Sarah Owings
Sarah Owings

Brave Learning 101

"Advanced training is just basic training....done very very well." --Ken Ramirez

course has started
1 November 2022


Next editions

April 2023

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This class is for anyone that has ever felt overwhelmed trying to teach something using positive reinforcement. You know you want your learner to do X Y Z, but have no idea where to start, or how to stay on track once you do get started. You aspire to this mythical thing called “errorless learning,” only to end up disheartened and demotivated when training sessions don’t go as planned. “Be a splitter, not a lumper.”  Maintain a high rate of reinforcement.” “Only say a cue once.”

There are so many rules and opinions about what good training is. It can sometimes be paralyzing.
In Brave Learning 101, we are going to have fun unpacking a few of these “rules.” Is it possible to achieve meaningful and effective communication with our learners without throwing all the babies out with the bathwater? In place of rigid, recipe-driven training, we are going to explore a more progressive approach where the primary principle at play is performance–feedback—revision.
Premium teams will be encouraged to pick one or two simple behaviors to explore for the full six weeks.  With “learning to learn” as the primary goal, it doesn’t really matter what the actual behavior is, or even how far along people get. I will help each person plan and reflect back on sessions, following a simple planning rubric. All participants will need to do is be brave, take the leap, and allow their learners to lead the way from there.
Prerequisites: a willingness to be brave and share your learning with others. All levels welcome. Before registering at premium level, please take a moment to reflect on time commitments. This class will be extra amazing if everyone is able to stay fully engaged in their projects for the full six weeks.
Course themes:
  • Principles over recipes
  • The power of learner-driven teaching
  • Performance–Feedback–Revision
  • Training in “Three Acts”
  • The Brave Learning Rubric for planning and assessment
  • How to hone in on meaningful goals for each training session
  • What is “errorless learning” really?
  • How to find the right starting point (and what to do if you’re wrong)
  • How to let antecedents work for you, not against you
  • How to avoid “cue pile ups”
  • How to identify when prerequisites are missing for something you are trying to teach
  • How to capitalize on previously learned repertoires
  • How to tell if your marker signals are effective
  • How to isolate cues within a context (aka “stimulus control”)
  • How to build resilience into your behaviors right from the start
  • How to develop reinforcement strategies that suit your learner’s needs in the moment
  • Knowing when to follow the rules and when it is okay to break them


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