Observation as an instructional method

MSL research field: 
Skill acquisition
TitleObservation as an instructional method
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHodges, NJ, Ste-Marie, DS
EditorFarrow, D, Baker, J, MacMahon, C
Book TitleDeveloping Sport Expertise: Researchers and Coaches Put Theory into Practice, 2nd Ed
KeywordsAction observation

Demonstrating to others how to perform a skill is a common instructional method in sports. In this chapter we review the general functions of demonstrations (e.g., skill improvement, boosting confidence) and consider questions relevant to the content of demonstrations. We present research relating to what type of model to present (e.g., learning model, self-model), when and how frequently demonstrations should be presented and what information they should contain. These areas are addressed with respect to a summary model of key variables in demonstration effectiveness and we conclude with a list of guidelines for optimizing demonstrations during practice. Among these guidelines we recommend that observers should be given control over the scheduling of demonstrations, that demonstrations should be augmented by feedback about their own as well as the model’s performance and that physical practice should be interspersed with observations in a way that allows the observer time to think about what to do, before being shown.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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