Tip #72: Teach a complicated procedure

The Challenge: You have to teach a procedure that has a lot of complicated steps.

Possible Approaches: Conduct a task analysis to identify the appropriate sequence of the steps.

Identify the steps with which the participants have some familiarity. You may want to begin with these, to build a sense of security and mastery before proceeding with more complicated and less familiar steps.

Assess the necessary building block sequence for teaching: what should be first, second, and third.

Show the entire procedure (simulation or videotaped presentation) so the participants are clear about the flow and the end result of the procedure.

To the extent possible, provide an organizing principle: a concept, a metaphor, or an acronym that can help the participants remember the steps.

Teach only 2 or 3 steps at a time and provide sufficient practice to ensure learning has occurred before adding new steps.

Present, model, and have the group practice the most difficult steps before placing them back into the correct sequence.

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