Deliberate Practice

by Academy of Clinical Excellence on August 4, 2011

A colleague sent me this interesting article, Composition 1.01: How Email Can Change the Way Professors Teach. It describes how Whittier-Ferguson, a Professor of English at the University of Michigan, is using email to help his students become more proficient writers.

Through the use of emails, Professor Whittier-Ferguson is giving his students feedback in real time as they are composing their writing assignments. This feedback from the expert in real-time while the student is "practicing" their writing creates the teachable moment at just the right time for growth.

This careful observation coupled with specific feedback is at the cornerstone of deliberate practice.

In clinical medicine, engaging in deliberate practice (with observation and feedback to trainees and colleagues) may be easier than doing so in writing. Nonetheless, this piece has prompted me to reflect about innovative and better ways of doing this.


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meg August 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Here's a link to the book about which Heffernan is writing:http://www.cathydavidson.com/books/now-you-see-it-book-description/Looks like it will be highly relevant to medical learners, too. I'm excited about the possibility of helping students process powerful clinical experiences via medically professional blogging!

meg August 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I like the idea of meeting students where they are. You might be interested in reading Virginia Heffernan's piece on new book about need for education reform. Especially relevant is the section of the post on the research paper vs. blog. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/author/virginia-heffernan/

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