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Massed vs Distributed Practice

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Shannon Johnson

on 28 May 2013

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Transcript of Massed vs Distributed Practice

Advantages and Disadvantages of Massed Practice Advantages Features of Massed Practice "This is practising a skill without a break and occurs when an activity is repeated continuously over a period of time with very little or no rest period" (Martin, 2006, p. 167).
Examples may include;
practising a volleyball serve for 30 minutes
practice the various subroutines that make up an overhead serve in volleyball over and over and then practice the whole serve
swimming 20 lengths of the pool using a kickboard to concentrate on kicking technique
shooting goals for 30 minutes Massed vs Distributed Practice In class we looked at using both Massed and Distributed Practice to develop our skill of serving a volleyball. In these two lessons we looked at the advantages and disadvantages of using both. Features of Distributed Practice "Distributed practice ... consists of short, frequent practice sessions interspersed with rest intervals or intervals of learning another skill" (Davis, Kimmet, Ackerly, McAree and Hosford, 2000, p. 249).
Examples of distributed practice include;
10 volleyball serves (filmed) rest to review footage and identify areas that you need to work on
Practice serving for 3 minutes and receive feedback from a partner or coach
Complete a 4-station skills circuit, spending 2 mins at each
Distributed practice is often preferred when in the early stages of learning a skill, energy demands are high, the skill is complex, the performer is not motivated and the task is boring (Lineham, 2005). Advantages and Disadvantages of Distributed Practice Advantages Comparing Massed and Distributed Practice "Most of the evidence indicates that distributed practice is more effective in improving performance. It has also been suggested that massed practice is preferable for highly skilled or highly motivated performers...Distributed practice allows the performer the opportunity to think about the skill during rest intervals. The mental practice of a skill has been shown to improve performance. However, if another skill is practised in the rest interval, this may interfere with the retention of knowledge and so reduce the level of performance." (Davis et al., 2000, p. 249) Reference
Davis, D., Kimmet, T., Ackerly, D., McAree, A., & Hosford, G. (2000). VCE Physical
Education Book 1 (3rd. ed.). South Yarra, Australia: MacMillan Education
Lineham, C. (2005). Year 12 Physical Education NCEA Level 2 & Unit Standards
Workbook (5th. ed.). Hamilton, New Zealand: ABA Books Ltd.
Martin, S. (2006). Year 12 Study Guide NCEA Level 2 Physical Education. Newmarket,
New Zealand: ESA Publications (NZ) Ltd. Good for learning simple skills
Helps the learner to get a feel for the skill
Reinforces technique through repetition
Can mass practice an aspect (subroutine) of the skill that needs to be corrected Disadvantages
Performer can get bored and lose interest in the training
Fatigue, when a learner practises a number of skills or one skill in rapid succession they are likely to become fatigued. As a result the performance will suffer.
Requires a lot of concentration and motivation.
Good for gross motor skills that are fatiguing
For a volleyball serve the work and rest routine may better mirror game situations
Gives the learner time to think and review feedback to improve performance
Disadvantages May take longer to learn a skill due to the stop start nature
May spend too long on the rest and not enough time on the work
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