The importance of practice in learning

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No one can deny the importance of practice in learning or reinforcing the concepts we learn – whether it is school, college, sports, extracurricular or general life lessons.

And, that is precisely why, we love what Anton Chekhov, had to say  

Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.

Let’s understand this quote with a simple example. You want to be a teacher. So, you go on a search engine and start gathering whatever information you can. You also pick a school and go under training. When you graduate from this school, you have all the knowledge but you have not put that to practice yet. 

Do you think you will be the most awesome teacher right from the first class you take? Of course, not.

Gaining knowledge is only half the battle won. The other half comes through extensive practice and feedback. Many people struggle to put knowledge into practice and that is what the quote is all about.

Look,

It does not matter what subject you teach, there is bound to be a difference in students performance.

Because performance is affected a lot by how much students engage in deliberate practice. We are not referring to forced repetition or homework at home, we are referring to the practice that involves attention, repetition, interest, and motivation.  

Everyone has to do it. You would have done it in school and you would be still doing it. We all do multiple things again and again to achieve a goal we set for ourselves. That is practice. For students, this practice often gets boring and annoying.

And, as teachers or educational institutions, it is your responsibility to make it fun and to ensure students understand the benefit of practice in the long run.

So, how does practice REALLY help students? Why is the concept of practice so important in our lives?  Let’s take a look

  1. Helps improve your skills 

The reason is pretty obvious. Practice helps improve skills and make you better at what you do. If you routinely practice a certain skill, you will get good at it.

And, this happens with studying too. We all have been there – studying for long hours, practicing something we have learned over and over again for an exam or a test we have.

But, what happened with tests you haven’t put that practice into? You, most likely, did not perform as well as the one you studied for.

Similarly, you cannot go to a tennis class for a month and learn the skills by watching. You have to practice the skills. Same goes for everything else – math, communicative English, sports, speeches, etc.

If you do not practice a speech over and over again, you might feel uncomfortable with the idea of public speaking.

If you do not practice communicative English,  you will never be good at communication or dealing with people.

If you do not practice math, you will never understand how it works or what you are supposed to do.

Practice helps you implement what you have learned and get better at it.

  1. Boost self-confidence

What happens when you are confident in your skills?

You know how to play tennis.

You are comfortable with speaking in public.

You are good at math.

You are good at talking with people.

You are building self-confidence. Being able to effectively pull off a skill you have been practicing over time will give you the feeling of self-confidence (which, in fact, is significant in students today).

The reason is simple. When you practice something and you see results, it makes you happy and confident about how you can do it again. Of course, we don’t’ mean to say that practice will always show positive results. Sometimes the nerves get the best of us.

But, practice does allow you to trust yourself, be confident and be successful.  

Besides these two amazing benefits of practice, it also helps students

  • Retain knowledge for a longer time
  • In applying the knowledge automatically without having to think about it.
  • In applying the skill set to solving other problems

All of this is important for students to grow, learn and be successful in whatever they take up.

But, the question is – are students interested in practicing? Do we focus on deliberate practice? Do we try different ways to keep students interested in practicing?

The answer is no, no and no. Schools and teachers are focusing on improving learning in the classrooms, but very few are working towards ensuring students take up deliberate practice.

So, what can you do? Here are a few simple pointers that can help you

But, before that, you need to understand that practice requires extra effort which students may not find enjoyable in any way. Therefore, it is teachers responsibility to encourage students to practice more and make them understand that practice has actually improved their learning.

You can do this by expressing confidence in students ability to succeed and designing activities, homework, and games that motivate students to take up deliberate practice. Always design activities keeping the existing knowledge level of students in mind. If the practice activity is of optimum difficulty level, is enjoyable and doable at the same time, the benefits are maximized.

But, if the activity is extremely difficult, students often lose motivation and will not receive the benefits of the practice. In this case, they are less lilley to take up deliberate practice.

Timely and descriptive feedback is another important factor to motivate students to practice.

Playablo for schools automates implmenetation of these pointers and we will tell you exactly HOW:

  • Teachers can create unique gamified assignments for each skill for the entire classroom or an individual student. Meaning, you can keep the difficulty level optimum for all the students.
  • PlayAblo automated assignments save 20-25% of teacher’s time
  • Students can practice the skills before starting with an assignment. Meaning, they will gain experience on complexities in the skill before taking up an assignment. This boosts a students confidence.
  • You can provide instant feedback on the assignment. Playablo also allows the student to review the quizzes they have answered and track their Usage, Performance, and Ranking over a period of time.

So, are you ready to motivate students to take up deliberate practice? If you are interested in a demo for a gamified learning and assessment app, and how it can help you specifically – email us at curious@playablo.com or call us at +91-97408 78833. We would love to hear from you.

 

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