In a health setting, demonstrations are a teaching method in which the educator shows the student how to perform a task or procedure, usually through a hands-on demonstration or through the use of visual aids. Demonstrations can be used to introduce new material, to reinforce or clarify existing material, or to provide students with the opportunity to observe and learn from the educator or from their peers.
Part of this summary is informed by Peyton’s teaching approach:
Another part is informed by research on mental practice:
Compared to standard ‘see one, do one’ approaches, using Peyton’s teaching approach (i.e., demonstration-deconstruction-comprehension-performance) had a larger effect on procedural skill development ➕ ➕ ➕ ➕ . This effect was reversed when peers - instead of educators - were the teachers ➖ ➖ . The student-to-teacher ratio was also important. The impact of using Peyton’s teaching approach decreases as student numbers increase . Using video-recordings - where possible and appropriate - has been shown to have a large effect on learning procedural skills ➕ ➕ ➕ ➕ . Mental rehearsal also had a large effect on procedural skill development ➕ ➕ ➕ ➕ . There’s no compelling evidence that either practicing the whole skill or parts of the skill influences skill development, both are as effective as each other . Similarly, the effects of providing feedback throughout an attempt of waiting until the attempt has finished are equivocal .
This evidence summary is based on three meta-analyses. The first  explored the use of video feedback in education settings and included studies that principally focused on improving effective communication in professional practice. The 33 studies included in this paper were mostly controlled (over half were randomised controlled trials) and represented a variety of health and non-health professions. The authors reported significant heterogeneity, but no publication bias ➕➕➕ . The second study  explored the use of Peyton’s 4-step teaching approach. This meta-analysis consisted of 14 randomised controlled studies and covered a variety of different procedural skills. The heterogeneity was large and no information was provided regarding publication bias ➕➕➕ . The final meta-analysis  investigated the evidence behind four motor learning principles (i.e., part v. whole practice, random v. blocked practice, mental practice, terminal v concurrent feedback) in health education. The paper included 15 primary studies (all were randomised controlled trials). Heterogeneity scores were within acceptable limits, but no publication bias was included ➕➕➕➕ .