Drills and Practice

Definition

Drill and practice is a behaviorist-aligned technique in which students are given the same materials repeatedly until mastery is achieved.

Drill and practice exercises help to reinforce important materials. 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

 

Basic Assumptions and Principles

Effective use of drill and practice depends on the recognition of the type of skill being developed, and the use of appropriate strategies to develop these competencies.

There is a place for drill and practice mainly for the beginning learner or for students who are experiencing learning problems.

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.

 

Classroom Implication and Teaching Strategies

Drills are usually repetitive and are used as a reinforcement tool. Its use, however, should be kept to situations where the teacher is certain that it is the most appropriate form of instruction.

 

Teaching Strategies

  • Drills should be in a real life situation.
  • Drills should be meaningful to learners.
  • Good drill and practice software provides feedback to students, explains how to get the correct answer, and contains a management system to keep track of student progress.
  • When appropriate, computer-based assessment can be used to provide immediate feedback without instructor overseeing the activity, such as in many mathematics drills.
  • Drill and practice packages may use games to increase motivation. In most cases the student is motivated to answer these questions quickly and accurately by the inclusion of a gaming scenario, as well as colourful and animated graphics.