The advantage of this method is that knowledge or skills are taught quickly, while constant supervision makes the risk of mistakes lower. This approach is suitable when there are safety issues or expensive machinery or materials that can be damaged. It is often used when briefing and explaining practical work routines. While the trainer has the active role during the first two steps (which can be used without steps 3 and 4), it’s the apprentice's turn in step 3 and 4.
These are the usual 4 steps:1. Preparation
Make sure materials and tools are in order. Prepare your description of the work process: Plan the content, extent and structure of your presentation and keep the time needed in mind. 2. Demonstration and explanation
Show the work process by doing the task yourself, step by step. Remember to place yourself in a way so that the apprentice can see and hear you clearly. The apprentice may also need to take notes along the way. Explain the work process and technical terms before and during demonstration.
When describing a work process, keep the following points in mind :
- Divide the work into a suitable number of sub-operations
- Point out difficult sections
- Identify and point out risks
- Consider hand positions and postures. Remember to impart important facts, for example risks, quality norms, customer considerations, the product's service life etc.
- If possible, hand out your explanations in written form. Remember to answer the following questions (What to do in each step; How to perform each step; To keep important facts in mind and Why)
3. Imitation and Explanation
Let the apprentice try himself. Supervise him, observe him and be ready to interfere, if there is any danger to people, machines or materials. Let the apprentice explain with his/her own words what he/she is doing and what is important to be aware of before, during and after the work process.
4. Correction and Practising
Check the results of the work. Do any necessary corrections, then let the apprentice try again. After this, allow the apprentice to repeat the work more and more independently. In this way, repetition and practice will lead to consolidation of the skill.
The further an apprentice proceeds in his vocational training, the more advantageous it will be if he/she prepares presentations – either for you or for a group of other apprentices. In order to do this, the apprentice will have to know the required facts by heart.