Jurnal Pendidikan 2003, Universiti Malaya

71

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TWO DIFFERENT PRACTICE SCHEDULES IN ACQUIRING OPEN MOTOR SKILL

Shabeshan Rengasamy
ABSTRAK

Kajian ini dijalankan untuk melihat kesan dua corak latihan yang menggunakan masa rehat yang berbeza dalam proses pembelajaran sesuatu kemah iran motor terbuka. Seramai 68 pelajar kursus pendidikan jasmani dipilih untuk kajian ini. Mereka dibahagikan kepada 2 kumpulan iaitu, kumpulan experimen (N=34), dan kumpulan kawalan (N=34). Kedua-dua kumpulan menjalankan latihan satu jam lima belas minit satu sesi pertemuan selama dua minggu untuk kemah iran menyangga bola tampar. Setiap sesi pertemuan, kumpulan experimen menggunakan nisbah bola/pelajar 1 :4, manakala kumpulan kawalan menggunakan nisbah bola/pelajar 1:8. Pencapaian dalam ujian pra dan pos telah dibandingkan di dalam kumpulan untuk melihat peningkatan dan Ujian t juga dijalankan untuk melihat perbezaan signifikan di antara kumpulan. Kedua-dua ujian adalah tidak signifikan (p<0.05).

INTRODUCTION

One of the aims of Physical Education is to teach a variety of motor skills for students to use outside the physical educational environment to lead a healthy lifestyle (Pangrazi & Darst, 1991; Rink, 1993). Learning of motor skills among beginners or students introduced to the skills for the first time can be challenging as individuals from different backgrounds react and understand differently while learning. The challenge is even greater considering that teachers need to impart the knowledge of a skill or movement related to a skill within the specific time stipulated by the Center for Curriculum Development of Malaysia (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 1998). Thus physical educators have limited time to teach the variety of skills required by the Center for Curriculum Development, and they must find effective ways to use the practice time available. One avenue to consider for effective learning is the distribution of practice trials within the practice session. This is based on Hull's reactive inhibition theory (1943), which attempts to account for the differences in performance under the massed and distributed practice conditions. Schmidt and Lee (1999) defined massed practice as one where

the amount of practice time in a trial is greater than the amount of rest between trials and distributed practice as a situation where the amount of rest between trials equals or exceeds the amount of practice time in a trial. (p.384)

Riopelle. that the more frequently the task is performed the greater the reactive inhibition and this would retard performance and learning due to fatigue. . 1970). Whitley. 2000. Earlier studies using fine motor skills in laboratory settings have indicated that distributed practice schedules offer more advantages than massed practice schedules in motor skill acquisition (Archer. under massed practice schedule. 1969. Shabeshan. students would be able to concentrate longer resulting in more effective learning. On the other hand. Applying this to the physical education environment in the Malaysian context would mean that practice or drills conducted during a normal physical education class should factor in proper rest intervals between trials within a practice session to minimize accumulation of reactive inhibition. under the distributed practice schedule. 1971. 1958. METHODOLOGY Subjects A total of 68 out 001 students who were registered for the compulsory physical education course at a local university were selected. Singer. Schendel & Hagman. 1979. On the other hand if proper rest interval is scheduled between trials. 1983.. 1993. This study was carried out in a normal physical education class using a digging skill (open skill) in volleyball. 1982. Mahamad Ali. Later studies have indicated that a massed practice schedule did result in poor performance scores. Based on this notion of massed and distributed practice schedules which differ in the inter-trial rest period.72 Jurnal Pendidikan 2003. Nair. 1999). Godbout et al. French et al. 1950). All the subjects used in the present study volunteered for the experiment and did not receive any extra credit for the course. rest is an important factor between trials or sets of trials as it allows for recovery from fatigue and is thought to enhance performance and motor skill acquisition (Schmidt & Lee. Universiti Malaya According to Hull's reactive inhibition theory. 2001. Stelmach. but when inter-trial rest interval was manipulated. 1996. Extending on this notion. Huasak & Reeve. This explains the notion of Hull's theory. 1965. 1979. Melnick. individuals will build up the reactive inhibition and this accumulation would depress their performance as they respond due to fatigue. By doing so. Subjects who had previous knowledge of volleyball were excluded from the study. It would provide Malaysian physical educators and coaches an insight into the role of practice schedule and the effectiveness of time given within a practice session in the learning process.. respondents exhibited better performance (Brown. studies indicate disparity in conclusions among learning and performance in acquiring motor skills. there is a build up of reactive inhibition but most of it would dissipate during the rest intervals due to the inter-trial rest period. the accumulation of reactive inhibition would dissipate with rest. This study was undertaken on an applied basis to determine (a) the effectiveness of two different practice schedules within a distributed practice schedule by manipulating the rest interval and (b) whether the effectiveness of two one hour fifteen minutes of a practice session was sufficient enough to affect the learning and acquisition of an open motor skill.

and an independent z-test was conducted to see any significant differences between the posttest mean scores of the two groups.70 (Baumgartner & Jackson. All the scores for the experimental and the control groups were recorded and tabulated. Procedure The subjects were randomly assigned to one experimental and one control group and were told about the aim of the study. This would mean that the experimental group rest interval would be about 20 to 25 seconds a student between trials compared to the control group's rest interval between trials of 40 to 45 seconds a student. There was no attempt to organize the subjects within and between the groups along the lines of ability. which has a reliability of . which utilized the 1:8 ball: student ratio during the drills. Universiti Malaya 73 Experimental Design The 68 subjects selected were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (N=34). The experimental and the control group underwent teaching and practice for the digging skill for one hour and fifteen minutes a session in a week for two weeks. A t-test was administered to assess the comparability of the groups and no significant difference (p<0. compared to the control group. All students in the class underwent the warm-up session. 1969). the experimental group utilized the 1:4 ball: student ratio. hence it could be assumed that they were comparable. Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPER) Volleyball Skills test (AAHPER. The experimental group used a ball to four students (1:4) compared to the control group. the mean (M) and standard deviation (SD) were calculated. the posttest was conducted the following day. a paired t-test was conducted to see any significant gains within the groups. Immediately following the class activity was the application section or the minor game which used the skill that was learned in the day. An independent t-test was conducted for group comparability. a teacher demonstration was carried out and this was followed by the volleyball drills for digging. 1991). finally followed by a five-minute cool down session. using the American Alliance for Health. A pilot study indicated that a ball student ratio of 1:4 would take about 20 to 25 seconds for the turn over to complete a drill compared to the ball student ratio of 1 :8. This class activity was carried out for about 40 minutes utilizing about four different drills for both the groups. They were pre-tested in the dig (Open Skill). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The pretest scores of the two groups were compared using a t-test for comparability and it was found that there was no significant difference between the groups over the digging skill . Immediately after the warm-up. After the demonstration. where it would take about 40 to 45 seconds for the turn over to complete in a drill.05) was found between the groups. After completion of the two practice sessions. which used a ball to 8 students (l :8). or the control group (N=34). race or any other consideration.Jurnal Pendidikan 2003.

SD = 1.05 level of confidence. Universiti Malaya (p<0.05.55. The posttest mean score for the experimental group for digging was M = 2.47.74 Jurnal Pendidikan 2003.42.p<. SD = 1. as well as within the control group t(33) = 1. As for the control group the pretest mean score for the digging skill was M = 1. SD = 1. SD = 1.72. .11.05. As for the control group the posttest mean score for digging was M = 2.05.69. For the experimental group the pretest mean score for the digging skill was M = 2.27. p<.73. and it was assumed that the two groups were comparable.08.22.42. Applying the t-test at 0. The between group differences were also not significant t(66) = 1.p<. there were no significant differences within the experimental group t(33) = 1.05). It should be noted that there was a gain within groups indicating that learning was taking place but it was not significant within and between the groups.

The present data indicate that the experimental group had slightly higher differences in the posttest mean scores compared to the control group subjects. 1999). The t-test analysis indicated that within group differences was not significant at 0. Both experimental and control groups practised the digging skill in a distributed practice schedule whereby the experimental group had a shorter rest interval of 20 . A reduced inter trial rest interval had increased the practice time (higher turn over rate) within the specified time and with adequate rest.35 for the control group. this could be due to the longer rest interval within the group. The 4045 seconds inter trial rest interval made the subjects wait too long in line before the next trial during their drills. the experimental group performed slightly better although there was no significant difference. The control group also practised under the distributed schedule but had a longer rest interval between trials of 40 . this longer rest interval had somewhat reduced the number of trials. rather than the insufficient rest intervals. The reduced number of trials lowered the contact time with the ball so the students did not get enough representation of the movement of the skill in the memory (Schmidt & Lee. Although the rest intervals were longer compared to the experimental group. and 0. The findings of the present study are in agreement with other similar local studies by Nair (1993) and Shabeshan (2000) which used an open motor skill.44 within the experimental group. As shown in Table 3. This longer rest interval further reduced the number of practice trials for the subjects as they were using the 1:8 ball:student ratio. As for the control group. 2001). it was also not significant (p<0.25 seconds using the ball student ratio of 1 :4. Hence.Jurnal Pendidikan 2003. The findings indicating no significant difference between groups may be attributable to both the groups lacking sufficient turn over rates during the practice time to master the skill. The insignificant difference could be due to an insufficient practice turn over rate which did not allow students to develop a memory representation of the skill which they could easily access for later use (Magill. The mean difference between the pretest mean score compared to the posttest mean score was 0.45 seconds using the ball student ratio of 1 :8. which had a lower posttest mean score compared to the experimental group. This suggests that the experimental group had sufficient inter-trial rest interval which is in agreement with Hull's reactive inhibition theory which posits the dissipation of reactive inhibition due to sufficient rest interval hence enhancing learning and proficiency in the skill. 2001).05 level of confidence in the digging skill among both experimental and the control groups (p<0. indicating no treatment effect. .05). when the posttest mean scores were compared between the groups. Universiti Malaya 75 The results of the present investigation as shown in Table I and 2 indicate that there was a gain between the pretest to the posttest mean scores for the experimental and the control groups respectively. beginners were unable to form a "strength" of the movement in the memory for later use and it affected the acquisition and learning process (Magill.05).

thus emphasizing the importance of the turn over rates in a "real" practice session. although the experimental group showed a slight improvement in the posttest scores. Students need good balance. 2001). agility. CONCLUSION The findings of the present study seem to indicate that the results of two different practice schedules with different inter-trial rest interval between the control and the experimental groups were not significant.76 Jurnal Pendidikan 2003. Expanding on the poor scores for the control group. 1999). . it could be attributed to the "cool down effect" among the subjects (Magill. which is an open motor skill is also a complex motor skill with many parts to the skill to be mastered. With the present findings it would appear unwise on the basis of one case study to conclude that rest intervals or turn over rates allocated in a practice schedule are insufficient to enhance proficiency in an open motor skill. Further research in this direction is needed in the real school setting to determine the effectiveness of practice sessions in school physical education classes. Schmidt & Lee. Universiti Malaya Furthermore. However this study suggests strongly that time allocated for practice in an actual situation in a field study may vary. hand eye coordination and the ability to read the height and distance of the ball (Magill. The findings indicate that the rest intervals among the experimental group was sufficient as demonstrated by a slight improvement in the posttest mean scores among the experimental group. The students in the control group had to wait a longer time before the next trial and this could have affected their physiological state (Sanderson. 2001). 2001. More practice time and turn over rates are needed for the learners to master the individual parts of a skill to form a representation or "strength" in the memory for later use (Magill. The long wait could have lowered their motivational level during the practice session due to the longer turn over rate necessitated by the longer rest interval (Magill. the digging skill. 2001). The practice time of two one hour fifteen minute sessions allocated for the dig may be insufficient for the experimental group to master the technique even when more trials were given. Although the subjects had adequate rest between trials the time allocated could be insufficient. 1983).

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