BETWEEN TRIALS ACTIVITY
Magill, R., & Lee, T. D. (1984, October). Interference during the post-KR interval can enhance learning motor skills. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Society of Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology, Kingston, ON.
Several conditions of post-trial activity were evaluated for effect upon performance. After a learning trial (the "post-knowledge-of-results" interval) Ss were involved in no activity, verbal activity, related motor activity, or unrelated motor activity.
Performance was affected by the type of post-trial activity. Performance was either maintained by some form of post-KR activity or superior to when there was no post-KR activity.
It was advocated that after a practice trial of a skill, a learner should engage in some activity (not yet determined if that activity should be related or unrelated to the skill) before the next repetition of the skill.
Implication. For effective learning to occur between repetitions of learning trials there has to be a minimum amount of time to allow feedback from a trial to produce a learning effect. That effect does not seem to be modified to any great extent if between-trials activity is related or unrelated to what is being learned. This means that it is possible to repeat trials too close together. Such rapidity does not allow the full learning effects from each repetition to occur.
For example, when practicing basketball free throws, after each shot there should be some non-shooting activity (e.g., put the ball down, walk around the circle, recommence the pre-shot routine) before commencing the physical movement in the next trial.
There obviously is too short of a period and too long of a period that can occur between trials where learning is intended.
As a further example, when tennis players practice from behind a baseline and stroke at a rate of approximately one every two seconds, it is unlikely that effective learning will occur, that is shot accuracy and technique will not be improved. In that form of practice not only is one type of shot not developed because there are usually a variety of strokes played, but the lack of feedback utilization most probably will result in the player developing more consistency in performing both the good and bad strokes practiced rather than improving in any one class of stroke.
It is possible to practice repetitions at too fast a rate to
the extent that feedback from one practice trial cannot be used
to influence the performance of the next trial. Without that
utilization learning will not occur optimally.
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