What Are the keys to making modeling work?

The keys to making modeling work in powerful ways are a) To use the tool properly and to understand its complexity, and b) to use it as part of an instructional system. The first is rather obvious, and the second highlights the fact that while modeling does work on its own, its power for training emerges when it is coupled with other steps in the training sequence. For more on an instructional model that will help you with that, click on the link above.

Some keys to using it properly:

  • Do not assume that learners will pay attention to the essential elements of what is modeled. Use a technique called cueing which involves pointing out the essential parts of the performance verbally while the learners observe.
  • Explain the rationale for the steps and sub-steps. The more learners understand the why's of the performance, the better they will perform both during and after training.
  • Model expert (desired performance), but augment them with modeling poor performance, and the consequences that occur as a result if that is possible and safe. This provide motivational force, and helps learners know what they should do, and what they should not do.
  • Use the whole-part-whole technique. First demonstrate the entire sequence to be learned as an overview. Then demonstrate each step in sequence. Then demonstrate the whole sequence as a whole again. This can be varied depending on the complexity and difficulty of the task to be learned.
  • Intersperse modeling with practice, particularly for complex behaviors.
  • Review prior to practice when possible (a form of response guidance)

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