The Power of the Hear-See-Do Learning Method

There is an old proverb that goes: “If you test a fish on how well it climbs a tree, it will think it’s a failure.” While this proverb is often used in relation to traditional K-12 education, it stands true in just about any educational scenario.

Let’s face it, people learn in different ways. Classes from grade schools to college campuses are taught in a lecture and test format. While this is seen as an educational standard, it only caters to individuals who are most responsive to auditory stimulation. It is often very much the same when it comes to process control training. While the lecture format works well for some, it often alienates a large portion of the group.

Sticking to only one form of teaching is also proven to be ineffective. Studies show that only 20% of information is retained in a lecture-style teaching environment. [1] The goal of training is to increase knowledge that will lead to more efficient plant management. If engineers and operators can’t remember what PID tuning best-practices are taught, then attending a workshop is a waste of time and money.

Control Station applies a different methodology to PID control training. We apply a Hear-See-Do method to fully engage all workshop participants and better equip them with actionable information. Learn how each segment of our methodology helps to build a fuller picture of PID control:


The core of any class is the lecture. The lecture represents the key points that the instructor is trying to pass on to the class. While the lecture alone won’t teach everything, it sets up the foundation for the rest of the workshop to sit on.

Control Station’s lectures are based-on materials that have been created from the real-world experience of our engineer instructors and years of rigorous research. Because the materials reference actual experience, our instructors are better equipped to engage the audience in a more meaningful way.


The second segment in the methodology is the demonstration. An instructor can speak on a subject until they run out of time, but unless participants can see how something is done, it is almost meaningless. By adding demonstrations, not only do instructors engage visual learners, but they also increase retention to 30%.

After Control Station instructors setup a topic with a lecture, they follow it up with a demonstration. While demonstrating the procedure, instructors can shape the demonstration based on the attendee’s questions and backgrounds. This not only reinforces the lecture, but it makes the material more relatable to individual participant experiences. 


The final and arguably most critical part of the Hear-See-Do method is the hands-on section. Most process control classes stop at the demonstration phase. While this equips participants with knowledge, they may have a difficult time retaining what they learned. Furthermore, they are forced to learn how they can implement PID knowledge they learned in class and apply it to real-world applications.

After all demonstrations, Control Station’s instructors turn the class over to a hands-on exercise. These exercises use actual data taken from the real-world to run simulated tests. Participants then try what they learned and immediately see if their technique needs some adjustment. Once the exercise is completed, the group discusses the lecture, demonstration, and exercise to answer any questions or problems they faced. Not only does this segment increase the retention rate to 75%, it also gives students the confidence to try what they learned in the real world.

The Hear-See-Do methodology not only engages students from a wide-range of backgrounds, it also equips them with actionable techniques and best-practices that they can use on the job. When workshop participants quickly and actively incorporate what they learned in a Hear-See-Do workshop, their retention rate goes up to 90%. That is one of the key reasons why Control Station’s Practical Process Control training workshops are the best in the business.

Do you want to experience the Hear-See-Do methodology? Sign up for one of our regional workshops!

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