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What's fun to you?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'd like to check something with you folks. They did a survey where people were asked to pick four words that most described the elements of a fun learning experience.

What four words would you choose?
post #2 of 18
NO Snowboarders Allowed Here!
post #3 of 18
Hang It Out There.
Rip Under The Chair.
Don't Be A Dork.
Ride With Your Friends.
Laugh When You Crash.
Hospital Air Always Rules.
Linked Recoveries Are Acceptable.
Don't Teach Your Wife.

That's just a few of many that can be relevant. Party on! (I do!)

Spag :
post #4 of 18
Laugh, Discover, Improve, Enjoy

(OK, Sernedipity is also a one word answer: learning should be a fun adventure)

post #5 of 18
Steep, Deep Light snow
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Fox has the right idea. One element of a fun learning experience is one word, not four words. (Sorry, Spag, that's my fault for the sketchy instructions.)

Here are the four the public honed in on: achievement, knowledge, excitement, and relationship.

Let the play resume: what do you think of the public's four words, or what words would be more descriptive of your fun learning experience?
post #7 of 18
Ah, Haaaaa !!

A revelation. A break-through. Getting it for the first time and thirsting for more of the same.
post #8 of 18
Mmm, PinHed,
That's spot on, it's not words, it's the feeling when something clicks into place (and I don't mean a shoulder/elbow!)

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Okay, if an ah-ha moment is the fun part of the learning experience, what leads up to it? (I am looking for an ah-ha for the instructors: how do they create an environment in which ah-ha moments are likely to occur for their students?)
post #10 of 18
Learning, Creativity, Spontinaity, Eureka


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 11, 2002 03:43 AM: Message edited 2 times, by SnoKarver ]</font>
post #11 of 18
Nolo, I was going to put in a quick answer which is, teach the student (i.e. me) what I need to learn to make my skiing progress.
But that leads on to the question:
What does the student need to learn?
Obvious answer: ask them.
But that isn't necessarily correct, and now I delve into my sales management classes. It's not what the customer thinks they need, it is what you, as a professional see as their real need. In DPS terminology, this is called "finding the gap"

So, a personal example...

I remember being asked by an instructor once what I wanted to learn. My reply was "to carve" I was convinced that was what I should learn, because I thought that was where my failing was.
He then watched me ski, and told me he wouldn't teach me to carve.
I was disappointed.
What he said he would teach me was how to improve my balance.
I thought my balance was OK, but my problem was carving.
He got me to "feel" my feet better (can't remember the proper words for it, so bear with me). So it was about using slight pressure changes, and what parts of my feet to apply the pressure with.
We never once talked about carving, just all this stuff about balance, and then at the end of the lesson we had a high speed run with me following him.
All of a sudden, I realised I was carving properly!



My perception of my problem was wrong, but his solution made the problem go away.
The real fun bit wasn't the lesson, but the discovery at the end of it, and it felt like it was my discovery, and not something he taught me, so I found the answer "all by myself", or so it seemed.
And wasn't that the fun thing about doing chemistry/physics experiments in school. The teacher told you to add NaOH to HCl, but you were the one who made salt and water. It was your experiment and your results, and you felt like you were the first one to do it.

So, where was I,
Oh yes, teacher, find out what the student thinks they need, then look to see what they really need. If by doing one, you solve the other, you'll have a happy student. Or you will if you're teaching me!

post #12 of 18
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Okay, if an ah-ha moment is the fun part of the learning experience, what leads up to it? (I am looking for an ah-ha for the instructors: how do they create an environment in which ah-ha moments are likely to occur for their students?) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bring the excitement and break-through moment of one student to the entire class. Doing this gives testimonial of someone who is "just like" them; A student with fears, and doubt. Instructors can even do this if the student was in previous class.

Eg. "Last week I had a student who was doing great as a beginner while we were working at the base of the mountain. Then we went up the lift and I could tell their fear paralyzed their ability to progress. So, I was successful in allaying their fear by having everyone (as an example: take off their skis and slide down the hill in just their boots.) So guys, let's do that now. I'm going to make tracks down this way. You can follow me...

Lots of positive feedback
I'm a doggie training geek. I learned early on the quick results that can be achieved if
I always followed this rule:

Intermix the technical with the fun
Spend 20 minutes on an exercise. If you and your class are getting bogged down in the techeeeze, then stop the exercise and play a fun learning game.

Eg. "Okay, we're all thinking about using the sidecut of the ski to carve the turn. All of you are working really hard on this exercise. Let's take a break from that exercise. Everyone choose their favorite animal and try to ski like you are that animal."

Get off those fancy skis!!!!
Go and get a pair of the crappiest looking rental skis you can find to teach in! Bring yourself down to the level of your students. Show them that you don't need flashy racing skis to be a great skier and have the most fun.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 10, 2002 08:23 AM: Message edited 1 time, by PinHed ]</font>
post #13 of 18
Attitude raises your student's altitude

Come to your class with a great big smile. Get your students thinking light, fun, and easy-going thoughts by demonstrating a light, fun and easy-going demeanor. Ask open ended questions about good times that lead to "good-times" responses.

Flatten the hierarchy

Make every class member take ownership of being a part of the group. Don't be the supreme ruler of the class.

Eg. Have chair-lift parteners interview each other on the first ride up. (in a light hearted way.) Then have each partener introduce their new friend to the group.

Eg. Let students have a hand in their classmate's movement analysis.

These exercises diffuse unfamiliarity and allow each member to feel like a contributor. This in-turn will make your class members active and reactive members while they're not taking their turn skiing.

In other words... get your students "out of the back seat" (play on words, you like?) and into the driver's seat. Let them feel the responsibility of taking their destiny into their own hands as you guide them.

It's the Socratic approach to learning skiing.

Nolo, this is a fun and friendly way to help better the instruction product. Kudos to you for dousing the FLAMES with this topic!!!
post #14 of 18
Snokarver, I want to thank you sincerely for posting a link to the AMAZING X-10 MINI SPY CAMERA. Like any of us need to see that again! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you again PinHed for your colorful and cogent remarks: get out of the back seat and drive is great advice for students.

I think instructors could adjust their attitudes by seeing students as unique human beings instead of a Level 8 or (at my resort) a Purple or a Black. Our profession creates recipe books that present menus for Level 8s (for instance). The presumption is that we can apply the recipe to a Level 8 and achieve success.

I'd like to see us change our metaphor from recipes to nutrition. Conveniently, the survey played into my idea of a Four Food Groups teaching model, where a satisfying lesson will require a blend of Knowledge, Achievement, Excitement, and Relationships customized to that particular human being.

Like Bagger Vance says, his job is to unlock the God-given swing that is inside each and every one of us from birth. If more of us instructors could do that, the PGA would be casting envious looks in our direction, instead of it being the other way around.
post #16 of 18

oops, that's actually 5 words, sorry! [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #17 of 18
you could reduce it to 4 by replacing "cute guy" with "fox", since they mean one and the same thing!

post #18 of 18
Wonder, discovery, sharing, laughter
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