b. Objectives. Learning is most efficient when the soldier knows exactly what is
expected of him. At the beginning of each period of instruction, instructors should set
forth goals and standards. The soldier should be told how each lesson fits into the
overall program of instruction and how the course of instruction prepares him for his job.
The Army has specific ways for framing objectives. The method for developing
objectives will be discussed in the next lesson (Lesson 4).
c. Actively Responding. What a soldier is asked to do helps determine what
he learns. This may take many forms: listening, observing, reading, recalling, taking
notes, reciting, writing, practicing, or solving problems. The instructional process of
presentation, application, and evaluation centers on the instructor's application of this
principle of instruction. Every period of instruction should be planned to require the
soldier to respond frequently in a form that can be observed and evaluated by the
instructor. "Practice makes perfect" only when the soldier practices correctly.
d. Reinforce Correct Responses. Efficient learning requires that the soldier
know whether his responses are right or wrong. Application of this principle as the heart
of the evaluation stage of instruction is well established in the psychology of learning.
(1) Response: correct or incorrect. For a soldier to know that his response
is correct strengthens the response and tends to "fix it in the mind." A soldier should
also be informed of incorrect responses and given an opportunity to correct them.
Ideally, the soldier should know whether he is right or wrong immediately after each
response. The longer the delay between response and knowledge of results, the
weaker reinforcement becomes.
(2) On-the-spot correction. Instruction should be planned so that evaluation
is concurrent with presentation and application. On-the-spot correction of errors is
essential to effective instruction. Formal examinations at the end of an hour or phase of
training will not adequately accomplish the principle of reinforcement because of the
e. Relate to Real Situations. The instructor should ensure that learning
activities in training closely relate to the situations on the job. Each lesson or main point
should be subjected to the test of two questions.
(1) Question: How will the skill or knowledge gained from this lesson be
used on the job? The manner of presentation must be realistic from the standpoint of its
field application. During the introductory phase of instruction, the desire for realism
should not be allowed to get in the way of learning. Even though the soldier may have
to apply that pressure dressing to a spurting wound under heavy enemy fire does not
mean that preliminary instruction in dressing application should be presented under
similar conditions. There should be time enough to use this skill in a field situation after
a soldier has mastered the basic principles and techniques.