Tip #131: MTM: Effective Examples

Trainer behavior is concerned with what the trainer will do to facilitate learning. The use of relevant examples can ensure that learning occurs more quickly and is retained longer, because the example already has meaning to the learner.

Last week, we looked at four criteria involved in creating effective examples. Dr. Hunter also has suggestions for how to present those examples:

  1. Highlight critical attributes by offering obvious –non exemplars.” Half of knowing what something is, is knowing what it isn’t. A “non exemplar” is an example that is similar but lacks the critical attribute or essence of the example being taught.

    Analyze each example in advance. It is difficult to come up with an excellent example off the cuff. The example is more likely to be effective if it is carefully thought out and validated against the four criteria discussed last week.

  2. Introduce trainer-generated examples first. To ensure quality control, it is best if the trainer gives most, if not all, of the examples at the beginning of new learning. After the concept is very clear, it is then useful to have the learners generate additional examples to check their comprehension.

Dr. Hunter concludes: “Generating interesting or humorous examples that use students’ past knowledge and highlight the essence or critical attribute without ambiguous or emotional overtones is a manifestation of artistry in teaching.

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