HOPPPS, Because we are all teachers

Everyone needs to teach.  That is, we all have occasion when we have to teach information or skills to someone else.  Whether you need to train someone on a new system, provide orientation to a new job, or teaching a new decision-making model, we all become teachers. It turns out that teaching is harder than we thought.

I recently took a course called the “Instructional Skills Workshop” (ISW) that has a wonderful lesson planning framework that I’m going to share with you.  They call this framework “BOPPPS”, but I prefer HOPPPS, which stands for Hook, Objectives, Pretest, Practice, Post Test and Summary.

1.  Hook.  Every lesson needs a hook to get people interested.  A hook can be a question, a video, a picture.  Something that intrigues the audience and makes them want to learn more.

2. Objectives.  The audience needs to know the objectives of the lesson.  What will you know or be able to do at the end of the lesson.

3. Pre-test. This is a simple, short exercise for the instructor to learn what the audience already knows about the topic.  It could be a question, a brief quiz, or any way that you can get an idea of the knowledge base of the group.

4. Practice.  This is where you demonstrate the knowledge or skill that needs to be learned.  It can be through a lecture, through pictures, videos, exercises, or cases. 

5. Post Test.  This is where you assess whether the audience learned what they were supposed to learn.  It can be done through a group exercise, discussion or any other method that you can use to assess whether the students learned or not.

6. Summary.  It’s important to summarize the key concepts that students should know at the end of the session.  It reinforces what you’ve just taught.

One last thought.  Don’t try to teach too much information at once. The more focused you are, the more likely they are to get it. I’ve been using this planning framework for about four months.  It seems to be working, although we won’t know until the course evaluations are completed at the end of this term.   Wish me luck!


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