An Exploration of Deliberate Practice in Online and In-person Graduate Education


Deliberate practice (DP) (Ericsson,1993), is an evidence-based method that helps to build competency, mastery, and effectiveness in application based educational programs. Key components of DP include a) observing one’s own work, b) getting immediate and specific feedback, c) setting small goals within the learner’s zone of proximal development, d) engaging in repetitive rehearsal, and e) continuously assessing performance (Blow et. al, 2022). DP was used to develop therapy skills with five separate learning groups of Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) Master’s students and supervision skills with their CFT doctoral student counterparts. Each group was comprised of approximately 5-7 Master’s students, 2 doctoral students, and 2 faculty. DP exercises were conducted in both online and in-person learning environments. Graduate program faculty supervised both doctoral and master’s students learning within pre-prepared role play activities designed to push students toward mastery in a supportive environment that encouraged growth. DP is an innovative applied practice methodology that offers an opportunity to be used within a critical pedagogical framework to deconstruct power and privilege in a socially just manner. Through our early experiences, we have found that DP can be as effective online as it can be in-person within an applied education environment. Program assessment and evaluation is ongoing utilizing the skills and expertise of faculty and doctoral students.


Lucille Byno
Professor and Department Chairperson, Applied Psychology, Antioch University, New Hampshire, United States

Markie Twist
Teaching Faculty, Applied Psychology, Antioch University New England, Nevada, United States

Danielle Samuel
Adjunct Faculty, California State University, United States

Noemi Correa _
Student, PhD In Couple and Family Therapy, Antioch University New England, New Hampshire, United States

Dawn Wilson
Associate Director, Princeton University , United States

Alisha Bachman Alisha Bachman
Owner/ Clinician, Evergreen Therapy PLLC, Washington, United States

Jessica Fountas
Doctoral Student in Couple and Family Therapy and Teaching Fellow, Applied Psychology , Antioch University New England , New Hampshire, United States

Kristi Harrison
Program Director and Core Faculty, Counseling, Psychology, and Therapy School, Relational Therapies Division, Antioch University, United States

Lydia P. Perry
Student, PhD, Antioch University, New Hampshire, United States

Marissa Zerby
Student, Ph.D, Antioch University New Hampshire, United States


Presentation Type

Workshop Presentation


2023 Special Focus—Smart Education 4.0 Empowering Learners and Educators


Deliberate Practice, Online Education, Innovative Pedagogy

Digital Media


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