Impact of verbal instruction type on movement learning and performance: a multidisciplinary investigation of analogy and explicit instruction
Bobrownicki, Raymond Kenneth
The aim of this thesis was to investigate and appraise the utility of analogy and explicit instruction for applied sport and physical education settings. The objective for the first study was to explore the acute, short-term impact of analogical and explicit instruction in a dart-throwing task. While previous studies have devoted considerable resources to investigating the effects of verbal instruction on motor learning, this within-subjects study explored the impact of analogical and explicit instruction on motor control. Interestingly, results indicated that analogy and explicit instruction similarly impaired throwing accuracy—in both kinematic and outcome measures—compared to baseline conditions, conflicting with trends observed in the motor learning literature. In the second study, the differential effects of analogy and explicit instructions on early stage motor learning were examined by introducing an explicit light condition—in addition to a traditional explicit condition—that matched the analogy instructions in informational volume. Although analogy learners demonstrated slightly more efficient technique and reported fewer technical rules on average, the differences between groups were not statistically significant. Kinematic analysis, however, did reveal significant differences between conditions in joint variability, which decreased with learning for all groups, but was lowest overall for the analogy learners. For the final study, the thesis investigated the impact of analogy and explicit instruction on adolescent performance (mean age = 12.7 years, SD = 0.4) in a modified high jump task. To date, research in analogy instruction has only included adult participants whose movement tendencies have likely already been shaped by personal or vicarious experiences. Analyses indicated that there were no significant differences between the analogy and explicit participants in technical efficiency or joint variability. The key outcome from this thesis is that there is limited evidence to support the use of analogy instruction over explicit instructional methods in motor learning and motor control situations.