"Figure1. The Learning Pyramid. The learning pyramid originates from the National Training Laboratories (NTL) for Applied Behavioral Science, 300 N. Lee Street, Suite 300, Alexander, VA 22314, USA. The percentages represent the average "retention rate" of information following teaching or activities by the method indicated. In fact this diagram was originally developed and used by NTL in the early 1960s at NTL's Bethel, Maine, campus, but the organisation no longer has or can find the original research that supports the numbers given. In 1954 a similar pyramid with slightly different numbers had appeared in a book, Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching, published by the Edgar Dale Dryden Press, New York. Bligh (1998) gives some evidence for the effectiveness of different teaching methods."

Ref: E. J. Wood (2004) Problem-Based Learning: Exploiting Knowledge of how People Learn to Promote Effective Learning, Bioscience Education E-journal, 3-5 available at http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/journal/vol3/beej-3-5.aspx

mmmm ... difficult to know what to make of this diagram and percentages and the fact we were given the information in class, but it would seem that the data no longer exists or is available to analyse! I did ask in class and didn't get a reply as to who and when!  Seems to me that there is a research project in the making for someone who would like to take it on (NOT ME!)  My questions would be how long afterwards were students tested for their knowledge (after all long term & short term memory theory comes to mind!!), what type of students and what kind of information. It would seem that many experiments have been done to test the theory by comparing 2 teaching methods side by side. I wonder if actually by being creative and changing delivery (varied practice & random practice) actually make things more interesting & relevant and so you preserve & don't get switched off or bored! I one Level 2 course we delivered we set students a task of catching coins from the back of their hands ... several different practice sessions were created ... bilateral, varied, random (with unrelated things to do - tiddliwinks), one hand only repeatedly & varying the numbers of coins etc. Now one has to assume that all people are equally talented in their abilities (a falsehood already), but the random practice and varied practice produced good results more quickly ... the test was to catch 10 coins dominant handed!  So one conclusion is that if we mix it up a bit ... not too long in one mode of teaching (whatever that might be) maybe that actually creates the retention we desire!

One of the things I love about the Level 1 courses we deliver is the fact that we have multi-outcome sessions - a main outcome, but also touching on or introducing concepts which we come back to later. So in our delivery of a capsize drill we introduced show tell do (or VAK) as the way we take on information. Tomorrow we will expand on this by teaching them a teaching model IDEAS (Intro, Demo, Explanation, Activity & Summary) which covers all three inputs in VAK so you catch all learning styles! It isn't of course as simple as that, but these are beginner coaches! They will get immediate success in coaching! But the concept will not be new as we have indeed already covered it and can therefore relate it to known experience!

We also introduce different coaching styles ... Directive (safety brief), self check, peer to peer, guided discovery and discovery. In our own delivery they will also have experienced this without even knowing until we point it out when they are ready!

So my conclusion here is that with limited time as a teacher, meeting different leaner's needs, individual plans etc, we also need to be creative about our joined up course sessions and help learners by giving them experience we can then drawn on later! All techniques of teaching are valid and I believe that variation is key as if we lose motivation for our learners to learn we are stuffed!

(Yes I know I need some theory here too & references ... just getting

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