Date of Award
Master of Science in Kinesiology
Timothy D. Lee
Laurie R. Wishart
James L. Lyons, Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos (external examiner)
Two studies were conducted to examine the effects of learner-adapted practice on the self-efficacy beliefs, acquisition and retention of a motor task. Through a discovery process all participants learned to perform several keypress patterns, with the goal of completing each sequence as fast and accurate as possible. The first experiment had learners practice the keypress sequences in one of two adaptive schedules, which utilized either a ‘WinSwitch’ or ‘WinRepeat’ task switching algorithm, or follow a pre-determined order of tasks (two yoked-control groups). The purpose of this experiment was to determine if adaptive schedules were effective because they were tailored to a learner’s performance characteristics or due to the nature of the contextual interference employed by the switching algorithm when the 'winning' criterion was satisfied. To examine the psychological factors involved in adaptive practice, the second experiment had all groups practice in a ‘WinSwitch Adaptive’ schedule and manipulated the social-comparative feedback that was provided (positive, negative or control). Together these studies revealed that the effectiveness of adaptive schedules may not necessarily be due to the fact that they are tailored to a learner's performance characteristics. They also suggest that learning is facilitated by a switching algorithm that involves some blocked practice towards the beginning and mostly random practice towards the end of acquisition (WinRepeat schedule). However, providing positive social-comparative feedback can override the negative effects of the opposite schedule (WinSwitch) and result in more effective learning and increases in self-efficacy beliefs. These findings are discussed in reference to contextual interference effects and the self-efficacy framework.
Eliasz, Kinga L., "EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF LEARNER-ADAPTED PRACTICE ON MOTOR SKILL ACQUISITION" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6473.
McMaster University Library