick search on the discussion logs with the simple keyword "backwards," with generates many hits from H-Teach, H-World, and others. I bet you'll find lots of great ideas in this trove of replies.
For what it is worth, I have hemmed and hawed about doing the exact same thing for my entire career. I remember discussing the idea with one of my professors when I was working on my masters back in 1995. He encouraged me to set my very first course up that way, concerned that this is the kind of thing that is easy to put off until "one day." I did not head his advice and here we are 25 years later and every term I think "I should do it."