Variability of Practice and the Transfer of Training of Motor Skills
TENNESSEE UNIV KNOXVILLE
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The Training and Simulation Technical Area of the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences ARI maintains a program of research in support of the systems approach to training. A major focus of this program is the development of fundamental data and technology in the areas of skill acquisition, retention and transfer necessary for fielding training systems that improve individual job performance. Typically, soldiers are trained in service schools on only a portion of those tasks required for effective job performance. The remaining tasks are trained on the job once soldiers arrive in their operational units. Because unit training resources are limited, a primary goal of school training is to promote effective positive transfer of school- taught tasks to those additional tasks required on the job. Such transfer would reduce unit training demands and promote better on-the-job performance and associated combat readiness. This basic research report examines the effects of amount and variability of practice on the transfer of training of motor skills. The findings indicate that transfer improves with increased initial task training but that the effects of variety are task specific.
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