Is it possible to train someone to listen, and follow directions?

I've been teaching a G&E class at a local film school. The technical stuff is easy, compared to showing them how to pay attention, and do what you're asked to do. Can that be taught, or is it inherited? Does any one have a technique, exercise, or method, on how to impart this skill?


  • edited March 2017

    Seems ADD is taught at HS or maybe MS level now. They should have already taken a required class (I wish) at beginning of their college career in studying, notes, effective learning.

    I hope this helps. The first link seems to have a lot of the techniques I have either been taught or use.

    Even though I have been in this and the design/industrial fields for a few decades, I returned to F/T college about 1 year ago. I am taking 16 units this semester and probably Fall/Spring to wrap it up. So a lot of this I am applying now. But I come from a background of meetings and round tables. So I am cheating, by having experience. It is surprising the number of 18-25 year old who are near pro gaming, yet are possibly failing or "D" in a CIS105 class. The can swap and research RAM, but actually can not effectively answer the difference between primary vs. secondary storage.

    But I would think a little time explaining how taking notes is a very effective tool. It is repeating in their mind and the physical act of transcribing that helps fix the concepts.

    Perhaps the way the room is arranged? Closer is better. I do not know what method you use to teach. Some Prof use PP slides, which is great, but they provide them to the class in full detail. I have read several articles that providing them detailed notes is anti-productive. Provide the bare outline for them, but let them know they are to use them as an outline, with them required to fill in the bullet points, sketches or details. That allows them to use their dominant visual or written mindset to record your thoughts and insights.

    I am taking CIS150, Logic and Design. Our Prof (Dr) still works the summers as a consultant. Her method of notes for the 150 class are handled this way. Very Effective. Since we are sitting at computers, or have personal laptops, most everyone is taking notes in PP on top of her outline. I tend to layout tables of data or information as needed, as well as making copies of the flow charts,

  • I focus on how I relate with someone with a message of depth and weight then they start becoming willing to listen

  • Working in a digital film & video program at a local community college for several years, I learned a few things.. I estimate having to support 30+ students per semester in the computer lab and classroom.

    1) One key to coaching/teaching is to develop rapport/build the relationship first.

    2) relate the information in terms of how it applies to their goals (even if the goals are making zombie films).

    3) Being patient... I can say that most students seemed to incrementally improve by the end of each semester even if it felt like they weren't "getting it" or "caring about the subject matter". (probably early signs of "get off my lawn" syndrome on my part).

    4) Some students are just going through challenges that you can't imagine, maybe school is right for them, maybe now isn't the time.

    5) In case this gets back to the party in mention, not naming names, but there was an instructor at the program that rightfully would call out students on their cellphones during class.

  • I definitely think listening skills and following directions can be taught/trained, but I also think that it's a lot easier to do that with children or young people. We have to learn those things some how. That being said, I don't have any suggestions or advice to teach someone who doesn't have said skills, other than patience.

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