What is Drill & Practice?
As an instructional strategy, drill & practice is familiar to all educators. It quot;promotes
the acquisition of knowledge or skill through repetitive practice.quot; It refers to small
tasks such as the memorization of spelling or vocabulary words, or the practicing of
arithmetic facts and may also be found in more sophicated learning tasks or physical
education games and sports. Drill-and-practice, like memorization, involves
repetition of specific skills, such as addition and subtraction, or spelling. To be
meaningful to learners, the skills built through drill-and-practice should become the
building blocks for more meaningful learning.
What is its purpose?
Drill and Practice activities help learners master materials at their own pace. Drills
are usually repetitive and are used as a reinforcement tool. Effective use of drill and
practice depends on the recognition of the type of skill being developed, and the use
of appropriate strategies to develop these competencies. There is a place for drill and
practice mainly for the beginning learner or for students who are experiencing
learning problems. Its use, however, should be kept to situations where the teacher
is certain that it is the most appropriate form of instruction.
How can I do it?
Drill and practice software packages offer structured reinforcement of previously
learned concepts. They are based on question and answer interactions and should
give the student appropriate feedback. Drill and practice packages may use games to
increase motivation. Teachers who use computers to provide drill and practice in
basic skills promote learning because drill and practice increases student acquisition
of basic skills. In a typical software package of this type, the student is able to select
an appropriate level of difficulty at which questions about specific content materials
are set. In most cases the student is motivated to answer these questions quickly
and accurately by the inclusion of a gaming scenario, as well as colourful and
animated graphics. Good drill and practice software provides feedback to students,
explains how to get the correct answer, and contains a management system to keep
track of student progress.
How can I adapt it?
There has been a definite move away from paper-based drill and practice systems to
computer-based systems. Drill and practice exercises with appropriate software can
enhance the daily classroom experience. Given the personalized, interactive nature
of most software, the computer can lend itself to providing extended, programmed
practice. Used in small doses, electronic learning experiences can supplement any
lesson effectively. Certain software allow students to reinforce specific skills in a
certain subject area. Although not as easily integrated across the curriculum, drill
and practice software can be useful. It usually comes in one of two formats. The first
focuses on a specific subject area or a part of that area. The most common areas are
reading and math. The second type attempts to improve skills in several areas of the
curriculum. As with all other types of software, the teacher needs to determine if
technology is the best way to work with the subject matter being dealt with.
Games provide child centered activities to apply problem solving strategies as well as
an opportunity to practice basic skills.
Basic Skills Practice Cards can be designed to be used in many different formats.
They can be used with a game board, in a lotto format or as flashcards.
transitive verb practiced -·ticed, practicing -·tic·ing
1. to do or engage in frequently or usually; make a habit or custom
of to practice thrift
2. to do repeatedly in order to learn or become proficient; exercise or drill oneself
in to practice batting
3. to put into practice; specif.,
a. to use one's knowledge of; work at, esp. as a profession to practice law
b. to observe, or adhere to (beliefs, ideals, etc.) to practice one's religion
4. to teach or train through practice; exercise
Etymology: ME practisen < MFr practiser, altered < practiquer <
ML practicare < LL practicus < Grpraktikos, concerning action, practical
< prassein, to do
1. to do something repeatedly in order to learn or acquire proficiency; exercise or
drill oneself to practice on the organ
2. to put knowledge into practice; work at or follow a profession, as medicine,
3. to scheme; intrigue
1. the act, result, etc. of practicing; specif.,
a. a frequent or usual action; habit; usage to make a practice of being
b. a usual method or custom; convention the practice of tipping for
a. repeated mental or physical action for the purpose of learning or
b. a session of engaging in such action cheerleading practice
c. the condition of being proficient or skillful as a result of this to be out
3. the doing of something as an application of knowledge the practice of a theory
a. the exercise of a profession or occupation the practice of law
b. a business based on this, often regarded as a legal property to buy
another's law practice
5. intrigue, trickery, a scheme, etc.
6. the various procedures involved in legal work, in and out of courts
1. A customary action
habit, usage, use, wont; see custom 2, tradition 1.
2. A method
mode, manner, fashion; see method 2, system 2.
converse of object
promote: Guide promotes best practice by all those
involved in managing the coast in England.
• good: There are many examples of good practice being
carried out by them on a daily basis.
modifies a noun
nurse: Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular
family doctor or practice nurse.
noun used with modifier
GP: Many already work with NHS trusts, hospices and GP practices.
Drill-and-practice activities build on a simple testing cycle. The system presents a
problem, which the learner tries to solve. The system provides feedback on the
learner's solution before posing another problem. Then the cycle repeats.
The Practice recognizing nautical flags activity teaches learners to recognize nautical
flags. This part of the exercise teaches the learner to recognize individual flag
patterns and associate them with letters of the alphabet. The learner views a
grouping of flags and then types in the equivalent letters.
After entering the answer, the learner clicks Check to see if the answer was correct.
Then, the learner can click Next to see another problem.
This example has another feature. Learners can enter a word, then click Translate to
see what flag configurations spell that word.
Here is another example of a drill-and-practice activity. This one teaches learners to
understand the semaphore flag system. It is built using the same template as the
nautical flag example.
About the examples
Business Definition for: Drill Down
• to access data or information organized in hierarchical form by starting from general
information and moving through increasingly detailed data
Wiktionary Definition for: Drill Down
• to examine information at another level or in greater detail; especially in a database,
to navigate to a more detailed level or record
• Ex:''From the employee list, you can drill down to find addresses and pay history.''
• (marching band) an internal competition used to practice marching commands, in
which the last person caught improperly executing a command wins
• Ex:''We knew someone had lost when the last two people in the drill down ended up
facing each other.''
Advanced Drill String Metallurgy Provides Enabling Technology
for Critical Sour Drilling
This paper provides background information on the evolution of sour service
drill pipe, introduces advancements in sour service drill pipe metallurgy and
manufacturing technology, discusses recently developed specifications for
sour service drill pipe and presents case histories where various generations
of sour service drill pipe have been successfully used.
Tags: Metallurgy, Service, Grant Prideco, Manufacturing
White papers 2002-01-22
Drill sergeants get trophy at next small arms
Drill Sergeants Get Trophy at Next Small Arms Championships--The U.S.
Army Marksmanship Unit has announced that there will be a new trophy
awarded at the 2006 All-Army Small Arms Championships to be conducted in
March. The High Drill Sergeant Trophy will be awarded to the top scoring drill
Tags: U.S. Army
Research articles 2005-09-01
Coolant-fed drill for deep
holesMitsubishi Materials USA,
The company introduces the Miracle W Star 8 X D coolant-fed drill. Cutting
edge and flute design features achieve drilling depths of eight times the drill
diameter. The deep-hole drill may he used on machining centers that do not
require high-pressure coolant as a result of excellent chip control and...
Tags: drill, Mitsubishi Corp.
Research articles 2004-09-01
Moneta - Excellent
January 1997 Michaud
TIMMINS, ONTARIO--BUSINESS WIRE--Feb. 14, 1997--(TSE ME.) Moneta
Porcupine Mines Inc. (quot;Monetaquot;) announced initial 1997 drill results on the
Michaud Properties in which Barrick Gold Corp. is earning 60 percent - 70
percent interest by the expenditure of $6.5 million. The 1997 drill...
Tags: Business Wire, continuity, Ontario, Strategy
Research articles 1997-02-14
Drill Pipe for
This paper discusses the modeling and analysis of 5, 5-1/2, 5- 7/8 and 6-5/8
in. titanium drill pipe in ultra-deep and deep directional drilling programs.
Using a computer based drill string simulator, modeling a representative deep
directional well, titanium drill strings were compared to the same size steel
An Introduction to Computer Based Instruction
There are a variety of terms used to describe the educational use of computer
and each has a slighlty different meaning. Computer Assisted Learning (CAL)
is an all encompassing term to describe any educational use of computers. Such
uses can be divided into three main groups: (1) when the computer is used as a
tool (word processor, data base, spread sheet, and graphics application); (2)
when the student 'teaches' the computer, for example, by issuing a set of
instructions to the computer through a programming language such as Logo,
and (3) when the computer delivers some instructional material (Taylor 1980).
This latter situation is termed Computer Based Instruction (CBI) or Computer
Assisted Instruction (CAL) which is an older term than CBI. This paper will
only deal with the third aspect of the use of computers in education, computer
Computer Based Instruction has traditionally been composed of four main
components, Drill and Practice, Tutorials, Games and Simulation and
Modelling. Modern technologies have added to these Hypertext, Hypermedia
and Multimedia. These new technologies will be deal with in detail later in the
Drill and Practice was probably the most extensively used CBI application in
the early days of the educational use of computers. It can be argued that there
were two main reasons for this; (1) they were comparatively easy to program,
which was important as there was little available commercial software and so
teachers who wished to use computers had often to write much of the software
themselves; (2) the programs could show off effectively the capabilities of the
computer and this was important for the computer-enthusiast teacher as it could
help to win over colleagues to the cause, and hopefully, result in more money
being spent on computers in schools.
A drill and practice program typically deals with material that has already been
taught. The student is presented with a task, often selected randomly, and
feedback is offered immediately it is completed. A well constructed program of
this type should be able to keep pace with the student by offering remedial or
advanced level if and when they become necessary (Hannafin and Peck 1988,
4). There is a place for drill and practice mainly for the beginning learner or for
students who are experiencing learning problems. Their use, however, should
be kept to situations where the teacher is certain that they are the most
appropriate form of instruction.
Tutorials attempt to teach new materials. Typically they present information
and then question the user to ascertain the level of learning achieved. The
program should be able to monitor the student's progress and to present
remedial or advanced levels if and when required. The tutorial is based on the
Socratean model but Merrill (Twitchell 1991, 35) cautions that quot;Socrates is
highly over-rated. We give too much credit to tutoring as a modelquot;.
From a practical point of view, the computer tutorial is very limitted in its
ability to assess the level of understanding of the student. In the classroom
situation, when teachers ask questions, they can assess the level of
understanding of the topic, the degree of comfort with the material, etc., by not
only listening to the answer given, but also by observing the speed with which
it is given, the degree of hesitation, the body language of the student, and so on.
The computer, however, is only capable of responding to the answer given,
usually by typing characters on a keyboard. A teacher can accept a slightly
wrong answer and probe deeper to get the correct one. The computer can
normally only respond to a small number of possible answers and often cannot
cope with a slightly incorrect answer; for example, if the expected answer is
apples and the student enters apple, the computer will frequently reject it which
can result in a considerable degree of frustration on the part of the student.
There is also a problem from the designer's point of view; after a screen of
information has been presented, it is difficult to determine which question will
demonstrate an understanding of all the information that has been given.
Research is being conducted in the production of Intelligent Tutoring Systems
which should overcome this problem, but these will depend upon artificial
intelligence (AI), however, some people state that the true meaning of AI is
Educational games are normally placed in a group of their own, but in practice
it is often difficult to differentiate between games, drill and practice programs
or simulations. It is possible to have a game and a drill and practice program
that contain the same content, but which have a different end result For
example, the game Maths Invaders has the same content as a drill and practice
program in that users are asked to complete a number of sums, but the outcome
is different as when a question is answered correctly, as in the game the student
gets to shoot down an alien. A game can also have the format of a simulation
but the major difference between the two is that a simulation normally models a
real life situation whereas a game can model an imaginary one. Games also
have a place to play in the classroom especially as a way of increasing the
motivational levels of students. However, they should be used with care. Many
students, especially boys, spend a lot of time playing computerised games and
it is important that the classroom computer is not seen solely as another games
Simulation programs normally model some real life situation and they enable
students to manipulate and experiment with it. The normal justification for
using them is in situations where the real thing is too expensive, too dangerous
or too time consuming. For example, students would not normally be able to
observe the evolution of a species as it would take too long but the whole
process could be observed in a very short period of time on a computer
simulation. While simulations have a potential to be useful in the classroom,
they do have some draw backs. These will be considered in more detail later.
ypes of Computer Technology
Computers have been described as used in three ways as a tutor, tool, or a tutee
1. Tutorial software assists students as a quot;tutorquot; to help them learn specific
2. Software quot;toolsquot; help students present their work for example by using
word-processing, database, or spreadsheet programs.
3. quot;Tuteequot;, has been described as a situation where the students teach the
computer for example by using programming software. Reeves and
Jonasssen, 1996 say that when using the quot;computer-as-tuteequot; approach,
students develop higher-order thinking skills and creativity by teaching the
computer to perform tasks.
Tutorial / Drill-and-Practice Software
Increased accountability has put more pressure on teachers to meet curriculum
outcomes and to ensure student performance (Marshall and Hillman, 2000).
Tutorial and drill-and-practice software can be very helpful in this regard to help
students master basic skills and is based on behaviorist theory. Tutorials present
a new concept and provide step by step instructions on how to complete a
certain objective, for example a tutorial in a new software program. Drill-and-
practice software reinforces basic skills for example spelling words, development
of reading vocabulary, or typing programs. Spelling, vocabulary, and typing are
important skills that would enhance student performance when composing
independent written work. Wepner, Valmont, and Thurlow (2000) say that the
majority of experts agree that typing instruction should occur around grade five
and that primary students should become familiar with letter keys, the return key,
the space bar, and the home row. There is also a wide variety of drill-and-
practice software available for improving letter recognition and for developing
phonics skills (Wepner et al., 2000). Enhancing student’s letter knowledge and
phonological awareness skills is a priority goal for kindergarten students and is a
key to success in learning to read (National Research Council, 1998).
Lowe (2001) defines computer-based education as the process or management
of instruction that uses a microcomputer as the medium. Lowe (2001) says that:
The demands of World War II helped accelerate the development of the
computer and computer-based education came about as a means of
providing cost efficient training to the military during the Vietnam War.
Behavioral theories of learning influenced early computer-based education
but as computer technology became more sophisticated, software
changed from focusing on behavioral theories to cognitivist theories.
Computer-based education provides an alternative way for learners to
reach their goals independently in self-directed and self-paced learning
Computer-based education positively affects student achievement when
compared to traditional classroom instruction although it should only be
used to supplement traditional instruction and not replace it.
Schery and O'Connor (1997) discuss the use of computer based intervention to
teach language and communication skills to students with disabilities. They found
that the students attained the most rapid vocabulary gains during the time of
additional computerized instruction. The authors recommend technology
because computers are:
provide attention to the student at the student's own pace
provide immediate reinforcement
very motivational because of the animation and colour graphics used in
synthesized speech has also been found extremely useful for non-verbal
students because it provides a means for verbal output
computerized instruction using groups of two students also helped
develop social skills, turn taking, and listening skills.
Clements (as cited in Loveless and Dore, 2002) noted that education was at a
crossroads trying to decide which path to take in the use of computers in schools.
The drill-and-practice, self paced, one-on one approach to reinforce basic skills
had limited uses and outcomes in terms of educational criteria. Drill-and-practice
was intended for the use of computers as an add-on to traditional classroom
instruction. It was not learning by doing and Loveless and Dore (2002) say there
is a need to use computer technology in new and dynamic ways.
Drill-and-practice did have some merit in the past in that it motivated
students to finish their work but then only the best students got to use the
computers. Students who struggle with basic skills are the ones who need
to be given the opportunity to use drill-and-practice software.
When using tutorial/drill-and-practice software teachers should ensure
is developmentally appropriate for the student
reinforces skills already taught
is based on the individual student's needs
meets the curriculum outcomes (Labbo, Leu, Kinzer, Teale, Cammack,
Kara-Soteriou, & Sanny, 2003)
provides a positive learning experience for the student
provides appropriate stimuli, response required, and reinforcement for the
student (Schery & O'Connor, 1997)
One other advantage of this type of software is that it is valuable in helping
students become technically literate. Labbo et al. (2003) suggest that teachers
observe students using computer programs to get a sense of their capabilities
with technology. Teachers can observe how well the students understand and
follow the screen directions and whether they are familiar with the computer
keyboard. Computer games can also be a useful introduction to computers in this
regard. The authors say that by the end of grade two students should be able to
independently use educational software.
Games/Drill and Practice in Grades 6-8
Can students improve their mathematics achievement by using computers
and software programs in the classroom? The following examples of research
address three of the five content standards recognized by the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics (numbers and operations, algebra, and
geometry) and, taken together, the evidence in the articles suggests that the
following approaches may work for improving mathematics achievement for
students in grades 6-8.
Computerized drill and practice
Bahr & Reith (1989) conducted a study with 50 underachieving, mixed socio-
economic status students with learning disabilities who received special
education and related services. The study compared the students' math
achievement after they participated three times per week for three weeks in
either a computer-based drill and practice intervention, instruction using
arcade-style games like Math Blaster, or traditional non-computer-based
instruction. Mathematics achievement was measured using multiplication
tests and the findings were mixed. In one school, mathematics performance
was the same for each group after the three-week period; in another school,
students in the instructional games condition did better than students in the
computerized drill and practice condition. In a third school, students in both
the computerized drill and practice condition and the instructional games
condition did better than students in the traditional instruction condition, but
mathematics achievement was better for students in the instructional
condition than the computerized drill and practice condition. These findings
suggest that instructional games and computerized drill and practice are
promising for the classroom, but it should be noted that the study had a
flawed design, which may have affected the findings.
Christensen & Gerber (1990) also studied the effects of computerized drill
and practice on mathematics achievement, but in this case, all students
worked on the computer. In their study, 30 general education students and
30 students with learning disabilities of average and underachieving ability
levels participated in one of two groups for six minutes per day for 13 days.
The first utilized computerized drill and practice that was embedded in
computerized games such as Alien Addition; the second engaged in standard
drill and practice on the computer (no arcade graphics or sounds).
Mathematics achievement was then measured with performance on basic
addition facts that used addends of one through ten presented three ways: in
a timed written addition test, an oral addition test with questions on the
computer, and a keyboard addition test. The authors' results were very clear
for students with learning disabilities—performance was better on the
standard drill and practice program than the game-like drill and practice
program, suggesting that distractibility can be an issue. For students without
disabilities, written test performance was better for students who participated
in the standard drill and practice program than the game-like program, and
there were no achievement differences between the conditions on the
keyboard and oral language tests.
Okolo (1992) wanted to find out whether students' preferences and
mathematics achievement were different when they participated in either a
computerized drill and practice program or a traditional non-computerized
drill and practice program. Students with learning disabilities participated in
nine 20-minute sessions each week in either the computerized or non-
computerized drill and practice program. The students' attitudes towards
mathematics were measured with a survey, and their mathematics
achievement levels were measured with a test designed to assess automatic
retrieval of facts. Although both groups' mathematics achievement improved,
motivation was slightly higher in the computerized drill and practice
In a study that looked at computerized games and students' mathematics
achievement, Malinow & Black (2003) studied how 11 students with learning
disabilities attending a private school performed on a test of conceptual and
procedural proportion word problems after participating for one day with a
computer program called Proportion Power. The computer program is an
interactive, web-based program designed to teach proportion problems. The
authors found that less advanced students increased their procedural
knowledge after using the program, whereas more advanced students
increased their conceptual knowledge. It is important to note, however, that
the intervention was of limited time (one day) and the findings are not based
on a rigorous research design.
Bahr, C.M. & Reith, H.J. (1989). The effects of instructional computer games
and drill and practice software on learning disabled students' mathematical
achievement. Computers in the School, 6(3/4), 87-101.
Christensen, C., & Gerber, M. (1990). Effectiveness of computerized drill and
practice games in teaching basic math facts. Exceptionality, 1(3), 149-165.
Malinow, A. & Black, J. Integrating a multiple-linked representational
program into a middle-school learning disabled classroom. Proceedings from
the 2003 International Conference on Computing in Education sponsored by
the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for the Advancement of Computing
in Education (AACE): Hong Kong.
Okolo, C. (1992). The effects of computer-assisted instruction format and
initial attitude on the arithmetic facts proficiency and continuing motivation
of students with learning disabilities. Exceptionality, 3, 195-211.