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Adult Learner > Strategies > Guided Practice

Guided Practice


Opportunities for students to practice skills in context, with instructor support and also independently, helps to move concepts and ideas into Long-term Memory. Through guided practice, the instructor or facilitator gradually releases scaffolds, allowing learners to develop independence. When content information and processes are broken down into smaller chunks and learners are allotted practice time in between, learning is strengthened. This is particularly true for literacy instruction where guided practice reinforces Foundational Reading Skills.

Use It In Your Learning Environment

During periods of direct instruction, instructors can model different skills, introduce new concepts, and have students practice in small groups or independently. This can be facilitated in person or through online forums. In either setting, instructors should be available to assist students during this process, ensuring honest and open feedback is provided to remedy mistakes.

Guided practice is most efficient when the instructor poses questions that require learners to rehearse, process, and recall the new material. For new material to be internalized and stored in learners' Long-term Memory, developers must facilitate this rehearsal and recall process. For example, they can embed reflection questions and additional explanations or examples as learners practice and retrieve the material. This practice bolsters learners' Speed of Processing by supporting their abilities to retrieve stored information from their Long-term Memory.