Discuss the role of feedback in the learning of skills.

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Assignment 2

Discuss the role of feedback in the learning of skills

“Feedback is very much associated with guidance. In order to learn and develop skills both guidance and feedback are necessary.” (PE for Edexcel) Feedback is needed, along with good coaching, in the learning process of all skills associated with sport. Golfers need to be told (via external feedback) whether their swing is correct or not, in the same way as a footballer has to be instructed on the correct technique needed to continuously perform accurate and powerful volleys successfully. A performer gains feedback from their entire sporting environment. Feedback “informs an athlete about their performance during and following the movement” (Claire Haycock)

When commenting on feedback as an “essential component in the learning process of successful skills.” (www.teachpe.com), the timing of the feedback and the way in which feedback is given should be taken into consideration. Beginners (at the cognitive stage of learning) should be given a different form of feedback from those who are at a highly skilled, advanced level in the sport (autonomous performers). This is because autonomous athletes can and are willing to take criticism in order to achieve perfection, whilst beginners will get upset or disheartened if a criticism is made against them as the opening learning stage should be fun or keep the beginner interested. Feedback provides the performer and on lookers with information about the performance. If a golfer, at the cognitive stage of learning, is failing to hit the ball in the desired direction, or even failing to hit the ball at all, then the novice should be given the appropriate feedback by their coach as to what they are doing wrong and show them the correct way it should be performed. This should be done in a constructive way using positive feedback, if it was given in a negative way using negative feedback, it may have a detrimental effect on the learners motivation to try and complete it successfully and eventually they may give up. “Responses followed by reward tend to be repeated, while those that are not (or that are punished) tend not to be repeated.” (Thorndike’s law of effect 1914)

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Feedback will act as an incentive or motivation to a performer if given or received in the correct manner. “If children or beginners hear good things about themselves, they're more likely to feel good about themselves too. Positive feedback in sport is essential. It can come from coaches, fellow players, spectators.” (www.cd.gov.ab.ca/index.asp) Positive feedback is essential for beginners as the player then knows what to repeat the next time they perform it. An example would be a badminton player performs a smash and is told that they have good power or technique. This is essential so the beginner can ...

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