Paramedic Students Train In Unique Learning Environment

By: Lieutenant Christopher Kroboth
EMS Training Section

The classrooms we all grew up in ranged from desk mounted chairs arranged grid style to stadium style arenas with 100-200 students. No matter how they were setup, they all revolved around a single instructor lecturing “AT” us. This lecture style and mode ofParamedic Students Train In Unique Learning Environment teaching has minimal retention by the student. Research by the National Training Laboratory (World Bank, n.d.) shows that the amount of new information learners retain depends on how the information is presented. Here are retention rates for seven common ways of teaching new information:

  • Lecture 5%
  • Reading 10%
  • Audio-Visual 20%
  • Demonstration 30%
  • Discussion 50%
  • Practice by doing 75%
  • Teaching others 90%

It is for this reason we use round tables in our classroom to have students sitting group style to help the facilitation of discussion and interaction. We have the groups take certain topics and “teach-back” the material to their classmates after doing research and designing the learning tools and examples. This follows the “see one, do one, teach one” path and helps them close the loop.

Innately, the profession of Paramedicine is filled with skills and hands-on practices which we parallel our learning topics with. We always close a topic with a full scenario that is designed to mimic that topic in a real life emergency. Toward that end, one group of students portray the patient and act out the disease or emergency while we have another group of students “run” or respond to the scenario. Our goal is to try and maximize the relatability and relevance of each topic to an experience. We try to harbor the group and team mentality to better forge the learning process as well as the social and safety aspects of the paramedic profession. In another article we will discuss other components of a classroom that can help set the stage for optimal learning.



World Bank. (n.d.). e learning pyramid. Retrieved from the World Bank Web site DEVMARKETPLACE/Resources/Handout_ e- LearningPyramid.pdf

USA, Center for Applied Linguistics. (2010). Adult Learning and Retention: Factors and Strategies. Retrieved January 07, 17, from Cultural Orientation Resource Center, Center for Applied Linguistics. (2010). COR Cen- ter Web site: