Before using a training aid, the instructor
should be sure it applies directly to the subject
matter and helps achieve the learning objective.
The instructor should preview films and ensure
that mechanical aids are in good working order
before they are used.
Each aid used should present only one basic
idea since presenting two or more ideas simulta-
neously may be confusing. To be effective, the
aid should be used in the presentation at the
The training aid should be large enough for
the most distant student to see it clearly. If the
aid is not large enough to display at the front of
the classroom, the instructor could ask students
to gather around the display so as to get a closer
look. Or, the students may be allowed to pass the
aid around the roomfrom student to student.
If this is done, the instructor should allow
each student a few moments to examine the aid
before proceeding with the presentation. When
displaying an aid, the instructor should be sure
that no students view is obstructed.
Teaching a Skill
One method that is useful for teaching a skill
is the demonstration-performance method, or
teaching by doing. This procedure covers all the
necessary steps in learning a skill and presents
them in the most effective order.
The teaching-by-doing method of instruction
involves doing by both the instructor and the
student. This method is most effective when a skill
is to be taught to one student or a small group
of students. Classroom time may not permit a
group of more than 10 to learn the skill when this
method is employed. For a group of 10, breaking
the students into 2 groups of 5 each would
probably be more effective.
The order of presentation is important. The
instructor should begin with the purpose and
objectives. There is a difference between seeing
and perceiving, so the instructor must take care
to explain and stress major points of the presen-
tation. If nomenclature is important, then the
instructor must name each part and describe its
The following steps can be applied to most
1. The instructor does and tells.
2. The instructor does while a student tells.
3. The student does and tells.
4. Students practice (under supervision).
In step 1, the instructor performs the skill
carefully, accurately, and slowly enough for
the students to follow. Care should be taken
to emphasize any action the group might miss
if it were not pointed out. Applicable safety
precautions should be stressed and followed by
the instructor at all times. Instructors should
beware of the trap implied in the statement
Ive done that so many times I could do it blind-
folded. Perhaps this is a true statement, but it
may cause students to ignore safety precautions.
The first step is very important. The presenta-
tion must be so organized that no vital information
is omitted. Such hesitations or interruptions as I
forgot to tell you . . . , or Just a minute while
I check this step, would clearly indicate that the
instructor is not properly prepared.
In step 2, the physical steps are completed while
a student explains what the instructor is doing.
The instructor should perform the steps precisely
as directed by the student unless safety precau-
tions are violated. Then, if an error is made by
the student, the other students (or the instructor)
can point out the mistake. In the event of an
error, the performance should stop and the error
be corrected. Then the performance should start
over again with the student explaining the
procedure correctly. If there are too many errors,
the instructor should stop the performance and
repeat step 1 before calling the same student to
begin step 2.
Step 2 is particularly valuable when there is a
chance of harming personnel or damaging equip-
ment while the skill is being taught. The students
demonstrate orally that they know what to do,
but are relieved of the possibility of endangering
themselves or the equipment. Students can con-
centrate on procedure without fear of injury or
failure. This would apply in fire-fighting train-
ing or operating audiovisual equipment.
Step 2 is the time the instructor should ask a
number of questions to be sure the students
understand what they are saying rather than
simply repeating the instructors words. Such
questions would be as follows:
What do I do next?
How do I do that?
What should happen now that will demon-
strate to me that the steps I have taken are
Is there anything I should be careful of at
Why do we do it this way?