Applying "Best Practices for Real (e)Learning" with Praktio (Part 1)

December 03, 2018

Praktio's founder, Michael Bloom, presented last week at the 2018 Professional Development Institute in DC.

The topic was "Best Practices for Real (e)Learning." We reviewed the learning science literature to make sure we're using best practices in all our training offerings, including our online products.

From that review, we drilled down on the following eight best practices supported by learning science, many of which are likely intuitive to you.

In this post, we'll discuss the first four of these best practices, including some ways in which Praktio puts these practices into action. In our next post, we'll tackle the rest.

1. CONTEXTObjectives, purpose, and intended outcomes

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Being explicit at the onset with learners about why they're being given training and how the training serves the learners' goals is likely to increase their interest in, and engagement with, the training (Salas et al. at
Tell me how Praktio does this... 
We offer kick-off calls with our organizational clients, as part of purchasing our training products for a group, where we invite someone from the firm to explain the firm's goals for the training and where someone from Praktio discusses the goals and methods of the training.
We also wrap our training explanations and exercises in realistic context, to demonstrate how the lessons and exercises transfer to the learner's work.

2. FRAMEWORKSConcepts for organizing and recalling content

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Providing a 20,000 foot view of the knowledge or skills to be taught helps the learner to understand how concepts connect with each other, which helps with understanding and retention. When you're learning something in a vacuum, it's hard to imagine how it applies, why it matters, how to file it away, and how to recall it later. When you first understand the process in which a specific task fits, or a hierarchy of concepts in which specific points of knowledge fit, you can then organize and retrieve that information more easily (Will Thalheimer at
Tell me how Praktio does this... 
Our courses are organized into modules that fit a logical model.
For example, in Contract Fundamentals, we introduce and a teach a simple three-part model for understanding the function of any contract provision. We then organize our deeper-dive modules on specific provisions according to that three-part model:
  1. prefatory/background provisions;
  2. operative/core provisions; and
  3. meta-contract/general provisions.
In Precision Training, we first introduce a typology of "nits" in the form of a practical proofreading checklist. The checklist is both a takeaway resource and a heads-up for the types of issues to find in the proofreading exercises. This typology led us to develop an exercise "tagging" feature, which powers our powerful adaptive learning capabilities and is a feature we're likely to make use of in future courses.
In DealSimulator: Analyzing Contracts, we organize the course modules into three parts:
  1. learning deal context;
  2. tools for understanding deal documents; and
  3. skills for understanding deal documents in context (putting #1 and #2 together).

3. RETRIEVAL PRACTICEExercises requiring learner to retrieve information from memory

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Requiring learners to practice applying learned information in later exercises helps improve retention (Will Thalheimer at
Tell me how Praktio does this... 
A hallmark of our training is interactive exercises. For example, Contract Fundamentals includes exercises strewn throughout the modules that require learners to recall and apply lessons from earlier in the same module as well as several moments requiring the learner to recall and apply lessons from different modules earlier in the course. 

4. REALISTIC APPLICATIONPractice in ways similar to how learner will do so in their work

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Giving learners opportunities to practice applying learning in ways similar to how they will need to apply that learning in their work improves learning results (Will Thalheimer at and Salas et al. at
Tell me how Praktio does this... 
All of Praktio's training occurs in the context of realistic practice.
We do this in Contract Fundamentals by providing explanations of practical contracts lessons in the context of a real-world contract and the application of those lessons in exercises with realistic scenarios presented by a client or supervisor character.
Precision Training presents a series of proofreading exercises in real-world documents (either contracts or litigation documents).
Deal Simulator doubles down on this approach, wrapping the entire course in three realistic deals.
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We'll pick up here next time to discuss these additional four best practices and how Praktio implements them:
  • Spaced Repetition
  • Deliberate Practice
  • Feedback
  • Safe Environment



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