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How to Develop a Teaching Point

You need to keep certain basic requirements in mind when developing training. Your communication of subject matter must be accurate, complete, and clear. It must have a logically advancing flow of information and activity.

The instructor must answer a series of questions in order to achieve his purpose. These questions concern the various steps in the accomplishment of his presentation. We already considered some of them in preparation of the lesson introduction. They need more study in greater detail to design the lesson body. These questions are: What to teach? How to teach?

The answers are obtained from training objectives, available/existing material on the topic, experienced instructors, and education/training specialist types.

The objectives will dictate the main points to be presented and learned. These points must agree with the objectives and match their intent. Also, they must be arranged in a logical sequence. Sequence is a matter of choice if the main points are independent of each other. The main teaching points often have a logical dependency in technical and in complex skill/knowledge areas. So start with the simplest teaching point and use it to help teach the next one. Then use those two to teach the next one, etc. Decide which material goes where and the logical sequence in organizing it by applying the “Laws of Learning.” The organization of the subject material must show a relationship to the main teaching points of the class. This can be accomplished by developing the main teaching points in one or more of the following ways:

From Simple to Complex. Using this pattern will help you the instructor lead the students from simple facts or ideas to an understanding of involved theories or concepts. The student of Biology studies the simplest forms of life first, then the intermediate forms, and finally the more complex organisms.

From Known to Unknown. The instructor can lead the students into new ideas or concepts by using something they already know as the starting point into new material. You should take the student from familiar information into unfamiliar information.

From Most Frequently Used to Least Frequently Used. Certain information or concepts are common to all who use the material in some subjects. This organization pattern starts with ideas that are used every day before progressing to the rarer ones.

From Past to Present. The subject matter is arranged chronologically, from the past to the present or from the present to the future. Such relationships in time are very suitable when history is an important consideration, say in the development of weapons systems, radar’s, or nuclear weapons.

Under each main teaching point sub-elements should lead naturally from one to the other. Each point should lead logically into, and serve as a reminder of the next. Meaningful transitions from one main point to the next keep the students oriented and aware of where they have been and where they are going. Organizing the material so that the students will understand the steps you are taking is not an easy task, but it is of chief importance if the students are to learn. Poorly organized information is of little or no value to the student.

The lesson as discussed up to this point resembles a lecture. A lecture keeps the student in a passive state. The student who is being talked at and, worse yet, talked down to, perceives and retains from 0 to 30% of the presentation. How can the communication be made more efficient and effective?

The answer is very simple. Whenever you can show the student what you are talking about, do so....show him. Demonstration together with the lecture allows the student to SEE what you are talking about. The demonstration should:

  • Create interest.
  • Cause the use of more senses.
  • Give experience not otherwise reachable.
  • Show the whole picture.
  • Increase memory retention.

A demonstration to illustrate key points could include the following forms:

  • Procedural Demonstration
  • Displays
  • Role Playing
  • Video
  • Skits
  • Games
  • Case Studies

It is important for you to provide for student participation during the class. Students learn and remember more when they are required to perform a task immediately after seeing a demonstration of that task. Student participation may be a “hands-on” practice exercise. Participation may take the form of discussions, preparing reports, completing a form, solving tactical problems for non-equipment subject areas, team case studies, etc. The important thing to remember is that student participation must be included in your lesson plan. This can be accomplished by including practical exercises in paragraph 2 of your lesson plan, or as a separate paragraph (Application), or in the form of questions and answers written into the lesson plan.

Instructor notes should also be included in the lesson plan. They are excellent reminders for the instructor and are placed in the lesson where ever needed. The sample below shows the use of notes incorporated into a lesson plan:

Sample of Lesson Plan Notes.

Explanation/Demonstration/Application (160 minutes)

    Notes. 1.  Station a small group instructor in a position where
               he can assist 4-6 students.

           2.  Require each student to disassemble his weapon on a
               step-by-step basis as you demonstrate using the cal
               .45 mockup. Do  not allow the students to get ahead
               or lag behind.

           3.  Have the students place the pistol parts on the
               disassembly mat.

a.  Clear the Weapon.

        (1)  Remove magazine by pushing in on the magazine release and
             pulling the magazine away from magazine well.

        (2)  Pull slide to the rear and push slide stop up into slide
             stop notch, locking slide to the rear.

        (3)  Inspect chamber to ensure it is empty.

        (4)  Push down on slide lock and allow slide to go forward.

b.  Disassemble the Weapon.

        (1)  Remove recoil spring plug.

        (2)  Remove slide stop.

        (3)  Pull the receiver rearward to separate it from slide.

        (4)  Remove recoil spring and recoil spring guide from slide
             group. Separate the two parts with a twisting action.

        (5)  Remove barrel bushing by turning it to the right until
             it stops and pulling it from slide.

        (6)  Push barrel link forward and remove barrel from front
             end of slide.

c.  Assemble the Weapon.

    Note.  Assembly is the reverse of disassembly.

        (1)  Replace barrel with the barrel link down towards front
             of slide.

        (2)  Replace barrel bushing and turn it to the left.

        (3)  Replace recoil spring and recoil spring guide with the
             half moon portion of the guide in downward position
             against barrel.

        (4)  Holding the receiver upside down, slide the slide onto

        (5)  Replace slide stop pin by turning the receiver to upright

        (6)  Replace recoil spring plug by pushing in and then
             rotating barrel bushing down, seating it over the
             recoil spring plug.

d.  Perform a Function Check.

        (1)  Place safety into safety lock notch and replace magazine.

        (2)  Test for correct assembly.

             (a)  Depress safety lock.
             (b)  Pull slide fully to the rear.
             (c)  Release slide by pushing down on the slide stop.

             CAUTION.  The hammer should remain cocked.

             (d)  Hold the pistol with a normal grip, depress the
                  grip safety, and pull trigger.

             Note.  The hammer should fall.

e.  Practical Exercise.

    Notes.  1.  Tell students that they are to practice disassembling
                and assembling the cal .4 5 pistol until they can
                complete the task within 5 minutes.

            2.  Small group instructors are to work with each of their
                groups, helping those students who require assistance
                and reinforcing correct performance as it occurs.

            3.  Each small group instructor is to tell each student
                within the group if he accomplished the objective.

            4.  Inform students that when they are ready, they are
                to report to the small group instructor for
                individual evaluation.	 

Source: U.S. Navy

Copyright ©2000-2015 Geigle Safety Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Federal copyright prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means without permission. Students may reproduce materials for personal study. Disclaimer: This material is for training purposes only to inform the reader of occupational safety and health best practices and general compliance requirement and is not a substitute for provisions of the OSH Act of 1970 or any governmental regulatory agency. CertiSafety is a division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc., and is not connected or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).