Learning Design Challenge #26: Teach Your Pet a Useful Skill (Solution)

Learning Design Challenge #26: Teach Your Pet a Useful Skill (Solution)

Sometime you just don’t have much to work with when it comes to the participant in your learning environment model.

Such is the case with Fred.


He’s a good trainer but a lousy trainee. Still, if I can design a learning environment that works for him… And, it’s not like I have to start from scratch. Kate Reynolds has already helped me along by posting this learning design for teaching her rabbit to walk up a ramp. If a rabbit can do it, surely there’s hope for Fred.

So, armed with great confidence and the knowledge that others have passed this way successfully before me, I have designed my own learning environment model for teaching almost any pet a useful skill (even Fred).

This model begins, of course with soothing dialogue and a bit of food. Let the pet know that this will definitely be more fun for her/him than it will be fore me.

Next, I move into the instruction phase. Here, I model the skill, step-by-step, so that my pet will understand what I’m expecting (or decide that the owner has finally lost it completely). After the modeling, things get really serious. By alternating between food and stern/comical lectures, I coax the pet into practicing the skill with great flair (the pet and me, most likely).

Finally, the pet is ready to perform this amazing skill on her/his own. Success at last. My pet has learned a useful skill.

At least that’s what the model says.

Teaching Pets Useful Skills - Pet Instruction Model
(Click to see larger version.)

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