Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Timely Message About Practice

Who is responsible for practice, repetition and feedback in a lab setting, or a school setting? The real answer to this is niether harsh nor difficult. The responsibility is shared among the student, teacher, those who have an interest in the student's learning such as parents, and product or curriculum developer. As a student becomes older, they take on a greater role regarding truly repeating, practicing, and seeking feedback. High quality feedback is still what the teacher or product can provide and is essential!

This post is really about more than practice, but how to view this topic in the midst of summer in America. This is a time when most students reload and relax. As July ends, and August processes, students, parents and educators all view the upcoming year with excitement and optimism. Unfortunately, that optimism is replaced with struggle for many not long after Labor Day. I hope to propose something that might aid with this!

This time during the summer is the time to plan how practice and repetition will be differnt this coming school year, or in the upcoming semester. Have you ever heard: "Do what you've always done and you'll get what you always got?" This is true with regard to habits of work and study. If you want to improve a result, improve your habits, and the most important habits to improve in the learning process are those of practice, repetition and feedback. Think now about how you will practice differently when late August rolls around. Let this blog, and other influencers, help you with strategizing your new plan of practice.

As part of full disclosure, I am a Director of Instructional Design with, a leading provider of online educational courses and other products, and online schools. I am telling you this because I read a fine blog post called Steps to Success: Middle School to High School Transition Strategies for Parents and Students by Ashlee MacQuerrie. After reading through well thought out sentences I saw the first bullet point of advice "Adopt a new mindset." This is really a combination of different attitudes AND habits. It struck me as of such importance that I changed my topic for this post and felt compelled to blog, highlighting that this time of the year lays the foundation for success in the coming year. 

At least, commit to more efficient practice. You will find that you have learned more, better and have the satisfaction of higher grades. I have written in broad generalities here to both students and parents - I would LOVE to hear about your specific situation and questions. Feel free to comment or question. It might be that reaching out and asking about how to create more efficient practice habits may be the first new habit you build that makes this coming school year your finest learning experience.

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