Instructional Methods Part 3

Instructional Methods

Instructional Methods
Part 3 of 3

 

Instructional methods continued from Part 1 and Part 2:

 

Training Games

Teaching Style

 

Learning Style

Facilitator Teaching

 

Skill-Based Learning

Instructional Method

Games can be entertaining, educational and challenging. Carefully designed games can boost learning significantly by encouraging independent thinking while also making the experience more memorable.

It is important to follow games with a debriefing to avoid the game becoming only an energiser or an icebreaker.

Games are useful for team building event. They can be setup in cooperative or competitive mode.

When to Use

  • Use games to energise learners and to make the training more memorable.
  • Use games to address complex issues in simpler ways.

When Not to Use

  • A bad game can have adverse effect on people’s perception of a training course.
  • The focus of the game must be clear, otherwise it becomes confusing or difficult to debrief.
  • If your aim is to entertain participants or encourage team building then icebreakers or energisers are more suitable.
  • Competitive games can create feelings of inadequacy in those who are not as skilled as others.

 

Multimedia

Teaching Style

 

Learning Style

Facilitator Teaching

Demonstrator Teaching

 

Skill-Based Learning

Knowledge-Based Learning

Instructional Method

You can use videos, online content or e-learning solutions to explore a particular domain.

The content can have an entertainment and educational value, keeping learners engaged.

Once you have identified and prepared the content, it can be a cost effective way to train people on a given subject.

You can also use this content in addition to the training course to further extend it.

Multimedia can be passive (like videos) leading to knowledge-based learning or active (such as interactive e-learning) leading to skill-based learning.

When to Use

  • Use multimedia solutions to expose learners to a lot of information. They allow you to quickly go through a lot of content.
  • Multimedia training solutions can be multisensory and therefore more memorable.

When Not to Use

  • They can easily become distracting if not focused.
  • Only use them when there is enough time for a review and discussion afterwards, otherwise it could only have an entertainment value.

 

Simulations

Teaching Style

 

Learning Style

Delegator Teaching

Facilitator Teaching

 

Skill-Based Learning

Instructional Method

A simulator places the person in an artificial setting that closely resembles the real-world environment. Historically, simulators were developed to train aircraft pilots. Over the years, the use of simulators has been extended to a variety of industries. Today simulators are often a form of computer-based learning although they are not restricted to this form alone.

The success of this method largely depends on the simulator itself. Since they are technical products, you are likely to obtain them from a supplier who specialises in producing them.

To use, there are three phases:

  • Pre-simulation
    • Select the simulator.
    • Identify rules, difficulty levels, skill sets and the general framework to train people on.
    • Test the simulator to make sure it closely resembles the specific real-world situations suitable for your learners.
  • Simulation
    • Provide a brief to learners on how to use the simulator’s interface.
  • Post-Simulation
    • Allow time for learners to reflect on their own performance.
    • Analyse their progress and draw parallel with real life situations.
    • Summarise the entire simulation activity and identify next actions for each learner.

In the context of soft skills, simulations can also be combined with the Roleplay Method and the Demonstration Method. For example, you can hire actors and prepare them to act out the role of a certain character, such as a demanding colleague. The learners must learn how to handle this colleague and would need to respond to the actor based on the lessons taught. The advantage of this method is that you can brief the actor beforehand and carefully plan the event, effectively simulating a real-world scenario.

When to Use

  • Use this method to teach at a high level. Simulations allow the study of very complex processes.
  • This is a highly engaging method. Performance can be easily evaluated allowing a rapid teaching method. This means that you can easily target weaker areas of learner’s performance.
  • The pace is controlled by the learner, so this is suitable for a group of people who are at different levels.
  • Since all senses are engaged the learning is deep and long lasting.

When Not to Use

  • Simulators can be expensive to obtain and to run.
  • Learners must accept the usability of the simulators and that they closely resemble real-life scenarios.
  • The simulator’s interface must be user friendly and suitable for the target learners. For example, placing learners who are unfamiliar with game-like computer user interfaces can be a challenge.
  • You must be skilled and experienced in using the simulator to get the most from it.

 

Instruments

Teaching Style

 

Learning Style

Delegator Teaching

 

Knowledge-Based Learning

Instructional Method

Instruments are generally one or more printed sheets with a series of questions. The questions can be multiple-choice or require short answers. Instructions are provided with these questionnaires explaining how to use them.

The purpose of these instruments is to let learners find out more about themselves by answering a number of questions.

At the end, further instructions are provided on how to assign scores and evaluate the responses. The instructions will then indicate what each score represents. Once the data is generated, it is up to the learner to use them and draw conclusions from them.

Examples of such instruments are personality trait indicators such as MBTI Tests or team role indicators such as the Belbin Team Inventory.

When to Use

  • Use instruments to help learners discover their own traits and behaviours. Since it is an indirect method with no external pressure, it can be quite powerful and convincing with long term results.
  • Use this method to increase awareness about a certain area.
  • Use when you want to encourage self-reflection and self-analysis.

When Not to Use

  • Learners must be honest with themselves to get meaningful results. Don’t use instruments if you suspect that learners will dismiss the questions or are offended by them. They will refuse to answer the questions or dismiss them, making the whole exercise a waste of time.
  • Instruments must be carefully designed and statistically tested to provide valid conclusions. For best results, always obtain tried and tested instruments from well-established and specialised suppliers.

 

Apprenticeship

Teaching Style

 

Learning Style

Mentor Teaching

 

Skill-Based Learning

Instructional Method

Apprenticeship is a traditional instructional method used extensively in history to train artists, musicians, sculptors and engineers. It is basically an on-the-job training under the leadership of a mentor.

Apprenticeship immerses the learner in a specific field. Since it is usually full-time and with constant access to a master, it is perhaps one of the most effective instructional methods ever invented.

A limited form of apprenticeship can take place in a workplace environment by assigning a mentor to an employee. On-the-job training can then be used to train people on the use of machinery or in-house procedures.

When to Use

  • Use when the number of learners is small and a direct one-to-one training is possible.
  • Use apprenticeship or on-the-job training when a full hands-on approach is the most effective way to train people.
  • Use when the skill under consideration requires a long time to master, taking several years of constant practice. For this you would need to follow traditional apprenticeship formats such as employing an apprentice to join your company and work on various skills under the supervision of a mentor while contributing towards the output of the company.

When Not to Use

  • It is important that the mentor is available to provide feedback and guidance. Apprenticeship without the availability of a mentor falls back to self-learning by trial and error which is not an instructional method.
  • It requires significant resources or availability of a master/mentor who can take on an apprentice. In return, the leaner can contribute towards the master’s work and even get paid a basic wage.