Lidor, R. and Shlomov-Dasa, S., The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Israel
Empirical evidence in motor learning, cognitive sport psychology, and educational psychology has shown that learning and performance of academic (e.g., reading comprehension, memorizing lists of words) as well as motor (e.g., ball throwing, dart throwing) tasks are enhanced by the implementation of learning (cognitive) strategies. However, for the academic tasks learners are instructed on how to use a specific task-domain strategy, and for the motor tasks they are asked to utilize other specific task-domain strategies. From a learning perspective, learners are required to apply different cognitive strategies while learning different tasks. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of integrative and specific strategies on the acquisition of two different tasks, reading comprehension and self-paced ball throwing, each reflecting characteristics of a different domain. Sixty fourth-grade students were randomly assigned to four strategy conditions: integrative strategy, reading comprehension strategy, motor strategy, and control (no-strategy). Participants took part in six training sessions: During session 1, base- line data were collected. In Sessions 2 to 4, participants were taught how to implement the strategies. In addition, in each session they performed a comprehensive reading task (e.g., reading a text) and a throwing task at a target apparatus (e.g., 3 blocks of 10 throwing trials). In sessions 5 and 6, post-treatment data were collected on the participants' ability to use the strategies in a transfer condition. Analyses of variance with repeated measures were conducted separately for the reading scores and the accuracy scores (ACE and VE) of the throwing task. The analyses revealed that the strategy participants achieved better then the no-strategy participants in both tasks. In addition, the specific strategies enhanced the performance of the specific tasks. It was concluded that learners can benefit from the usage of specific strategies for specific tasks. However, learning conditions should be very similar in order to achieve a between-domain effect.