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Practice Variability and Specificity

Practice Variability and Specificity

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Practice Variability and Specificity

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    1. Chapter 16 Practice Variability and Specificity

    2. Practice Variability Refers to the variety of movement and context characteristics the learner experiences while practicing a skill Movement and context characteristics that can be varied in practice: Skill variations that will be required in test conditions Physical context in which the skill is performed Situation in which the skill occurs

    3. The Future Performance Benefit of Practice Variability Research evidence shows that more practice variability is better for learning and performance in future test situations than less variability Practice variability benefit can be related to the increased amount of performance error during practice

    4. Shea and Kohl Goal: Learn to use 175 N of force to press a handle Constant practice group practiced using 175N for 289 trials Variable practice group practiced producint four different amounts of force 125N, 150N 200N, 225N (175N not practiced) Retention/transfer test for 175N: variable group performed more accurately

    5. The Future Performance Benefit of Practice Variability Research evidence shows that more practice variability is better for learning and performance in future test situations than less variability Practice variability benefit can be related to the increased amount of performance error during practice

    6. How to Implement Practice Variability? Assess characteristics of the physical context and skill characteristics of that performance Vary these characteristics according to the type of skill being learned Practice conditions to vary for closed skills See Table 16.1 Practice conditions to vary for open skills

    7. How to Implement Practice Variability? Assess characteristics of the physical context and skill characteristics of that performance Vary these characteristics according to the type of skill being learned Practice conditions to vary for closed skills See Table 16.1 Practice conditions to vary for open skills

    8. Organizing Variable Practice Is there a best way to organize practice variability? See 3 options in Figure 16.2 Answer can be determined from applying the learning phenomenon known as the contextual interference effect

    10. Organizing Variable Practice Is there a best way to organize practice variability? See 3 options in Figure 16.2 Answer can be determined from applying the learning phenomenon known as the contextual interference effect

    11. Contextual Interference The memory and performance disruption that results from performing variations of a skill within the context of practice Originally described by Battig (1979) Various amounts of contextual interference can occur during practice depending on the scheduling of the practice variability see Figure 16.3 The contextual interference effect occurs when higher amounts of contextual interference are involved in practice than lower amounts

    13. Contextual Interference The memory and performance disruption that results from performing variations of a skill within the context of practice Originally described by Battig (1979) Various amounts of contextual interference can occur during practice depending on the scheduling of the practice variability see Figure 16.3 The contextual interference effect occurs when higher amounts of contextual interference are involved in practice than lower amounts . .

    14. Research Evidence for the Contextual Interference Effect Laboratory experiments Shea & Morgan (1979) 1st demonstration of the effect for learning motor skills Non-laboratory experiments Beginners learning multiple skill variations Magill & Goode (1986) badminton serves Skilled athletes practicing to improve performance of multiple skill variations Hall et al. (1994) baseball players hitting different types of pitches

    16. Research Evidence for the Contextual Interference Effect Laboratory experiments Shea & Morgan (1979) 1st demonstration of the effect for learning motor skills Non-laboratory experiments Beginners learning multiple skill variations Magill & Goode (1986) badminton serves Skilled athletes practicing to improve performance of multiple skill variations Hall et al. (1994) baseball players hitting different types of pitches

    17. Contextual Interference and Judgments about Learning A characteristic of blocked practice schedules: Learners overestimate their learning Performance during practice misleads them to judge they are learning more than they actually are See experiment by Simon & Bjork (2001)

    18. Limits of the Contextual Interference Effect Research shows much support for the contextual interference effect but also shows that it does not apply to all motor skill learning situations Characteristics related to the limits of the effect: Motor skill characteristics Learner characteristics

    19. Limits of the Contextual Interference Effect Research shows much support for the contextual interference effect but also shows that it does not apply to all motor skill learning situations Characteristics related to the limits of the effect: Motor skill characteristics Learner characteristics

    20. Why Does the Contextual Interference Effect Occur? Two predominant hypotheses Elaboration Hypothesis: The effect is related to the elaboration of the memory representation of the skill variations that a learner is practicing (Shea & Morgan, 1979) (Engages in more strategies-compare and contrast) Action Plan Reconstruction Hypothesis: High amounts of contextual interference benefit learning because the interference requires a person to reconstruct an action plan on subsequent practice trials for each skill variation (Lee & Magill, 1985)

    21. Why Does the Contextual Interference Effect Occur?, contd Regardless of which hypothesis, two important characteristics have been demonstrated: Higher levels of contextual interference involves greater attention demands during practice People who practice according to a blocked schedule tend to overestimate how well they are learning during practice

    22. Practice Specificity Specificity of practice hypothesis Test performance is directly related to the similarity between characteristics of the practice and test conditions Is this hypothesis at odds with the contextual interference effect? Agreement that the hypothesis applies to three characteristics of the practice and test conditions

    23. Practice Specificity, contd 3 Practice Test characteristics related to the practice specificity hypothesis: Sensory/perceptual characteristics Performance context characteristics Cognitive processing characteristics