Background/Purpose The literature has demonstrated lower frequencies of feedback (e.g. 50%) often demonstrate better learning than conditions that have higher frequencies (Salmoni, et al, 1984; Winstein et al, 1996). However, the scheduling of feedback frequencies has received little attention, but may have significant influences on the learning profiles of performance. The purpose of this study is to identify the influence of various alternating schedules (feedback and no-feedback trials) of 50% feedback (1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 6-6, 12-12) on the acquisition and retention of a simple throwing task.
Method 40 subjects (24 males, 16 females) volunteered to participate in this study. Subjects were randomly assigned to the 5 experimental conditions and followed the same experimental procedures. The task involved throwing a hacky-sack ball to a target 20 feet away. Each subject completed 72 acquisition trials followed by a 10 minute and 24 hour 12 trial retention test.
Analysis/Results Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) were conducted on the acquisition and retention data to identify any differences between the groups. Significant main effect differences (p<0.05) across KR schedules and Trial Blocks and a significant KR Schedule x Trial Blocks interaction was identified.
Conclusions The research literature has illustrated that lower than 100% frequencies of feedback is beneficial to learning, however, the scheduling of lower frequencies (e.g. 50%) must be considered when providing feedback in skill learning environments. Practitioners should be cognizant that too many trials with or without feedback can be detrimental to performance and learning when employing a feedback schedule such as 50% to skill learning situations.
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