Instructional Methods: Training Health Instructors
Training a health instructor requires the use of a variety of pedagogical methods. It is essential that all instructors possess high levels of competence and can disseminate accurate information. The trainees must possess both academic and hands-on knowledge to be effective.
A lecture format remains the preferred way to ensure that listeners have received the correct information. “This approach is consider the best method to use because the instructor interfaces with the students by presenting segments of instruction, questions the students frequently, and provides periodic summaries or logical points of development” (Methods of instruction, 2013, TLCS). The disadvantage is that students may grow bored with its lack of interaction. This can be remedied through injecting dialogue and discussion into the lecture format. To orient the students in their duties and to brief them on the information they must convey, some lecturing is required to convey complex health information.
Lecture formats can be supplemented by more engaging techniques, to enhance information retention. For example, multimedia sources can be used, such as demonstrations (using hands-on models of the human anatomy, for example, or videos). To improve recall, students can supplement the lecture format with homework and lecture notes that are accessible online. Using online lectures is extremely cost-effective and allows students to replay the material they might not understand the first time. However, all lecture methods (particularly online methods) tend to be passive learning methods. And there must always be some way to know that the intended message was conveyed through exams (Principles and methods of training, 2013, FAO).
For teaching a hands-on skill like CPR, just listening to a lecture is clearly not enough. “A practical exercise (PE) may take many forms. Basically, it is a method of training in which the student actively participates, either individually or as a team member. He or she does this by applying previously learned knowledge or skills” (Methods of instruction, 2013, TLCS). After learning about how to perform a specific procedure through the lecture format, students may be asked to try out those skills in a real-world simulation.
In the case of these health instructors, for example, after learning about how to advise clients on how to plan a nutritious meal on a budget, they might go to a supermarket and be asked to assemble a week’s worth of groceries on a typical client’s budget for a…