Janelle, C. M., Barba, D. A., Frehlich, S. G., Tennant, L. K., & Cauraugh, J. H. (1997). Maximizing performance feedback effectiveness through videotape replay and self-controlled learning environment. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 68, 269-279.

This study examined whether participants who controlled the schedule of reinforcement would learn differentially from those who received feedback on a rigid schedule while learning a complex task. Ss (N = 48) were assigned to self-controlled, summary performance feedback, yoked control, or knowledge of results only conditions. The task was a left-handed ball throw. Acquisition and retention features were measured.

The knowledge of results only condition was inferior to the other three conditions in the skill acquisition stage. The self-controlled condition produced significantly better retention than the other three conditions.

When given the opportunity to control the feedback environment, learners require relatively less feedback to acquire skills and retain those skills at a level equivalent to or surpassing those who are given more feedback but receive it passively.

Implication. In skill instructional settings, when individuals are allowed to competently self-control feedback, acquisition and retention of skills is more efficient and better.

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