E.D.I.C.T.S. - A framework for teaching...


Explain - Explain to your student what you are about to do, what considerations you are making, how you are going to do it and most importantly why you are doing it / why they should want to learn it (See Briefing & Debriefing page for more information)


Demonstrate - As they say 'a picture paints a thousand words' by giving a clear, concise demonstration, your students can see exactly what and how they are going to perform the task. The demonstration will also consolidate any questions they may have had during the explaination. Don't forget - if you make a mistake during your demonstration, admit it and do it again; afterall - if you demonstrate badly, your students will copy you!


Imitate - Now its your students turn, remember that 'trial & error' is one of the most effective ways of learning assuming it is done in a safe environment. Let them make their own mistakes as they will see the consequences and hopefully won't do it again. Also, if you have more than one student, they will also be able to see the mistakes of others and learn from them. 


Correction - Only once the practice (imitate) has taken place should you correct, if a new skill is being learnt, it is much easier to stop the session on completion and discuss the outcome rather than interrupt it half way through (see 'Briefing & Debriefing' page for more information). Don't forget the 'praise burger' i.e. constructive critisum'.

Training - Once you have debriefed your student & discussed any mistakes, now is the time that they can have another go and practice their new skills.


Summarise - Run through all the key points of the session and associated feedback






Using flash-cards:

Purpose: Explain meaning, Reinforce learning, Clarify, Variety, Memory, Challenging, Fun.

Ways of using them:Match the picture to the word. Mastermind (students have to correctly identify as many cards as they can in a given time - this can be done individually or in teams). Quick flash (Instructor holds up card and student/s respond).

Buy IALA Buoyage Flash Cards

Buy Marine Education Flash cards

Repetition techniques:

Students need to hear and imitate new words many times. Repetition is used so that a person can see the context in which the words are used and therefore learn how to use it themselves. New words should be used meaningfully and be given preferably physical associations that will help it stick in your students mind. It often happens that a new word or use of new terminology is remembered instantly if it is associated at first encounter with something striking, interesting or of great personal importance.

E.G. - An isolated danger mark (buoy) - Emphasis is given to its striking colour combination (Dennis the Menace stripes - therefore associating it with the word 'Menace'), also the two balls on the top ('Balls up'). Being able to physically see an isolated danger mark or at least a model or photo of one can create a link in your students mind to your explainations. As with all things 'a picture paints a thousand words' so try to make your life and your students easier by using visual aids.

E.G. - Other buoyage - Lateral marks - Port = Fez (colour & shape), Can of coke (colour & shape) Drink Port (Colour) etc; Starboard = Witches hat (shape); East Cardinal mark = Top marks represent an easter egg, perhaps a Thorntons chocolate egg with a ribbon around it i.e. black stripes are the chocolate, yellow in the middle is the ribbon. West Cardinal mark - Top marks are shaped like a wine glass or a womans waist; the black stripe in the middle of the buoy could be the belt on a womans waist.


Types of practice:

There are four types of practice-

1) Variable -the new skill is practiced in a range of situations that could be experienced

E.G. - Coming alongside (Sailing/Powerboating/PWC) - In different wind/tidal stream directions.

2) Fixed -a specific skill/technique is practiced repeatedly.

3) Massed -a skill is practiced without a break until the skill is mastered. This is suitable when the skill is simple, motivation is high, purpose is to practice the skill and the student has enough relevant experience (History - Task - Goal).

4) Distributed -breaks are taken whilst developing the skill. This is best when the skill/technique is new or complex as fatigue with a subject could result in low motivation.

E.G. - A new technique is introduced in a easy environment then reintroduced at a later stage in a more challenging environment i.e. spinnaker hoist as a land drill, followed by a 'real time' demo in light winds where the student has an opportunity to take a small part in the exercise. A break is then taken and another easier skill is then practiced i.e. downwind sailing to build the students confidence then the spinnaker hoist & drop is re-introduced and practiced.

Distributed practice is considered the most effective way of learning.

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