Teaching with Acoustic Guidance

What is TAG-training ?

For some it may be rather revolutionary way of teaching multiple different new skills for a person being a trainee. However this training technique has been used with animals already for decades. It all is based on operant conditioning theory, which is connected with the research and experiences B. F. Skinner very successfully studied and implemented in practice. Skinner introduced the concepts of operant conditioning and shaping already in 1938 which is also the baseline of tag-training.

Tag training can be implemented in many environments of learning; sports, athletic activities, children & other fine tuning of behavior modifications.

TAG-training is a method for teaching new skills or modifying already learned skills to more precise movements. The technique provides instant feedback for the learner. In tag-training the trainer informs a precise goal for the trainee to be achieved by communicating this information for the learner via acoustic marker. The marker highlights the precise correct moment of movement or action when the trainee is executing the skill. Marker should be a very short acoustic sound - often a clicker is used to perform the transmitions of this information.

The information transmitted this way is very accurate and instantaneous telling to the learner in a neutral way the very correct moment of action. Once this is immediately paired positively to the trainee (with some delicacy, stickers, praise etc.) by trainer it will by repetition become a conditioned reinforcement through this pairing.

The beauty of this method is in it's simplicity and clarity. Trainer gives a positive reinforcement for the trainee which accelerates learning during the performance and at the same time minimizes frustration on both parts. If the marker is not given the trainer can then tell for the trainee why the goal has not been achieved.

The marker - the click - is simply informing the trainee; "Yes" without any emotional emphasis on the communication. It is believed that this way the brain, when hearing a ckick-sound doesn't have to process complex information that might be involved within feedback given to trainee via speech. Therefore the learning process is made faster because of the simplicity of the information exchanged.