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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Undergraduate Course: Skill learning in physical education: theory, research and practice. (EDUA10213)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the ways in which teaching and learning in physical education can be informed by information processing and constraint theories. It will encourage students to explore research literature related to each perspective and provide them with opportunities to critically reflect on, and understand, the ways in which research might inform their practice as teachers of physical education. Furthermore, students will be able to apply this understanding through a series of practical tasks and micro teaching episodes. Towards the end of the course, there will be greater focus on the role of constraints in shaping motor learning, and students will consider the role that constraints and non-linear pedagogy have in the development of decision-making skills in games.
Course description The main themes covered in this course are:

1. Learning, motor skill acquisition, degrees of freedom, theories of motor learning and implications for research and practice.
2. Practice scheduling - massed distributed time scales, blocked, randomised, variable and constant conditions, contextual interference and the role of search in learning.
3. Feedback - 'feedback family'; augmented and intrinsic feedback and their consequences for learning. General feedback and encouraging search for unique solutions to motor problems.
4. Demonstration - modelling, observation, beginner / expert demonstrators.
5. Manipulating constraints to influence learning - organismic, task and environmental. Encouraging search, strengthening perception and action coupling and developing decision-making skills in games through the application of non-linear pedagogy.

The course is taught through weekly lectures, seminars and practical workshops. The course content is delivered in a variety of ways i.e. whole group lectures, small seminar group discussions and student led tasks. In addition to the taught lecture, seminar and workshop programme, students will learn independently e.g. undertaking set reading prior to each session, as well as completing formative and summative assessment tasks.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically understand research in skill acquisition in relation to the theory that it is underpinned by, implications for pupil learning (retention and transfer), and how this might inform their own physical education teaching practice in a variety of contexts.
  2. Apply their theoretical knowledge in a variety of practical contexts and articulate the ways in which knowledge of theory has informed their planning and teaching decisions.
  3. Understand performance in games as a dynamical system and consider how non-linear pedagogy might facilitate the emergence of decision-making in games.
  4. Communicate their understanding of theory, research and teaching , using qualitative and quantitative data and information from a range of evaluated sources including current research, scholarly, and/or professional literature.
Reading List
Buszard, T., Machar, R., Lyndon, K., Kovalchik, S. and Farrow, D. (2017). Quantifying Contextual Interference and its Effect on Skill Transfer in Skilled Youth Tennis Players, Frontiers in Psychology, 8. DOI=10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01931

Lee MCY, Chow JY, Komar J, Tan CWK, Button C (2014) Nonlinear Pedagogy: An Effective Approach to Cater for Individual Differences in Learning a Sports Skill. PLoS ONE 9(8): e104744. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104744

Magill R A (2007) Motor Learning Concepts and Applications., McGraw Hill

Pedro Passos, Rita Cordovil, Orlando Fernandes & João Barreiros (2012): Perceiving affordances in rugby union, Journal of Sports Sciences, 30:11, 1175-1182

Renshaw, I, Chow, J. Y, Davids, K and Hammond, J (2010) 'A constraints-led perspective to understanding skill acquisition and game play: a basis for integration of motor learning theory and physical education praxis?', Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 15: 2, 117 ¿ 13.

Tan, C., Chow, J.Y. and Davids, K. (2012). ¿How does TGfU work?¿: examining the relationship between learning design in TGfU and a nonlinear pedagogy. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 17(4), 331-348

Williams, A. M. and Hodges, N. J.(2005). Practice, instruction and skill acquisition in soccer: Challenging tradition, Journal of Sports Sciences, 23:6, 637-650, DOI: 10.1080/02640410400021328
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Graduate Attributes: Research and Enquiry
1) search for, access, critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise relevant literature and information in order to develop their knowledge and understanding relating to education, physical education, physical activity, sport and well-being
3) identify and define problems relating to education, physical education, physical activity, sport and well-being research methods to address these
6) recognise the importance of reflecting on the learning experience.

Graduate Attributes: Personal and intellectual autonomy
1) be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflections, self- evaluation and self-improvement
3) be open to new perspectives, methods and creative ideas in understanding education, physical education, physical activity, sport and well-being

Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in communication
1) be able to communicate using oral and written methods to specialist (e.g., staff, fellow students) and non-specialist audiences (e.g., schools, research participants)
3) be able to engage in critical discussion demonstrating listening skills, effective use of evidence and own experience to support assertions, and clear articulation of points.

Graduate Attributes: Personal effectiveness
2) have the confidence to make informed decisions relating to problems and issues in physical education.
4) be able to transfer knowledge, skills and abilities to a professional context (e.g., schools, health promotion organisations)

Keywordslearning,motor learning,skill acquisition,information processing,contstraint theory
Course organiserDr Murray Craig
Tel: (0131 6)51 6043
Course secretaryMs Ciara Foster
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