Reviewed and revised 24 July 2014
- Deliberate practice involves repetitive performance of intended cognitive or psychomotor skills in a focused domain, coupled with rigorous skills assessment
- the term was coined by Ericsson, in the setting of instructional science research
- applies to both novices and experts
- the feedback need not be from someone more expert at the task than the learner, just skilled observers who give effective feedback (e.g. elite sports coaches)
- allows skills to be maintained and developed over time
According to McGaghie et al (2010) Deliberate Practice incorporates the following features:
- highly motivated learners, with good concentration, who address
- well-defined learning objectives or tasks at an
- appropriate level of difficulty, with
- focused, repetitive practice that yields
- rigorous, reliable measurements, that provide
- informative feedback from educational sources (e.g. simulators, teachers), that promotes
- monitoring, error correction, and more deliberate practice, that enables
- evaluation and performance that may reach a mastery standard, where learning time may vary but expected minimal outcomes are identical, and allows
- advancement to the next task or unit.
- some tasks (e.g. rarely performed medical procedures) are not easily repeatable
- repetition of simulations is resource and time intensive
- repeated experiences should not be identical, but relate to a common theme
- identification of key cognitive and psychomotor components that require repetition and analysis to improve performance of complex tasks
- more powerful predictor of superior expert performance than experience or academic aptitude (Ericsson 2006)
References and Links
- Ericsson KA. 2004. Deliberate practice and the acquisition and maintenance of expert performance in medicine and related domains. Acad Med 79(suppl 10):70–81.
- Ericsson KA. 2006. The influence of experience and deliberate practice on the development of superior expert performance. In: Ericsson KA, Charness N, Feltovich PJ, Hoffman RR, editors. The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. pp 683–703.
- McGaghie WC. 2008. Research opportunities in simulation-based medical education using deliberate practice. Acad Emerg Med 15:995–1001.
- McGaghie WC, Issenberg SB, Petrusa ER, Scalese RJ. 2010a. A critical review of simulation-based medical education research: 2003–2009. Med Educ 44:50–63.