Date of Award

5-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Kinesiology and Sport Studies

Major Professor

Jeffrey T. Fairbrother

Committee Members

Craig A. Wrisberg, Leslee A. Fisher, Schuyler Huck

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the juggling performance and self-control behaviors of individuals in a self-controlled motor learning protocol. Of particular interest were behaviors related to how participants used four types of instructional assistance as they learned 3-ball cascade juggling: (a) Instructions; (b) video demonstration; (c) verbal feedback about their most critical error; and (d) verbal timing information about their previous attempt. Additionally the study addressed the potential interplay of performance, self-efficacy, self-control behaviors, and self-regulatory skills such as task clarification, goal generation, and use of learning strategies. Twenty undergraduate students completed practice sessions on four consecutive days. On the fifth day, participants returned for a 10-attempt retention test. They also completed a 10-attempt transfer test requiring them to juggle balls that differed in weight. In addition, participants completed up to four self-efficacy assessments and a post-training interview asking them to rate and describe their preferences for assistance, goal-related behaviors, and use of learning strategies. Juggling performance was assessed in terms of catches per attempt and participants were divided into groups based on performance in retention and transfer testing: Late Learners (n = 6) averaged fewer than 4 catches per attempt in retention and transfer; Emerging Learners (n = 8) averaged between 4 and 20 catches per attempt in retention or transfer; and Proficient Learners (n = 6) averaged greater than 20 catches per attempt in retention or transfer. Regardless of proficiency level, participants demonstrated a tendency to decrease requests for informational forms of assistance throughout acquisition. Requests for KR increased throughout acquisition for those who became increasingly proficient. Participants reported requesting KR after primarily good attempts and utilizing KR to monitor progress and increase confidence. Participants reported requesting KP after both good and bad attempts and utilizing KP to identify mistakes and monitor their progress in correcting those mistakes. In general, the findings suggest that self-control behaviors may be more complex than previously demonstrated and that participants may use self-control in different ways depending on their preferences and learning needs.

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