Appendix A — Teach/Learn Methods

About Teach/Learn Methods

Certain teach/learn techniques are more appropriate in certain instances than others. This can vary depending on the:

In White Stag, we place the emphases on what the learner is learning, not on what the teacher is teaching. Still, there are times when instructor-focused training is appropriate. The table in this appendix describes a variety of teach-learn methods.1

Table 18-1 Teach/Learn Methodology Matrix
Method What it is How it Works When to Use
Lecture Talking to a group from previously prepared notes. Trainer or specialist presents information on a given subject. When few if any members of the group are familiar with the subject and when a large amount of information must be presented.
Discussion Minimum lectures, maximum group participation. Discussion of a problem common to all. Conclusion reached by learned responding to guided questions. Trainer uses provocative questions or statements, usually prepared in advance, to stimulate group thinking and contributions to guide discussion. Group has some knowledge or experience in the subject.
Panel Discussion One or more specialist present short talks on a given subject, followed by questions and discussion. Trainer/moderator introduces specialist, later facilitates questions and answer period. If the viewpoint of specialists serves a direct training need.
Quiz Written or oral questions on performance of a job. Trainer provides questions to individual or group. To stimulate interest by pretesting. To determine knowledge of a subject. To identify what learners already know.
Assigned Project Trainer assigns one or more training task(s). Finding the solution to a given problem, checking a procedure with a qualified trainee/specialist or written sources Familiarizes learners with actual on-the-job, hands-on experience, individualizes training. Helps in solving a special problem. Requires clear briefing, needs supervision. Not as effective with large groups.
Buzz Groups A large group is split into several discussion groups followed by reports from appointed chairperson of each smaller group and summary by representative. Individual expression, pooling of many ideas. Develops leadership skills. Mixes inexperience with experience. Permits joining of ideas. Allows opinions to be aired. Can get side tracked. Domination by one or few. Questions must be provocative.
Exhibit Actual objects, specimens, models, mock-up, graphic aids are placed on display with appropriate captions. Orientation, demonstration, attractiveness, home-made or professional. Publicity, bulletin boards readily available. Extra time to prepare. Requires special place. Can be expensive. Requires special display skill. Distracting if in constant view.
Simulations Extended role-plays with extensive design. Groups of learners are given critical data about a situation, make their decisions, receive feedback, and take further action. For team-building activities or for several teams at once.
Games From the simple to the complex, a test of competitive and cooperative behavior in a light, sometimes humorous way. Prescribed rules limit behavior, encourage playfulness, to reveal sometime covert behaviors, or lead players to overt conclusions. To emphasize general principles, to teach specific skills, to create greater involvement.
Role plays Learners try out behaviors in a simulated situation in a limited amount of time. Teaching conclusions is not important, trying out behaviors is. Roles from life can be switched, all given a change to both play and observe. To stimulate involvement, variety, reality, and specificity; to try out fearful behaviors, to check alternatives, with minimal risk.
Fish Bowls Some members sit in the center, while others observe, later to switch places. A vital topic is picked for group action. After the fish bowl and its content, all discuss the experience to reach further conclusions about group process. When there is greater concern with group process over course content.
Incident Process Learners begin with in adequate data and ask questions to reveal additional information. Instructor has all data, reveals limited amount to start, more in response to specific questions, for group to reach decisions. To teach skills of interrogation, analysis, and synthesis relevant to problem solving and investigative techniques.
In-Basket Learners respond to a situation based on what they might find in a their "in-basket" on a typical work day, usually containing more than can be reasonably handled. Learners use only their own resources in a limited amount of time to put everything in the "out-basket". With single trainees when "paper" symptoms are significant.
Jig saws Participants put together pieces to make a completed "picture." Individuals are each given parts of a design or organization and create a "whole," examining all possible alternatives. Useful in teaching problem-solving, organization, or synthesizing skills.
Action-mazes A "programmed" case study or branching tree. Learners receive enough information to reach a decision point. The instructor provides the consequences of their decision and the next "frame." To promote debate, dissent, confrontation, and compromise, with a specific objective in mind.
Case-studies Learners receive printed description of problem situation. Selected detail adequate for a specified outcome (e.g., decision, recommendation) is proved with an identified outcome in mind. To avert the tendency to avoid real issues by talking about theory rather than application.
Brainstorming Generating a maximum number of ideas, suspending judgment for the moment. Generate, donít evaluate; create new ideas; post all suggestions. Analyze according to agreed-upon criteria and plan action. To generate many creative ideas in a group of at least 5-6.

Copyright © 1981— , Brian Phelps. All rights reserved. Short portions may be excerpted for review and quotes. For copyright purposes, only introductory portions of this book are available online. Order the newest edition today.