Animal Training - Forward and Backward Chaining


Forward and Backward Chaining

  • help trainees learn multi-step tasks, in which the trainee masters one step at a time by chaining them together
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Forward Chaining

  • start by focusing on the mastery of the first step of the process
  • then move 'forward' onto the next step
  • Pros
    • start off with the feeling of success
    • begins with independence
    • makes more sense
  • Cons
    • progress all the way to the final step before ending the task
    • leaves task without the sense of accomplishment
    • has to master every step before getting to master the final step, so hard to keep motivated
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Backward Chaining

  • like forward chaining but backwards
  • help with the first tasks, with the last task we look for independent mastery
  • once the final step is mastered, we move onto the penultimate step, and so on
  • Pros
    • always end the task with success
    • starts with the mastery of the most gratifying step first
  • Cons
    • will likely struggle with the first step for a long time
    • different from the way we typically each skills
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