Sunday, June 25, 2023

ADDIE's Course Implementation (Teaching)

From course analysis (objectives, learning needs, learners), to course design (post-it notes or mind maps, teaching content, structure, teaching methods arrangement), to course development (slides, handouts), you have done a lot of preparation work before the class. Finally, the day has come for you to step on stage and teach. To ensure you, as an internal lecturer, can perform better when you take the stage, there are a few things I'd like to remind you of during the class:

1. Remember the teaching method

What we continually emphasize is that a good lecturer... is not necessarily a glib speaker. Your goal is to guide the learners in the room to learn, not just to showcase your eloquence. Please do not solely rely on the lecturing method, speaking non-stop from start to finish... Remember to use the teaching methods we've taught you, such as Q&A, group discussion, demonstration, drills, videos, case studies... as well as the application of other comprehensive teaching methods.

Consider how to use the 'non-speaking teaching method,' allowing learners to participate, practice, observe, and apply. At the end of a lesson, evaluate... How much time did you spend speaking? How much time did you spend not speaking (organizing teaching methods)? These might be areas for you to continually observe and improve.

2. Start with a bang

Many internal lecturers, when they first start applying different teaching methods, often encounter a common problem: That is, they tend to fall into traditional lecturing at the beginning of the course. After speaking for a long time (and the learners are nearly fainting), they start to arrange a series of discussions and drills. This approach diminishes the effectiveness of the teaching methods.

Our suggested method is to insert different teaching methods right from the start. For instance, start with a video... and then follow it up with an observation or discussion. Or start with a case study, then immediately involve the learners with a Q&A or group discussion (remember Harvard's Justice class). The point is to make the course exciting right from the start, utilizing the learners' higher initial motivation and encouraging participation with your teaching method. This can help attract learners' attention throughout the course. If you start with a lot of lecturing or theoretical exposition, by the time you really want learner participation, they may have lost focus and be unable to engage.

3. Plan competitions and rewards

You may not believe it, but simple scoring competitions and small prizes can dramatically change the atmosphere in the learning environment. I have been to different industries, different job levels, different teaching scenes, as long as there is a competition or reward system, it can always effectively stimulate active participation and enhance learners' motivation. This is a very valuable investment.

The lecturer can prepare a few small prizes, in a personal way (like answering certain questions) or in a team way (like the first group to present or the group with the best performance). Scorekeeping and cumulative results can also be implemented (you might need an assistant or helper) and rewards can be given out at the end of the course. The prize can be tangible (like biscuits, chocolates, small toys), or intangible (certificates, point rewards, public encouragement from superiors, leaderboard), but remember to build the value of the reward or prize from the beginning to stimulate everyone's desire to strive for it. Make the game as fair as possible, and constantly reflect on the current competition score or timely rewards. Actually, this method utilizes behavioral theory mechanisms, and the effect will exceed your expectations once you plan well!

4. Check teaching aids and equipment

Projector, computer, presenter, whiteboard, large paper for discussion... Are all the teaching aids ready? Are you sure about the location of the light switch (you sometimes need to turn off the lights when showing videos) and the projection screen lift (sometimes you need to write on the whiteboard)? Is the arrangement of the tables and chairs suitable for the course? (I often use a group discussion format.) Make sure everything is prepared beforehand. If you only find something missing after starting the class, that could be troublesome.

5. Full dedication and unmatched enthusiasm

Even with thorough preparation, lecturers sometimes face students with low motivation. You may see everyone looking listless and reluctant (any teacher who has taught a class will understand what I'm talking about). At this point, your designed teaching methods (like eliciting learner responses through Q&A or encouraging group participation through group discussions) will start to have some effects. Coupled with your competition reward system, you might spark learners' participation and motivation... But what else can you do?

That's where your teaching enthusiasm comes in! This kind of enthusiasm comes from the bottom of your heart. It's hard to describe... and can't be learned. It comes from within you... How much do you want to share with the learners on stage? How eager are you to guide their learning? You don't have to say these things out loud; learners can subtly feel them.

There have been several occasions when I've taught back-to-back classes. Although my body was incredibly tired, I was still energetic once I got on stage. Even during breaks when students asked questions, I would engage completely in answering them, to the extent that I didn't rest at all during the break, and then proceeded to start the next class. I can't quite put into words what techniques I use to stay lively during class (and then crash afterwards), but I can confirm this: students can genuinely feel your passion for teaching! This, in turn, can spark their engagement (although sometimes gradually). Seize these opportunities and immerse yourself wholeheartedly. Be incredibly passionate and revel in the teaching process! The above represents the reminders we give to our speakers before they take the stage during our internal instructor training sessions. Of course, as you accumulate more teaching experience, many of these reminders will become an integral part of your personal experience. We hope our experiences can assist a greater number of speakers who need to take the stage, enabling them not only to teach better but also to facilitate more learning and greater rewards for everyone!

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