In part one I looked at the problems with learning physical skills, and in particular self-defense skills, online. I also defined what learning and skill is defined as, as well as what are considered the kinds of learning styles that people have. As with all things, most people cannot categorically be isolated into one style of learning but have obvious preferences.
To be clear, I am biased to think that people are capable of learning physical skills online. Not everyone. It takes some specific attributes. I know this to be true because I have been instructing people at a distance for nearly 20 years. What I’ve learned through the process is that most of the problems that people argue are the issue, aren’t really the issue at all.
However, before we start down the road of breaking down what I’ve seen as the real issues of learning online, I think it behooves us to take a closer look at some fundamental teaching styles. This is an aspect that is little talked about but that I think plays an equal part of the equation in online instruction.
The basic Teaching Styles are: Authority/Lecture, Demonstrator/Coach, Facilitator/Activity, Delegator/Group, and Hybrid style.
And that’s all well and good but what do these words actually mean? Let me go through them and see if I can make simple sense of them. And as I do, you’ll probably be able to see what might work best from an online instructional perspective.
The Authority/Lecture style is basically an information push and focuses on the teacher disseminating information to the students and it’s completely up to the students to absorb and make use of the information. It’s usually kind of a boring style.
The Demonstrator/Coach is similar to the authority/lecture style but rather than just an information push, the method also includes actual demonstration and activities to reinforce the instruction. While a lot less boring and less about the lecture the basic difficulty is that it can be difficult to meet the individuals needs when in a large class format.
The Facilitator/Activity style teacher helps the student gain the skills needed to think critically and grow in their own understanding of the same information. It’s more about self-awareness and self-actualization rather than rote memorization. While great at helping students to find their own “path,” the challenge is measuring success tangibly.
The Delegator/Group style is a type of instruction that is task and feedback specific. In particular, teaching that gets the student to perform specific tasks that get immediate peer feedback. In that way, the teacher is not the authority figure, instead, they are acting as a consultant style of instructor.
The Hybrid/Blended style is a unique approach that brings the personality and interests of the teacher and personality and interest’s of the students together in an adaptable way to get the curriculum across. The hardest bit of this process is on the teacher. They must do the work of understanding and adapting to the student’s needs to communicate the curriculum in a meaningful and relevant way to the student.
Take this in. Think about it. Then we can move forward with the next part.