Massed Practice And Dictributive Practice Running head: MASSED PRACTICE AND DICTRIBUTIVE PRACTICE The Effects of Massed Practice and Distributive Practice on Motor Skill Task. Evelyn Delgado Queens College/ City University of New York Abstract Over a century scientist have wonder if massed practice conditions are superior to distributive practice conditions or visa versa. According to a mete-analytic review scientists have researched this very phenomenon and have concluded that distributive practices conditions are superior to those of massed practice conditions in a variety of situations. These results are supported by Maureen Bergondys experiment on team practice schedules as well as William C. Chaseys experiment on distribution of practice on learning retention and relearning. This experiment deals with the relationship between conditions of massed practice and distributive practice with respect to task performance. The motor skill task performed by subjects in this study wrote the English alphabet upside down fifty times.
One group was given the massed practice motor task; while subjects from the five other groups practiced the motor task under five different distributions of time. However, our findings do not support those of previous findings. Our mixed factorial experiment with 51 subjects indicates that neither massed practice conditions or distributive practice conditions were superior. Therefore, the subjects acquisition of the motor task did not improve as a result of massed or distributed practice, but rather as the result of practice alone. Massed Practice and Distributive Practice Massed practice conditions are those in which individuals practice a task continuously without rest. While distributive practice conditions are those in which individuals are given rest intervals within the practice session.
This mixed factorial experiment with 51 subjects deals with the effects of massed practice and distributive practice with respect to acquisition of motor task. The questioned posed in this study is whether distributive practice will be more effective than massed practice in helping individuals to learn motor skill tasks. Scientists have wondered if massed practice conditions are superior to distributive practice conditions or visa versa. A mete-analytic review conducted by Donovan Radosevich researched this very phenomenon and concluded that distributive practices conditions are superior to massed practice conditions with respect to task performance. The analysis consisted of 63 studies with 112 effects sizes yield an overall mean weighted effect size of 0.46, indicating that individuals in distributive practice condition performed significantly higher that those in massed practice conditions.
Like wise these results are supported by Maureen Bergondys experiment on team practice schedules as well as William C. Chaseys experiment on distribution of practice on learning retention and relearning. Maureen Bergondys experiment deals with the importance of practice schedules that optimize learning skills. Teams practiced under either a massed or distributive practice schedule and were tested under a short-term or long-term retention intervals. These results support once more the distributive practice effect for learning.
William C. Chaseys experiment on distribution of practice on learning retention and relearning was conducted on a group of 72 randomly assigned retarded boys. The stabilometer task was used to study the difference between massed practice and distributive practice on initial acquisition retention, and relearning of gross motor skills. The results of this experiment support the general idea that distributive practice was superior to massed practice conditions for initial skills acquisition. In the present study the task being learned by participants is fairly easy, writing the English Alphabet upside down from right to left.
The purpose of the present study is to see if there is a systematic increase of correct letters printed as the periods of rest increase. We also want to see if there is an effect of practice. Furthermore we also want to see if there is an interaction between trials sets and distribution of practice. From the acquired data we hypothesize subjects in conditions 1 will write less letters at trial 30 than subjects in condition 5. This do to the distributive practice condition given to condition 5 oppose to that of the massed practice condition give to condition 1. Method Participants There were fifty-five subjects out of which four were excluded for failure to following instructions. Nineteen Experimental Psychology 213 students from Queens College participated in the experiment as subjects and experimenters to meet a course requirement and 36 subject that where recruited by different students with in the class.
The nineteen students were randomly assigned to six conditions using block randomization, while the recruited subjects had conditions randomly assigned to them. The age of the sample varied from seventeen years of age to fifty years of age. Out of the sample there were four left-handed and two ambidextrous individuals. No one had any gross motor-impairments and were fluent in the English language. Material & Apparatus The time was recorded in seconds therefore the instrument need to record the duration of the performed task as well as the rest period if there were one required a second indicator. Some experimenters used the clock in the control panel of the Microsoft Windows program installed on IBM compatible computer to keep time, and some used either a stop- watch, or a clock with a second timer. Participants were instructed to have a pencil or pen and sheets of paper, to perform the inverted alphabet-writing task, to study the effectiveness of massed or distributive practice conditions. Experimental Design This experiment was a mixed 10 x 6 factorial design which consisted of a with-in subject design and a between subject design.
The independent variables were the number of trials performed and rest periods, which are the distributive practice. The first IV was manipulated within subjects by dividing the fifty trials performed in to ten levels with five trials in each level. The ten levels of trials were 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, and 46-50. The second IV was distribution of practice; it was manipulated between subjects by randomly assigning subjects to six levels of distribution. The six levels for the distribution of practice were 0 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, and 25 seconds.
The 0 second is the massed practice condition and the rest are distributive practice. This was the between-subject factor. The dependent variable was the number of letters correctly printed. A control for the experiment was the random assignment of the nineteen students in Experimental Psychology 213 to conditions using block randomization. Then each subject in this class served as an experimenter for two subjects at home.
There were four subjects that were not followed. This was done to minimize or eliminate chance that might have occurred in the experiment over subjects. . There were 50 trials in the experiment. This also allowed the subjects to get use to the format of the experiment and familiarize themselves with the letters they had to write. The experiment consisted of writing the alphabet in order but inversely.
Procedure The instructor of Experimental Psychology 213 first assigned the students to conditions using block randomization. Then with a second time, subjects performed their respective tasks fifty times in either 0 second rest period or 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, and 25 seconds. Each subject in the class served as an experiment for two subjects at home. They were instructed to make their subjects follow the same instruction as they did while running the experiment. However, the experimenters were not told if there were any special environments need to run the experimenters. Before they started the experiment participants were told to have a pen or pencil with several sheets of paper to conduct the experiment.
They were instructed to begin writing the English alphabet upside down from the right to left on the paper when told and to stop when told. Please refer to table 1for an illustration. However they had to start were they left off at the previous trial. If they did make mistakes, they were told not to correct them. At the end of the experiment when all the raw data was collected there was a factorial ANOVA done to determine the main effects if there was one and interaction.
Results There were no significant differences found in the number of letters correctly printed between the 60 levels of the two independent variables. Our findings do not support those of previous finding. Table 2 reports the factorial-measures ANOVA (N=51) since there was more than one condition. Please refer to this table for the M. There was a main effect for trials F (9,27) = 14.83 p*0.001, but no effect for rest period the was F (5,45) = 1.253 p*0.301. There was also no significant interaction of trials by rest period of F (45,205)=0.902 p*0.65. Graph 1 illustrates the main effect of conditions (rest periods).
Graph 2 illustrates the main effect trials. Graph 3 illustrates the interaction between them. Discussion There was no difference between the massed practice and distributive practice condition. Neither was superior to the other. The only thing found was that there were practice effect involved in the experiment. The only logical understanding for these findings is the fact that there were to many conditions involved. One can also conclude that there were to many trails and the subject lost interest at one point or another during the experiment.
References Bergondy Maureen, (1998). Team Practice Schedules: What to do we know? Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1998,87, 31-34. Chasey, William, (1976). Distribution of Practice Effects on Learning Retention and Relearning by Retarded Boys. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1976, 43, 159-164. Donovan, John J., and Radosevich David J., (1999). A Meta-Analytic Review of Distribution of Practice Effect: Now You See it now you Dont. Journal of Applied Psychology. 1999, Vol.
84, No.5 Pages 795-805. Table 1 Up side Down Alphabet Trial 1 Trial 2 Table 2 Mean of Letters Correctly Printed. Conditions 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-45 46-50 All 0 sec(N=11) .22.65 23.04 24.75 24.84 24.8 26.89 25.95 27.58 27.73 27.73 25.6 5 sec.(N=9) 17.45 20.87 22.69 23.8 24.47 25.09 25.11 26.04 26.42 26.64 23.86 10 sec(N=10) 21.42 23.94 25.1 25.68 27.71 27.3 29.82 29.9 29.3 31.24 27.02 15 sec.(N=6) . 20.37 21.93 23.97 25 26.13. 26.63 27.8 28.4 28.73 27.5 25.67 20 sec.(N=8) 23.28 26.75 27.15 28.23 29.9 30.33 30.15 31.6 31.55 32.25 29.12 25 sec. (N=7) 22.89 25.86 25.4 27.6 27.14 28.17 29.34 29.23 29.97 30.71 27.63 All(N=51) 21.37 23.57 24.83 25.73 26.47 27.43 27.9 28.72 28.83 29.32 Figure Caption Figure 1.
Main Effect of Conditions (Rest Periods). Figure 2. Main Effect of Trials. Figure 3. Interaction Between Conditions and Trials. Bibliography References Bergondy Maureen, (1998). Team Practice Schedules: What to do we know? Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1998,87, 31-34. Chasey, William, (1976). Distribution of Practice Effects on Learning Retention and Relearning by Retarded Boys. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1976, 43, 159-164.
Donovan, John J., and Radosevich David J., (1999). A Meta-Analytic Review of Distribution of Practice Effect: Now You See it now you Dont. Journal of Applied Psychology. 1999, Vol. 84, No.5 Pages 795-805.