Instructional Technique
Frank Hofmann, Instructor

A 12 hour course aimed at Flying Instructors and instructors generally who have not taught before. The course consists of a presentation of Teaching and Learning Theory as well as demonstration lessons given by course participants.

Pre-course activity – self-examination

aWhat "survival" skills should you use?
What are you doing to project confidence?
What are typical mistakes of instructors?
How do you make potentially dull material come to life?
b.How do adults learn differently?
How are you determining your course content?
How many instructional methods do you employ?
On what basis do you develop test questions? Class questions?
How do you solicit feedback from your students?
Have you video-taped one of your presentations and checked for annoying nervous patterns?
Do you ask and answer questions properly?
How do you promote constructive learner participation in a group setting?
How do you motivate your students to learn on their own?
Is your class fun?
c.How do you handle "too much content, not enough time"?
How do you stay in control in difficult situations?
d.How do you make sure students are ready to learn?
What do you know of your students' background?
How do you plan your reviews? On what basis?
Do you know of effective ways to assure retention of facts and ideas?
Have you prioritized your teaching objectives for your course's content?
If your students were to learn and retain only one thing as a consequence to your course, what would that be? Have they all learned that? Have you tested?
Have you developed each of your lesson plans to be like a paragraph – intro, body, review? Do you do that naturally?
Do your students know that structure?
e.Are you training or teaching?
Do you know how what you are teaching fits in with what the other teachers are doing?
Do you know what happens to a student who fails your course?

Please think about my questions so that when we do meet
we can learn from each other's input and enjoy an enriching experience.


I have done my job as teacher when at the end of the course….
a)Attendance - the value of role call; personal communication; in event of failure
b)Program objectives - overall, detailed; identify for course and lecture
c)Performance norms - exams, tests, evaluations; level at which to pitch exams; how closely do we need to discriminate? How often should we test? What is an acceptable failure rate?
d)Failures – why have them? What is effect on failing student? What are positive and negative features of failing
e)Course outlines
f)Your workload - think ahead, keep light
g)Class presidents

Hofmann's Teaching Axioms:
IThe harder you work the less they learn
 - learning is not a passive activity.
 - extreme case student is asleep or not even there. So why are you teaching?
IIIf they didn't see it or do it, they didn't get it.
 - 75% of all learning comes through sight.
 - we learn stuff so we can do stuff
IIIYou can't win; you can't break even; you have to lose.
 - within 2 days students forget 30% of what they learned; 60% after a month.

"The Course"
1)Mary had a Little Lamb - a warning
 - ask each student to give a different meaning to it.
 - in fact the dictionary gives 50 different meanings of 'had', have, has, etc.
2)What color is the rainbow/ - what you don't see won't ...
 - What color is my tie?
 - Look out the window - you didn't see the dirt on the window
- A good magician draws attention to the important
- Show slides for instants and ask students to record how much they remember
- Knowledge, unless structured, means little
- Ask about stopping distances of a truck car and a bicycle from same speed. What factors are at play?
- How do you sequence learning? Demonstrate
3)Learning/teaching levels - did they do a good job of learning?
 Learning Factors: a) readiness, b) primacy, c) relationship, d) exercise, e) intensity, f) effect, g) recency
 Teaching/learning levels: hierarchy of intellectual activity
 Familiarization:Where do we find wings?
 Knowledge:What is a wing?
 Comprehension:How does a wing work?
 Application:Draw a 747 as a biplane
 Analysis:Calculate the stall speed
 Synthesis:Design a wing for a purpose
4)Why are we here today? - why ask the question?
 The single most important factor is your ability to ask good questions.
 elements of good questioning: Why question?
what have they learned?
Have you taught effectively?
Quality of good questions - understood, thought provoking, on major teaching points, prepare for exam
How do you pick a respondent?
Procedure to follow when questioning: ask, pause, name, listen, confirm
 Teaching Methods I) Lecture, II) Demonstration-Performance, III) Developmental
 demonstrate III by asking why we are here today rather than in another location.
5)Your Turn - do your stuff.
 do a 1 minute presentation on a topic during which you apply learning factors.
- have everyone write down a) a question and b) the crux to be remembered.


Frank Hofmann
Copyright © 2003