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Demonstrations

Demonstrations can be absolute disasters. I remember all the times I was missing a crucial piece of equipment or couldn't get the demonstration to work at all. I learned the hard way how important planning is.
--
Faculty member

ESSENTIAL PLANNING STEPS
  • Concept summary
  • Specific example
  • Steps to be followed
  • Key points
  • Materials list, AV aids
  • Introduction
  • Site preparation
  • Rehearsal

Demonstrations are valuable tools for teaching both concrete techniques (skills) and abstract concepts (principles). A good demonstration permits a student to learn by observation, a skill we use innately when learning to talk, walk, and even clap our hands. They can be used to teach techniques like conducting a counseling session, using a computer program, or drawing blood for analysis. They can also be used to help students learn concepts like profit margin in economics, Boyle's law in chemistry, or probability in mathematics.

For a demonstration to be effective, advance planning is essential.

SUMMARIZE THE CONCEPT OR STATE THE TECHNIQUE to be demonstrated in a few words.

Reading about the concept or talking your ideas over with peers may help increase your own understanding of the concept.

DETERMINE A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF THE CONCEPT OR TECHNIQUE that can be easily demonstrated.

Remember every concept has a referent; however, if you cannot think of a good example, perhaps a demonstration is not appropriate.

LIST THE STEPS TO BE FOLLOWED during the demonstration in their correct order. List the key points to be emphasized.

LIST ALL MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT. List any visual aids, such as graphs, transparencies, drawings, computer driven aids, models, etc., that are needed.

INTRODUCE THE DEMONSTRATION. The introduction should: (1) relate the new concept or principle to the students' previous knowledge or experience, (2) arouse curiosity, (3) give background information, and (4) define new terms. Once plans are complete, preparations need to be made for the demonstration.

PREPARE THE TEACHING AIDS listed in the plans.

ASSEMBLE ALL NECESSARY MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT.

PREPARE THE PHYSICAL SETTING in which the demonstration will be conducted so that each student will be able to see and hear comfortably. A subtle technique may need to be presented several times to small groups.

PRACTICE OR REHEARSE THE PRESENTATION. To improve the performance, it is often helpful to ask a fellow TA to observe the demonstration, or at least the demonstration rehearsal.

During the demonstration, give a simple explanation for each step as you proceed. Observe students throughout to make sure your pace isn't too fast or too slow. Remember to summarize the demonstration or let students summarize it. This can be done either as you proceed through it or immediately afterward. After the demonstration, review key points with the class. If a significant number of students missed or misunderstood any key points, you may need to repeat the demonstration. As a follow-up exercise, have students apply the concept to a new situation so they can generalize their learning. For technique demonstrations, it is often helpful for students to watch the teacher coach a student volunteer through a technique. The teacher's facility with equipment often hides difficulties which are readily observed in unfamiliar hands. Then have students perform the technique on their own to consolidate learning.


Demonstration Plan Sheet

 

CONCEPT OR TECHNIQUE TO BE DEMONSTRATED:
 
 

SUMMARY OF CONCEPT OR TECHNIQUE:
 
 
 

INTRODUCTION METHOD:
 
 

TERMS:

1.________________  2.________________  3._________________

4.________________  5.________________  6._________________

7.________________ 8.________________     9._________________
 

MATERIALS NEEDED:

1.________________  2.________________  3._________________

4.________________  5.________________  6._________________

7.________________  8.________________  9._________________
 

STEPS TO BE FOLLOWED:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.