Deliberate Learning

What is Deliberate Learning?

As a method to dramatically increase the ROI of learning events, in 2014 Practica Learning created Deliberate Learning. Participants benefit from a private, 1:1 tutorial-style experience that optimizes their learning, as they work with a Roleplayer Coach by telephone or video.

This approach is at its most effective for interpersonal applications like customer-facing sales and service, coaching, leadership, performance management, and diversity and change conversations. It is very effective for Leaders who do not have the time to spend one or two days in a traditional workshop and out-of-office.

How does it work?

Most learners already have some foundational knowledge of the concepts or skills they’re working on. In a 1:1 Deliberate Learning experience, they get to develop that understanding by focusing on each concept step-by-step. First they discuss each concept with their Roleplayer Coach, and then they practice – in a quick, targeted practice scenario – and receive feedback. Once they demonstrate understanding of the concept, their Roleplayer Coach moves them on to the next step in the process.

A one- or two-day coaching or sales workshop adapts easily into one or two 1:1 Deliberate Learning sessions of approximately 45 minutes each. The learning content can be derived from existing training or selected from our License-Free Programs.

Combine Deliberate Learning with Deliberate Practice for more lift.

Optimally, Deliberate Learning pairs with Deliberate Practice: In a later session, the participant works to cement their understanding of the concepts in three or four 1:1 Deliberate Practice scenarios that help hone their skills through feedback about how it felt to be in the conversation as well as skills-based coaching.

What’s the advantage?

Case Studies show that a 1:1 Deliberate Learning + 1:1 Deliberate Practice approach can cost up to 50% less than a traditional workshop.

Most importantly, a 1:1 interaction that challenges learners and gives them specific feedback and coaching at their own level is engaging and motivating. Research supports the claims of 70% to 80% retention when learning approaches leverage the tenets of Deliberate Practice: interleaved skills, spacing, targeted and measured feedback, and real-time interaction. People learn far more effectively when content is broken into smaller pieces and spaced over time, and when they receive targeted, real-time feedback that is measured and – crucially – contextually relevant and engaging.

Every Learning and HR professional knows that retention from traditional learning events (workshops, Instructor-Led Training, eLearning) is 12% to 15%. Although research proves this again and again, traditional approaches are still the most common method of knowledge transfer within organizations. Return on investment lowers even more dramatically if you factor in cost of travel and the lost opportunity and productivity of being out of office for one or two days – sitting in a frankly boring learning event.

A 1:1 Deliberate Learning +1:1 Deliberate Practice approach allows us to adapt to and build on the individual participant’s current knowledge and skill level, rather than asking them to sit through training that is targeted to the lowest common denominator. Download Deliberate Learning Position Paper

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Deliberate Pracitce

I have managed people for 18 years and I was amazed at how much value practicing was. I fall into the same patterns of behavior without thinking about them. Practica's coaching really helped me bring my skills to the next level.


HR Lead
They really understand what we’re trying to do and they reinforce it extremely well by integrating all the key points into their coaching feedback. Their level of professionalism is like nothing I’ve dealt with before.


Senior Learning Consultant
The Roleplayer Coaches were amazing: they were my client exactly. In fact, I forgot it was a practice session and almost hung up after the first scenario. This is the most realistic training I've ever experienced.


Financial Services Representative