5 Powerful Reasons Why To Use Errorless Learning


Regardless of the grade you teach, errorless learning can be a powerful tool in your classroom instruction. But during observations and other classroom visits, you may have a hard time explaining to other people why errorless learning is important and how it impacts your students’ success.

Here are five reasons why errorless learning can not only increase student performance but also build their confidence and make your classroom run more smoothly.

Be sure to grab the free download at the end of this post for some ways to incorporate errorless learning into our classroom routine.

1. Errorless learning helps students learn HOW to complete an activity.

Before learning new content, we need to give our students a chance to learn how to do certain activities. For example, if you want students to use a circle map to illustrate the main points from a lesson, you want them to already be familiar with what a circle map is and how it works.

ocean circle map used for errorless learning

Having students use a tool with only correct answer choices gives them the foundation they need when faced with unfamiliar or new content.

Just think about it. You likely first learned to ride a bike on your driveway or in your neighborhood. It was probably a while before you ventured onto an unknown road or terrain. Riding your bike on a trail successfully only happens when all you have to do is focus on the trail, not HOW to ride a bike.

So, give your students lots of practice using certain tools in an errorless manner before combining them with new or unfamiliar content.

2. Errorless learning increases participation.

When students feel more confident, they are more likely to participate. In addition, it increases interaction and engagement because all the answers they provide will be correct.

Errorless learning gives you many more opportunities to reinforce their interaction and attempts to participate.

Imagine being observed when doing an errorless lesson. It is very likely, the observer will not notice the activity is errorless, but instead, will see equal and active engagement by all the students in the group. A win all around!!

3. Errorless learning can be adapted to multiple learning levels.

Did you know errorless learning can be differentiated?

It is very likely, you will have students at very different learning levels sitting at your table, all trying to engage in the same lesson with the same material. How can you use that same circle map in an errorless way for your higher-level learners?

If you have students who are able to read and write more independently, you can give them the same circle map with only correct answers, but rather than cutting and pasting the pictures in place, they can copy the answers by writing them directly onto the circle map.

circle map on the Civil War with words used for errorless learning

Now the exact same worksheet can be used for more than one learning level.

I have two blog posts that go into more detail about differentiating worksheets and other learning activities. One is How to Add Color-Coding to Any Worksheet. The other is Differentiating One Activity in 3 Ways.

4. Using errorless learning builds confidence and independence.

Students who receive a lot of reinforcement and positive feedback will be more likely to stay engaged and participate more often. Providing many opportunities for participation and response with the knowledge that the answer will always be correct (at least in the beginning) you are likely to see a more rapid spike in engagement and learning.

Students often won’t know the activity is errorless. Most students won’t recognize the subtle differences in the worksheets being used by other students in their group. It will feel totally natural to praise and reward students for their participation even though the activity is errorless.

Finally, because these activities are errorless, students can complete them with less supervision and interaction from adults. Interrupting students and pointing out correct answers not only lessens their confidence and independence but has the potential of making them dependent upon adults for help. We want students to know they are able to complete an activity on their own.

5. Reviewing past material using errorless learning.

Most errorless activities can serve double duty as review tools. This may be to review for an upcoming assessment or used in an independent learning center.

Because these activities are errorless, you know the material they are reviewing is correct. In addition, you know that parents and perhaps other paraprofessionals who may be reviewing the material with the student have the correct information as well.

Wondering HOW to make activities you already have errorless?

Click on the link below (no email needed) to immediately download a quick cheat sheet on how to turn various activities into errorless ones quickly and efficiently!





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