The Learning Process
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Principles of Transferring Skills

How can skills can be transferred from an existing source to a new application?     

       Skills from a previously acquired task can be transferred to a related target task. An inductive logic program can be used to analyze the learning experience of source task. This allows a set of rules/principles to be developed that apply to the first task and, if appropriate, apply the same rules to the second task.

       The target task learner accepts these rules through taking advice. Be advised that the source of the advice from outside guidance that may be imperfect. The more similarities that exist between the source and target tasks, the more likely that there will be a successful transfer.

       Teaching a scientific course requires the learner to understand/comprehending a system as an abstract
concept rather than at a level of external observation. Transcending superficial appearances to extract
deep principles is as critical to science as it is difficult to achieve.

Reinforcement Learning (RL)
       There is an assumption that tasks in the same domain tend to be related. This may not be correct. Even tasks that are quite different may have general similarities, such as conditions under which an action should be taken. The desired goal is to transfer general tasks/skills from a source in order to speed up learning of a new but similar task that is targeted.

       It is possible that even when RL tasks shared skills, transfer between them may be difficult because differences in action sets and reward structures create differences in sharing the skills.  Individuals who are able to make use of transferred information must continue the learning process by filling in gaps in the transfer. A transfer might produce information/skills that partially is irrelevant or even incorrect. It is important to realize when it is necessary to modify or ignore imperfectly transferred information.

       An important tool in facilitating transfer is produce a map of source and target tasks. The mapping
describes the structural similarities between the tasks and might also include simple notations that reflect the differences between the tasks.

Communication Skills must be establish to create an environment for skill transfer to occur
       The ability to establish effective interpersonal communication is the foundation of how humans interact. Its importance for innovation and change can hardly be overemphasized.

       Communication is a both a science and an art. It consists of developing two-way exchange of information that involves giving and receiving information through different channels. The following basic principles apply for all media:

  • Know your audience.
  • Know your purpose.
  • Know your topic.
  • Anticipate objections.
  • Present a rounded picture.
  • Achieve credibility with your audience.
  • Follow through on what you say.
  • Communicate a little at a time.
  • Present information in several ways.
  • Develop a practical, useful way to get feedback.
  • Use multiple communication techniques.
        Achieving effective communication is complex task.  When we listen to or read someone who is attempting to communicate with us, we often filter what's being said through a wall of our own opinions.  The most common barriers to communication with others are our own ideas, preconceived opinions, stereotypes, and prejudices.

People remember:
  • 10% of what they read
  • 20% of what they hear
  • 30% of what they see
  • 40% of what they hear and see
Principles of Effective Persuasion
       Whether making an oral presentation or writing a report. the same basic principles apply:
  • Outline the topic you are trying to cover into two parts. 
    • The first part should give broad background information,
    • The second part provides a detailed summary.
  • Persuasion depends on clarity and simplicity.  Avoid the use of jargon and buzz words.
  • Be prepared to immediately back up claims or facts when questioned.
  • Anticipated objections and incorporate a response into your program or presentation.
  • Address all relevant aspects of a topic.
  • Use graphics and audiovisuals appropriately.
  • Do not oversell or overstate your case.  Make effective use of understatement.
  • This is an opportunity to find out what people think about your ideas.

Ideas Need to be Sold
        Ideas just do not sell themselves. As a communicator, it is your job to persuade others to recognize that the idea is deserves their support.  Most important is convincing them to adopt the idea and take act on it.  People must be convinced that a particular idea or innovation has enough merit to warrant adoption.

It takes Effort to Sell Ideas
        It may take more effort to sell an idea than it took to create the idea.  New ideas seldom stand out from the clutter of information that bombards us on a daily basis. The appropriate users must be targeted and shown how the idea relates to their needs and motivations. 

Seeking Feedback
       Receiving and giving feedback is one of the most crucial parts of good communication.  Like any other activity, there are specific skills that can enhance feedback.  Attentive listening must occur first for valid feedback to occur.

       Start by eliminating audience distractions.  Physical distractions and complications seriously impair listening.  These distractions may take many forms: loud noises, stuffy rooms, overcrowded conditions, uncomfortable temperature, bad lighting, etc.

       As the presenter, you must speak clearly and use a multimedia presentation to make sure you cover all of the points you feel are important. Prepared notes should be passed out at the start of the presentation.  Ask yourself how well you think your presentation has answered the following questions:

  • What evidence have you presented to support your statements?
  • What assumptions have you made?
  • What effect do you intent for the information to have on the audience?
  • Can the material be organized more efficiently?
  • Are there examples is illustrate what is said?
  • Have you summarized the main points of the message of the presentation?
Providing Feedback
         Messages should be clear and accurate, and sent in a way that encourages retention, not rejection.
  • Use Verbal Feedback Even If Nonverbal Is Positive And Frequent.  Everyone needs reassurance that they are reading nonverbal communication correctly, whether a smile means "You're doing great," "You're doing better than most beginners," or "You'll catch on eventually."

  • Focus Feedback On Behavior Rather Than On Personality.  It's better to comment on specific behavior than to characterize a pattern of behavior.  For example, instead of calling a colleague inefficient, specify your complaint:  "You don't return phone calls; this causes problems both in and outside your office."

  • Focus Feedback On Description Rather Than Judgment.  Description tells what happened.  Judgment evaluates what happened.  For example, in evaluating a report don't say, "This is a lousy report!!"  Instead, try:  "The report doesn't focus on the information that I think needs emphasis," or "This report seems to have a lot of grammatical and spelling mistakes."

  • Make Feedback Specific Rather Than General.  If feedback is specific, the receiver knows what activity to continue or change.  When feedback is general, the receiver doesn't know what to do differently.  For example, in an office situation, instead of saying "These folders are not arranged correctly," it's better feedback to say, "These should be arranged chronologically instead of alphabetically."

  • In Giving Feedback, Consider the Needs and Abilities of the Receiver.  Give the amount of information the receiver can use and focus feedback on activities the receiver has control over. It's fruitless to criticize the level of activity, if the decision to grant the necessary money for materials, personnel or technology is made at a different level.

  • Check to See if the Receiver Heard What You Meant to Say.  If the information is important enough to send, make sure the person understands it.  One way of doing this is to say, "I'm wondering if I said that clearly enough.  What did you understand me to say?" or "This is what I hear you saying.  Is that right?"

Source -  University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

The Transfer Principle
    The Transfer Principle suggests that learning and performing gross and fine motor skill can positive or negative effect the learning process of another.  A positive transfer of training from skills used in practice to their use in competition is critical for athletic success. This principle should serve as a guide for selecting off-ice training activities for developing on-ice skills. The concept also helps in designing strategies that have a positive impact in competitive situations.

Benefits to Coaches and Athletes
    Coaches can benefit from knowing how to apply the transfer principle. They can:
  • Select appropriate fitness training activities to build the necessary balance of fitness components necessary for specific sports.

  • Select training drills and activities that, collectively, possess common elements with competitive sport conditions.

  • Distinguish between what features of skills are being strengthened by certain training activities, and which features are not.

  • Train movement concepts and perceptions that apply to more than one skill, event, or sport.

  • Emphasize training activities that best develop the qualities that athletes need to excel.

  • Most closely match training activities with competition.

Match Training Elements to Skills Necessary to Compete
    Tips about the transfer of motor skills are found at Transfer of Training.  Coaching tips must apply the concept of matching training activities with the demands of sports if  maximizing results are to be achieved.
  • Sport analysis. Consider the overall demands of the sport of figure skating. What does it take to be outstanding? Physical, emotional, and mental demands contribute to being successful. Training should emphasize supporting the most important qualities that skaters at all skill levels should develop.
  • Skill analysis. Identify the key skills necessary for success. Perform fitness and agility tests to help focus on the areas where athletes need improvement, and select training activities to develop them.
  • Practice vs. competitive conditions. Always consider the differences between practice activities and competitive conditions. Beyond building the fundamentals, devise training activities and conditions that most closely match the emotional intensity that the skater can expect to encounter in test and competitive situations.
  • Mechanics. Understand the most efficient movements that underlay the mastery of highly skilled motor performances. Correcting movement deviations and inefficient patterns in practice is essential, even for such basic skills as stroking, skating on edges, and especially in performing jumps.
  • Movement qualities. Develop the timing and rhythms of skills can greatly assist the athlete in acquiring the mechanical/motor skills. Training activities that incorporate rhythms into skills and sequences used in competition will speed the development of automatic muscle/nerve memory responses.
  • Identify cause and effects. Coaches sometimes develop training activities to correct symptoms of motor skill errors that they observe when athletes compete. Training should focus on correcting the causes of mental as well as physical errors.
  • Physical capability. Athletes sometimes have limited capabilities of executing skills due to a lack of strength, power, or other fitness deficiencies or abilities. Coaches who can identify those limitations can better create practice activities and exercises designed to correct or mitigate core problems.
Positive or Negatively Affects of Skill Specialization
        Learning or regularly performing a skill can affect, either positively or negatively, the learning of a second skill.

Positive Transfer generally occurs when the two skills are similar in some way. Thus having previously mastered one of the skills, learning the second skill should be much easier. Coaches can be a positive force in insuring that the athlete understands the similarities between the two skills and there by stressing the importance of acquiring the basics of the first skill so that they transfer more easily into the second skill.

Negative Transfer occurs when having acquired one skill, it posses a barrier (obstacle) to learning the second skill. This can happen when a stimulus common to both skills requires a different response. Negative transfer can be avoided if the athlete is made aware of the differences and the practice sessions are tailored similar to simulate situations that only require one response.

Six categories of skill transfer have been identified:

  1. Transfer between skills - such as all racket sports
  2. transferring skills learnt in training to a competitive environment
  3. Abilities linked to skills - balance to perform a good landing in gymnastics
  4. Limb to limb (bilateral) - striking a football with the right or left foot
  5. Principle to skill - the principles of defensive play in rugby are similar to football
  6. Stages of learning - skills that are learnt in the cognitive phase will then be built upon in the associative phase.
Source - Teach PE

Recommended Reading:
  • PDF Socializing the Knowledge Transfer Problem  A central issue in acquiring knowledge is its appropriate transfer beyond the contexts and contents of first acquisition. In contrast to dominant "common elements" transfer theory, an interpretive perspective is developed, according to which "appropriate transfer" is a concept socioculturally rather than objectively defined.
  • PDF Cognitive Skill Acquisition  Review of research conducted in the past ten years on cognitive skill acquisition. It covers the initial stages of acquiring a single principle or rule, the initial stages of acquiring a collection of interacting pieces of knowledge, and the final stages of acquiring a skill, wherein practice causes increases in speed and accuracy.
  • PDF EFF Research Principle: A Contextualized Approach Research on the transfer of learning. teachers starts with real-life contexts and is weaved into all stages of every teaching and learning process. Instruction and assessment are aimed directly at the skills and knowledge adults need to perform tasks they have identified as important and meaningful to them. The focus is on the application rather than on the possession of basic skills and knowledge.
  • PDF Transfer as the Productive Use of Acquired Knowledge Taking into account the recent literature, this article defines transfer as the broad, productive, and supported use of acquired knowledge, skills, and motivations in new contexts and learning tasks. As an illustration, an intervention study is briefly discussed. This study shows the possibility of designing a powerful learning environment that yields transfer effects in accordance with this reconceptualized perspective on transfer.
  • PDF Structural Transfer of Cognitive Skills - Stanford It is common for humans to reuse knowledge gained in early settings to aid learning in ones they encounter later. This phenomenon
    is known as transfer in cognitive psychology.
    Transfer follows automatically from its use of structured concepts and skill.
  • Specificity of Training  Volume 1(2): January, 1996. SPECIFICITY OF TRAINING. This edition of Coaching Science Abstracts reviews articles concerned with the Principle of Specificity.
  • Specificity | Fitness and Health Nov. 28, 2006 ... Specificity states that your training should move from general to highly specific training. It also dictates that in order to improve a particular skill.
  • PDF Focusing on Specificity Training  Focusing on Specificity Training Written by NFPT Staff Writer Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00. The personal trainer will encounter athletes of all stripes.

8 Key Sports Training Principles Guide Sound Coaching Sports training principles offer general coaching guidelines for making training ... The Transfer Principle provides guidance on how training activities can speed improvement.

Transfer of Training Principles for Instruction Transfer of Training. Principles for Instructional. Design. Richard E. Clark. Alexander Voogel. Richard E. Clark is Professor of Educational Psychology

Transfer of Learning Nov. 1, 2000 ... Transfer of Training — That almost magical link between classroom and something which is supposed to happen in the real world. It helps the learners to become accustomed to using their newly acquired knowledge and skills in different situations, thus encouraging transfer of learning to the intended target/objective of the training goals. There are two main principles that work with transfer of learning:
  • The variation should not be too easy.
  • The shift or transfer should be progressive but rapid.
Principles of Interval Training | Interval Training Sessions In sports specific training these principles are used to prepare the body for work in specific energy transfer systems relevant to the particular sport.

Developing Personality and Character Traits


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
Learning Considerations
PDF  Attentional Focus
PDF  Spatial Disorientation
PDF  Effects of Mood on Performance
PDF  Confidence through Motivation
PDF  Transfer of Learning Issues

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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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