Making New Mistakes
Errorless learning refers to training techniques that are designed intentionally so that the learner does not make mistakes while learning new behavior. Errorless learning is often contrasted with trial-and-error learning, in which efforts may be correct or incorrect with the intention of mistakes also assisting in the learning process.
Are errors beneficial to learning? Does “error-free” learning create superior behavior? How do mistakes help or hinder the learner? Do errors develop resilience? Is it even possible to ensure that learning is errorless? If errors do have the capacity to support learning, how do trainers avoid negative outcomes (for example, decline in confidence, increased mistakes)? This Session on errorless learning versus learning with mistakes will lead you to ponder your own training program.
In this Session, Michele explores how these kinds of questions have impacted her 45 years of training horses, guide dogs for the blind, and dogs for competition sports. In Michele’s first 25 years of experience, she trained through traditional methods that relied on using errors to train dependable behavior. Her last 20 years of training have been filled with discovery through practicing positive reinforcement methods. Through these extremely contrasted experiences, Michele will delve into the hot topic of errorless learning versus learning with mistakes.