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Stages of Skill Acquisition

Stages of Learning - Cognitive, Associative, Autonomous

Andrew Gibson

on 25 May 2011

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Transcript of Stages of Skill Acquisition

Stages of Skill Acquisition There are three stages of learning that a person progresses through when they are learning a new skill. These stages are known as Cognitive, Associative and Autonomous. Each stage has different characteristics in terms of feedback required, demonstration and practice. Cognitive The cognitive stage of skill acquisition is the early identification and understanding of the skill to be learned. Individuals focus on what to do, that is most of the learners activities during this stage will be in the mind “ watching, thinking, analysing, reasoning, judging and visualising, rather than lots of practice. During this stage the learner develops an in-depth understanding of the skill to be acquired. First experience a learner has with a skill
Learner needs one or two simple instructions
Plenty of demonstrations required
Complex skills may need to be broken down into smaller subskills
Coaches should aim to motivate, keep instructions to a minimum, provide constructive feedback and demonstrations. Associative The associative stage of skill acquisition really focuses on the idea of practice with the learner learning how to do it. Practice at this stage increases the learners ability to perform the skill or task. They may not necessarily perform the skill well but have an understanding of how to do it. Most learners stay in this stage for a long period of time, with most not progressing to the next stage. Practice stage
Repetition required to sychronise mind and muscles in movement
Throughout associative stage, errors become less frequent as skill is refined.
Feedback still required to help refine the skill however internal feedback becomes more available as skill progresses.
Some learners may never get out of this stage based on the complexity of the skill. The autonomous stage of skill acquisition revolves around executing a skill automatically without having to stop and think about what to do next or how to do it. It is an advanced level of performance where the individual can perform the skill fluently and instinctively and where outside influences do not affect the outcome. It may take individuals a long time to achieve this stage with many never reaching it. This may be due to the training demands, the complexity of the task or a lack of motivation. Autonomous Sub routines are sequenced together to provide a fluent and efficient performance of a skill.
Able to attend to higher cognitive activities associated with the skill.
Learners in the Autonomous stage often practice in conditions that simulate game situations.
Training in the Autonomous Stage usually means improvements happen slowly and so motivation needs to be kept high.
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