There is a difference between performing a skill and learning a skill. In simple terms performing a physical skill merely involves the execution of the task – ie: executing a baseball pitch.
In contrast, learning involves a permanent change or improvement in behaviour.
Learning requires practice and the use of feedback to bring about modifications and refinements in thought processes and muscle movements. This will allow a permanent improvement in the execution of the skill.
To see this in action you’re going to participate in a simple practical activity outlined below and report on your findings.
Aim: To investigate the processes involved in learning and how these factors affect learning.
Equipment: Tennis ball or similar & a bucket or box for catching the ball
Procedure : Chose and activity that is unfamiliar to you so that you can start as a complete beginner and so that learning can be demonstrated.
Eg: Tennis ball bounces into a bucket with a non-preferred hand as below :
In the above example, the ball must bounce before the bucket and then rebound
off the wall and into the bucket to score one point.
Pre-test: Once setup the subjects will have an initial ten trials, the results of
which are recorded in the pre-test table?
Practice: The subjects will then move immediately into a period of 10 minutes of
Resources to Assist with your Practice
The following FREE apps are designed to provide hands-free instant replays. Simply set the given delay value (eg 10 seconds) and point the app towards your performance. You can now perform and then return to the device to review.
Video Delay Instant Replay (iOS/Android)
Download or Watch Quick Start Video Below
Replay It (Chrome Browser)
Download or or Watch Quick Start Video Below
Post-test: The subjects will have ten final trials, the results of which are recorded
1. Do the results indicate that learning has taken place?
2. Can you suggest possible reasons for your findings?
3. Did any individuals not show any improvement? Why might this have occurred?
4. Explain the physical processes you went through during the ten minutes of practice time.
5. Explain the mental processes you went through during the ten minutes of practice time.
6. List as many factors you can think of that affected your learning during this activity.
7. Which had the most impact on your learning and why?