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Instructional Methods and Techniques

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INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS AND TECHNIQUES All methods of instruction can be classified as telling,  lecturing,  or  discussing;  showing  or demonstrating; or any combination of these. Often the best way of teaching combines the various methods. You must decide which methods to combine and the emphasis to place on each unless the curriculum itself dictates the combination needed. In making that decision, consider (1) the nature of the trainees, (2) the subject matter, and (3) the time limitations. Lecture Method The lecture is still the most frequently used method of instruction. However, presenting a lecture without pausing for interaction with trainees can be ineffective regardless of your skill as a speaker. The use of pauses during the lecture for direct oral questioning creates interaction  between  instructor  and  trainee. Unfortunately, when classes are large, the instructor cannot possibly interact with all trainees on each point. The learning effectiveness of the lecture method has been questioned because of the lack of interaction. However, its use continues as a means of reaching a large group at one time with a condensed, organized body of information. Providing trainees with lesson objectives before the lecture will enable them to listen more effectively. It will help them to take concise, brief notes concerning the objectives, rather than writing feverishly throughout the lecture. The lecture method will be presented first because the techniques involved serve as the basis for other methods of training. Those techniques apply not only to  lectures  but  also  to  many  other  kinds  of presentations  in  which  oral  explanations  play  a secondary, but important, role. Every method depends on oral instruction to give information, to arouse attention  and  interest,  and  to  develop  receptive attitudes on the part of the trainees. Therefore, as an instructor, organize your oral presentations with the following techniques in mind: 1.  Maintain good eye contact. As you speak, shift your gaze about the class, pausing momentarily to meet the gaze of each trainee. Make the trainees feel that what you have to say is directed to each of them personally. Your eyes, as well as your voice, communicate to them; and  their  eyes,  facial  expressions,  and  reactions communicate to you. Watch for indications of doubt, misunderstanding, a desire to participate, fatigue, or a lack of interest. If you are dealing with young trainees, you sometimes may need to remind them that they must give undivided attention to the instruction. 2.   Maintain a high degree of enthusiasm. 3.   Speak   in   a   natural,   conversational   voice. Enunciate your words clearly. Make certain the trainees can hear every spoken word. 4.   Emphasize   important   points   by   the   use   of gestures, repetition, and variation in voice inflection. 5.   Check   trainee   comprehension   carefully throughout the presentation by watching the faces of the trainees and by questioning them. Observing  facial  expressions  as  an  indication  of doubt  or  misunderstanding  is  not  an  absolute  way  of ensuring  trainee  comprehension.  Some  trainees  may appear to be comprehending the subject matter when, in reality, they are completely confused. Trainees who are  in  doubt  often  hesitate  to  make  their  difficulty known. They may hesitate because of natural timidity, fear   of   being   classified   as   stupid,   or   failure   to understand  the  subject  matter  well  enough  to  explain where their difficulty lies. Frequently ask if the class has any questions, thus giving   the   trainees   an   opportunity   to   express   any doubts  or  misunderstandings  on  their  part.  Based  on your  personal  knowledge  and  past  experiences,  ask specific  questions  about  those  areas  that  might  give trainees  the  most  trouble.  Some  instructors  make  the mistake of waiting until the end of the presentation to ask questions. The best time to clear away mental fog is when  the  fog  develops.  Mental  fog  tends  to  create  a mental   block   that   prevents   the   trainee   from concentrating  on  the  subject  matter  being  presented. (Later in this section you will find techniques related to asking   questions,   calling   upon   trainees   to   answer questions, and evaluating answers.) 1-15 Q14. Which of the following is not a responsibility of the training petty officer? 1. Develop monthly training schedules 2. Oversee preparation of training materials 3. Maintain training records 4. Assign   personnel   to   fleet   and   service schools REVIEW QUESTION



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