- Variable practice and contextual interference: due this Friday
- Augmented feedback labs: due Nov 30
Chapter 8: Supplementing the learning experience
- Wakeboarding can be a transfer to snowboarding
o Turning (putting more weight in the direction you want to move)
- Provide cue/image/instruction, so that the learner is ready for the learning
o Help the learner direct their attention to relevant cues
- Understand how to balance practice and rest periods to optimize learning
- Know the various pitfalls to avoid when providing instructions
o How can provide instruction to the learner in the best way?
- Be able to synthesize the various demonstration approaches and their
o Give a reference of correctness.
- Understand how guidance can help and hinder motor learning
- Know which types of skills can benefit from practice
o We often try to break down skills into sub skills. We must understand
why we are doing this.
- Massed and distributed practice
- Part-whole practice
Distribution of Practice
- Early- research
o Definitions come from single practice design
Distributed: Rest is larger or equivalent to work
A break may facilitate performance and learning. If you
do not push learner too much past physiological limits
more time devoted to learning and acquisition.
Massed: Work is larger than rest
Ex. car assembly line
Person may become overwhelmed, and does not learn
as much - Examples of massed training session (during the acquisition phase, more
work than rest):
o Long distance running
o Long distance swimming
- What are negative aspects of distributed practice?
o Wasted field time (access the facility, but not practicing)
o Power Law of Practice: the number of hours of practice is key. The
more you practice, the better your performance.
Always think about the power law of practice is the number 1
priority. Second priority is rest.
Example: Do not play a game of “Horse” in basketball training
waste of time want to maximize motor engagement time
to facilitate learning.
What proportion of a training session should be spent practicing for gymnastics?
Distribution of Practice (Snoddy, 1926)
- One circuit per day
o 1-day break seems to be very beneficial! Not a lot of practice per day.
Performance was best.
- One minute break between 30-second trials.
o Performance was slightly lower than one circuit per day.
o Significant increase in performance compared to no rest!
- No rest between each 30-second trials.
Power Law of Practice was supported in each condition.
- More recently, longer protocols
- Karni et al. (1995) [see also Macquet (2001)]
o Experiment: finger thumb opposition sequence
Different groups had different sequences (different conditions)
A sequential task; minimize equipment.
Told to practice skill for 1 hour per day over 5 weeks.
o Graph: number of sequences per minute
X axis: Weeks of performance; Y axis: number of
Performance increases significantly in the first week. Reaches
peak performance at week 2.
o Found that brain activity changes in week 3,4,5.
o Large changes in performance in first 2 weeks. Takes longer time for
brain activity to be specific to the task at hand. o Looked at brain activity in motor cortex. See more activity in trained
sequence versus control sequence.
o Representation of motor skill in motor cortex has grown stronger.
o Argue for two phases of learning:
Fast phase: changes in performance are observed.
Slow phase: changes in brain activity are observed.
Evidence that there is a clear dissociation between performance
and learning. If you train only for two weeks, the representation of
the skills in the brain has not changed yet. Nothing relatively
- Macquet (2001)
o Need REM sleep between practice sessions for brain changes to take
o Sleep period is a key element to learning (consistent between Snoddy
o Space things out brain adapt lead to relatively permanent
- Some people argue that it does not exist
- Definition: Learner unaware of actual behaviour and capabilities!
- Example: Pak Salto
o First, have the learner do the “monkey” and swing back and forth.
o Have learner look and reach for the lower bar. Have an appropriate
distance between lower bar and learner.
o Next, have the learner do “Tarzan” sing facing the lower bar..
o Next Tarzan + Monkey beginning to look like pak salto.
o Make the steps comprehensible for learner; attach the skill with an
- Knowledge of mechanical principles
o When is it fair to expect athletes to know about mechanical
o When we are younger, we have an implicit understanding of
mechanics that is flawed.
o As a coach, must know biomechanics
At which of the following angles should the athlete release the bar?
- Far above h