Doctor Coach

Don't teach more, coach better!

Self-Regulated Learning

The ultimate goal of Doctor Coach is to help learners develop the skills needed to become one of their own coaches by teaching them the deliberate practice framework of Doctor Coach. Through repeated cycles of deliberate practice in learning clinical skills, learners are ultimately able to begin using the cycle to coach themselves.  While learners still benefit greatly from working with a coach, they will become more able to determine the areas in which they would benefit from external assessment and training and thus better regulate their own learning.

What is self-regulated learning?

Self-regulated learning, or self-coaching, involves Donald Schon’s repetitive cycles of reflection, including: reflection on past performance, reflection for future performance, and reflection during performance.  Learners must first understand their performance expectations.  In an educational setting, the coach should clearly articulate the learning objectives, but beyond the training period, learners will need to determine what the performance expectations are.  Accurate reflection on past performance requires informed self-assessment or triangulation of the learner perspective by external data sources.  Thus, learners need to be taught how to solicit that necessary feedback and encouraged to do so.  The performance expectations should serve as a guide for obtaining feedback and creating a self-assessment.  Once learners are able to understand their current performance in relation to the expected performance, they can then reflect for future performance (set goals) to help them reach the next step or expected performance.  Finally, learners need to be able to follow-through on their goals and continue to reflect during their performance to refine their skills.  Over time developing an informed self-assessment and setting goals become easier and more automatic and learners can more readily reflect during performance, so that they can make corrections in real time.

Use of deliberate practice and self-regulated learning in Doctor Coach

Coaches can facilitate deliberate practice at each step of self-regulated learning, but should empower learners to work through each step with as much autonomy as they are capable of and step in with questions or suggestions to serve as guidance when necessary, but then quickly step back again so that learners continue to manage their own education.  We should share with them our learning objectives, but must also ask them to define their own goals.  We should share with them our assessment, but not before we ask them for their self-assessment and help them to effectively articulate it.  We should help guide them and facilitate their practice. This requires us to be nimble coaches who figure out and adapt to each learner’s unique learning needs.  While this approach can be challenging, in the long run it empowers learners to become able to coach themselves.  Don't teach more, coach better!