sources. To receive full benefit from the discussion, the
trainees should have some previous familiarity with the
subject matter. They could be familiar with the subject
matter as a result of outside reading, prior Navy training
and experience, or civilian training and experience.
To help make the class discussion a success, arrange
the classroom in such a manner that you are a part of the
group. If possible, arrange for the group to sit around a
table so that all of the trainees can see each other and
you. Use the discussion method only when classes are
small enough to allow everyone a chance to take part.
Use the following techniques in conducting a
Build a background for the discussion. The
development of an appropriate background tends to
focus the trainees attention upon the central problem. An
appropriate background also limits the problem to an
area that can be covered in a reasonable length of time
and creates interest in the solution of the problem.
Ask thought-provoking discussion questions.
Ask questions to keep the discussion in bounds,
to bring out the desired aspects of the main problem, and
to guide the discussion toward the desired conclusion.
Encourage the timid, restrain the talkative, and
maintain a standard of discipline in keeping with the
maturity level of the trainees.
Be willing to accept, temporarily, an incorrect
idea. A hasty No! or You're wrong! can bring sudden
death to any discussion.
Avoid expressing your own ideas until the
trainees have had ample opportunity to express their
Summarize the discussion at intervals. Use the
chalkboard for this purpose. Give due credit to the
misunderstandings and emphasize correct ideas.
Use the demonstration or doing method to teach
skills. Demonstrate, step-by-step, the procedures in a job
task, using the exact physical procedures if possible.
While demonstrating, explain the reason for and the
significance of each step. To be effective, plan the
demonstration in advance so that you will be sure to
show the steps in the proper sequence and to include all
If you must give the demonstration before a large
group or if the trainees might have trouble seeing
because of the size of the equipment involved, use
enlarged devices or training aids. When practical, allow
trainees to repeat the procedure in a hands on practice
session to reinforce the learning process. By immediately
correcting the trainees' mistakes and reinforcing proper
procedures, you can help them learn the task more
quickly. The direct demonstration approach is a very
effective method of instruction, especially when trainees
have the opportunity to repeat the procedures.
DEMONSTRATION METHOD.The basic method
of instruction for teaching skill-type subject matter is the
demonstration-performance method of instruction. This
method is recommended for teaching a skill because it
covers all the necessary steps in an effective learning
The demonstration step gives trainees the
opportunity to see and hear the details related to the skill
being taught. Those details include the necessary
background knowledge, the steps or procedure, the
nomenclature, and the safety precautions. The repetition
step helps the average and slow learners and gives the
trainees an additional opportunity to see and hear the
skill being taught. The performance step gives all
trainees the opportunity to become proficient. In short,
this method is recommended because it leaves nothing to
For convenience, the techniques for imparting skills
are presented in steps, rather than activities. When
setting up an instructional plan, understand that you don't
have to follow these steps in the sequence presented;
instead choose the steps in the sequence best suited to the
needs of the trainees. Although you will always include
a demonstration step and a performance step, you must
use judgment in selecting techniques to make the various
GENERAL HINTS.Make every effort to get
trainees to observe correct procedures the first time they
try a new task. The most effective learning results when
trainees use a skill immediately after you have taught it.
So as soon as you teach trainees to do a job, have them
practice the skill.