Working The Little Grey Cells - Course Memorization

27 Jun 2008Steve Schwarz

photo source: https://www.sxc.hu/photo/373760

There was a discussion on the AgileTeach Email List this past week about helping students with learning difficulties remember obstacle sequences. That got me thinking about a method Dana Pike used in her advanced classes that challenged students course memorization abilities.

When I first started training with Dana I was surprised when she didn’t put out numbered cones on the course. As a student you had to show up on time and she’d walk the course with the group and point out the obstacles in order (but without giving any handling hints) and she’d usually only walk it twice with us. Then it was up to the students to remember the course and come up with their handling. I was pretty terrible at first, but over time was able to find the patterns in the courses and that helped with remembering the courses. For experienced students I’ve found this to be a good way to challenge their course memorization abilities.

Not putting out cones also has the side effect of encouraging students to come to class on time. If they miss the walk through they get to practice the experience of missing the walk through on trial day and trying to deduce the course before running it. This is actually a valuable skill, although one you’d like to not ever use…

When training students running full courses, as an instructor it is easiest to lay out cones and say “Walk it”. But it doesn’t exercise the handler’s course remembering abilities as much as it could, so if you are looking to challenge your students you might give this exercise a try.

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