Does length of experience ensure expertise? Contrary to what many people believe, skill level does not necessarily increase with experience. In some cases, performance may actually deteriorate if the skill is not maintained after training.

So, how do we create expertise? Research shows that expertise develops from deliberate practice that includes specific instructional tasks and goals, builds motivation, provides immediate feedback, and engages learners in problem solving, evaluation and repetition.

How can you provide deliberate practice for learners with DecisionSim? Create a series of short simulations that give learners specific tasks related to diagnosis or treatment. For example, one of our clients is creating a series of short cases on wound care. Designed to assess and develop expertise, this series will require clinicians to treat different types of wounds in short 10 to 15 minute simulations. A mentor provides feedback and instruction as learners make decisions diagnosing and treating the patient.

How can you build motivation? Use a gaming approach by providing scores. For example, you can use counters to track various decisions and challenge learners to reach certain milestones. You can inform learners of the scores that their peers and their mentors achieved on the same case, and challenge them to reach and exceed these values.

To learn more, read:

Deliberate Practice and Acquisition of Expert Performance: A General Overview by K. Anders Ericsson, 2008.