Goals & Objectives:
Several goals can be attributed to drill and practice exercises. They can
be used to build confidence as more answers are correctly provided. They
also help to reinforce important materials. Learners are also provided and
opportunity to practice critical skills and knowledge sets. Sample objectives
are shown next.
During and after performing the activity, students will...
- increase skill at performing the given task...
- increase speed at performing the given task...
- internalize the given information until it is an automatic assumption...
...as determined by successfully attending to 80% of rubric items.
In general, there are no prerequisites for drill and practice. It is commonly
used as a core set activity such as learning an alphabet. Prerequisites may
exist if more advanced knowledge sets are to be practiced. For example, you
would not use drill and practice in multiplication if the student does not
already know addition.
Materials and Resources:
The instructor must provide instruction in what is to be practiced. Depending
on the curriculum, worksheets may be produced on which the students work.
Guiding Questions for this Lesson:
There is not usually a guiding question in drill and practice exercises,
perhaps adding to the opposition of its use in more advanced thinking skills.
It is basically a technique used in process and declarative knowledge building
Lesson Outline and Procedure:
Before beginning a drill and practice exercise, the students must be informed
and taught the underlying principles. Once the principle has been demonstrated
or instructed, the students are given an activity, procedure, or worksheet
to complete. A set time limit is usually employed. Assessment should quickly
follow performance with opportunities for additional reinforcement and skill
building. Effective use of drill and practice will depend on linking the
activity to the actual skill that the instructor intends to develop.
Drill and practice activities can also be provided to students to do on
their own time and at their own pace, with assessment provided after they
have been completed. When appropriate, computer-based assessment can be used
to provide immediate feedback without instructor overseeing the activity,
such as in many mathematics drills.
- Kinesthetic drills should be in a real life situation.
- Avoid criticisms of student ability. It may be that the prerequisites
have not been met and the activity is not appropriate for the given student.
- Finish every drill.
- Studies have shown that children learn better individually rather than
in pairs when performing drill and practice exercises.
What accommodations may be needed for students with disabilities or other
special needs? Clearly, some physical disabilities will prohibit some kinesthetic
activities from being performed. Time may also become a factor for some students,
such as those with dyslexia, in performing some tasks since speed is often
part of the assessment in drill and practice exercises.
Drill and practice exercises are short term activities that are usually
completed in under 10 minutes. There should be follow-up reinforcement at
Ideas for Lesson Evaluation and Teacher Reflection:
How did the students like the lesson? End of semester evaluations should
ask about the usefulness and learning accomplished through such activities.
How was student learning verified? Participation can be assessed in discussion
sessions. In general, student work is assessed by the number of correct responses
or actions in a given time frame with process providing partial credit towards
the final grade.
- Audioblox, (n.d.) Teaching myth: Repetition and drill dull creativity.
Retrieved January 9, 2007, from http://www.audiblox2000.com/repetition.htm
- Handal, B., & Herrington, A. (2003). Re-examining categories of computer-based
learning in mathematics education. Contemporary Issues in Technology
and Teacher Education [Online serial], 3(3). Retrieved January
9, 2007, from http://www.citejournal.org/vol3/iss3/mathematics/article1.cfm
- Norman, D. A., & Spohrer,
J. C. (1996). Learner-centered education. IT Forum, 12. Retrieved
January 9, 2007, from http://itech1.coe.uga.edu/itforum/paper12/paper12.html - "Rote
learning and drill-and-practice are still essential to transform understanding
into automated skill, making the information and procedures available to
the mind without conscious effort."
- Saskatoon Public School Division, Inc., (2004). Instructional strategies
online: Drill & practice. Retrieved January 9, 2007, from http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/drill/index.html
- The Journal of Computer-Assisted Learning has many papers with discussions
on drill and practice.
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