Hard Skills Demand Deliberate Practice

adult learning course creator course design Jul 22, 2021
Boost LD
Hard Skills Demand Deliberate Practice

Course creators, listen up. There are really cool ways to get participants to practice super hard skills. Getting people to practice in an asynchronous course requires ingenuity. Manja and Doug recently talked about how to create these deliberate practice opportunities. Listen to the whole episode or read a synopsis here.


How do you get learners to actually learn a new skill? How do you actually change behavior?

At the risk of sounding cliche, the answer is simple: practice, practice, practice.

And by that, I mean, deliberately practice, practice, practice.

Deliberate practice is experiential learning

Yes, there's a difference. Deliberate practice is experiential learning. It moves beyond peer role playing (that can be awkward and ineffective when your peers know little more than you know) and moves toward simulating real life.

Doug Robertson has vast experience developing these sorts of learning experiences. As AVP Business Development at Practica Learning, he specializes in (you guessed it) experiential learning through role play.

According to Doug, building simulations into learning design is essential for practicing and actually developing communication skills, leadership skills, or coaching skills. This deliberately pairs instructional knowledge transfer and interactive skills practice.

In Doug's work, he uses actors in one-on-one simulations to truly immerse learners into real-world role-playing practice. This allows the actor-coaches to give feedback directly targetting the learner's real skill level (not a faked competence). But deliberate practice can also be facilitated asynchronously.

Why is deliberate practice worthwhile

Well, according to Doug, learners love the experience and, since learner behavior actually changes, businesses love the results of working with Practica Learning.

Deliberate learning is only one topic that Doug shares insight on. He also discusses the importance of learner safety during role-playing and how this methodology supports having hard conversations about diversity and inclusion.

Catch the full conversations in the tenth episode, listen to it here.


About Our Guest

Doug Robertson, AVP, Business Development, Practica Learning Inc.

Doug Robertson is a passionate and innovative learning leader, facilitator, and designer. He partners with clients to design, develop and deliver skills training. A former learning corporate partner, he is an expert at helping companies drive up learning application and retention through experiential learning – in particular using the methodology of deliberate practice. He earned his MBA (Financial Services) at Dalhousie University in 2004, and holds certificates in Leadership, Project Management and Adult Education.

About Your Greatest Work

Through conversations with global leaders and the credibility of personal industry, Your Greatest Work digs deeper into learning design in useful and applicable ways. The tenth episode is out now, listen to it here.

Stay tuned for coming episodes. Let's start the conversation about making your current work into your greatest work.

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