Prior to restarting general practices we held some targeted teaching sessions in the tower using the simulator. We have one total newbie who started with us during lockdown using RingingRoom and is now ringing Plain Bob Triples and touches of Plain Bob Doubles, and also a young ringer who needed rope time to gain experience and confidence.
With bells silenced, the simulator allows extended teaching sessions, but also provides other benefits:
- The virtual ringers do not get tired or bored;
- The other bells are always in exactly the right place;
- The simulator gives a traffic-light system of whether the learner’s bell is slow, quick or in the right place (something that is not always obvious for beginners);
- It is easy to repeat exactly the same exercise such as with a pattern call changes while the instructor can focus on the novice;
- The novice can ring the same physical bell but with the mappings changed in order to get experience of different starts & work;
- It enables a more friendly environment as it doesn’t have lots of other ringers watching (and sometimes giving unwanted advice!).
I think a simulator should be an aim for most towers, either with sensors on the real bells or maybe with a dummy bell. It allows extended, focussed teaching sessions, which have been shown to be a very effective way to learn.
Kevin Fox, 22/08/21