CastingImprovingOverwatch

Ham’s Hints

Instructional and Experiential Learning

10/11/18

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Hey everyone! I’m Evie “HamTornado” Feng, an OW color caster and mentor with Broadcast.gg. Welcome to my ongoing series, Ham’s Hints!  In each post, I will focus on and develop one concept, drawn from my personal experience, that of my colleagues, or from VOD review, that can help improve your shoutcasting.

These posts are intended to help casters who are looking for tips to polish their craft or even troubleshoot any difficulties they may encounter. For those just starting out, check out BGG’s Foundations of Shoutcasting.

Today, I’ll be discussing two different modes of learning that are important to how we absorb information and incorporate it in our casts. These two types of learning are: instructional learning and experiential learning. These models aren’t applied to casting in exactly the same way they’re applied in general education, but the fundamental principles are still valuable.

Instructional learning, also known as didactic learning, involves a teacher passing along information with the student as a mostly passive listener. For example, during VOD review, the caster may receive feedback that “overtime fights should be hype because of the high stakes involved”.

In contrast, experiential learning occurs by doing. Here, the student actively participates in the learning process. In the same scenario, the caster may be asked to “recast that fight as if it was overtime, with hype at 10 out of 10”.

Instructional learning is a crucial part of growing as a caster. You can quickly increase your knowledge by watching pro casters, reading articles, or getting feedback on your own casting. Sometimes, you don’t know where you can be improving until someone points it out. For example, recognizing you always catching throws with “yeah, absolutely” (a HamTornado classic), is the first step to varying your phrasing.

Experiential learning comes in when you begin to execute on the knowledge you’ve gained through instructional learning. Taking a theoretical concept, ie. “varying transitions”, and turning it into something you can do without thinking requires repetition. We’ve all been exasperated before, “If I know I should do such and such, why can’t I just do it?” The only surefire way to progress is to do – particularly in casting. This means more time and more games, slowly accruing familiarity and comfort with new topics and practices.

The takeaway is don’t get frustrated by lack of apparent progress in one or two casts. The experiential aspect of learning is just as important as the instructional portion. Understanding a casting concept doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it right away, so give yourself time to practice and keep on the grind.

If you’re having a hard time finding live scrims, casting over VODs is a great way to practice as well. Broadcast.gg’s twitch channel has a library of VODs ranging from scrim nights to Contenders. Pick a VOD, hit mute, and cast away!

Break a tooth,

Ham

HamTornado

OW Contenders SA caster; mentor and project manager at Broadcast.gg. Premier meat-weather-phenomenon based caster

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