What is Feedback

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Feedback is part of the information processing system, which is received during or following a movement, to notify the performer about the effectiveness of the response. In order to learn and develop skills, feedback is necessary. Learning also requires knowledge of results and knowledge of performance.

Feedback gives information about the quality of a movement/performance. There are many types of feedback, and we should know each one and the effect it has on skill improvement and value related to learning stages of the performer.

* Intrinsic feedback-is sometimes referred to as internal feedback. All this information is inherent to the task. You can feel the response of how the skill was per formed through the kinesthetic senses.

* Extrinsic feedback-sometimes is referred to as external feedback. It comes from teachers, coaches, etc. the information given to the performers is used to reinforce the already received intrinsic feedback.

* Positive feedback-occurs when the task or performance is successful. It could used to strengthen learning and increase the probability of repeated successful performance.

* Negative feedback-is just what is incorrect about a performance and does not suit beginners because it will de-motivate them, there confidence will go and they could give up playing all together. To an elite performer, they could improve their skill so they will benefit from it more.

* Concurrent feedback-is when the performer receives information during the activity.

* Terminal feedback-is a type of feedback that is given after the movement has been completed as knowledge of result

. Knowledge of results (KR) and Knowledge of Performance (KP)

KR is the knowing what the result of your action has been, which is generally extrinsic and given verbally. We modify them to produce precise movement needed for the correct performance of a skill. For example, in rugby union a coach may tell the fly half to try passing the ball wide at all opportunities and he may add some additional extrinsic feedback to tell you why your action is incorrect and how to improve it.

KP is a type of intrinsic feedback, which gives you knowledge of the movement performed rather than the result. If we look at the wide pass in rugby again, if when you pass the ball it feels good then you are getting positive feedback, and if it feels wrong then you will get negative feedback.

Both of the above are important in motivating a performer and the reinforcement of the move they are performing. When positive feedback is given, through seeing a performance has improved or performs the skill successfully. So it is important that feedback is given, especially from the coach.

However, if KR is given too much the performer may not absorb the information and put it into practice.

The role of feedback

Feedback is used to help the correction/detection of errors and reinforcement of a skill; it is also used for motivation. It can be used to move the performer through the three phases of learning- cognitive, associative, and autonomous.

Cognitive stage

This is the initial stage of learning. Performer gains the images of the action they are performing. They correct the skill by experience and extrinsic feedback fro the coach. Visual is useful at this stage, but the performer cannot yet interpret intrinsic feedback, this means they have to rely on the extrinsic feedback from their coach. This means KR is more useful to the performer because they can see the actual outcome of their performance. KP is not as good for them as they do not have a clear motor plan against which to measure kinaesthetic feedback has not yet been developed. For example when a player is learning how to shoot from the penalty line, they watch how the coach performs the shot then tries to put the movement into practice themselves.

Positive feedback is more important is more useful than negative feedback at this stage. For example when a triple jumper gets their stride right, and hits the bored perfectly they take this and try harder to do the same again. If they were to get a no jump it would nock their confidence and they may chose to give up.

Associative stage

This stage is the motor phase of learning, feedback occurs to understand what they are performing correctly and what elements they need to work on, verbal feedback is essential at this stage. The learner is still more dependent on extrinsic feedback than intrinsic feedback. Negative feedback can be useful at this stage as it tells them what they are doing wrong so they can try to correct it. For example a badminton player trying to hit a ‘smash’ shot may be playing it wrong and it keeps hitting the net, the coach will tell them what is wrong so they can improve their shot- negative external feedback.

Autonomous stage

The learner can now interpret intrinsic feedback on the move, as they are performing, they are able to tell if the move is correct by the way it feels, this enables the performer to use KP, internal and kinaesthetic feedback. Negative feedback is used more efficiently and frequently and helps the player work out and play tactically. For example in rugby it would help the captain work out if it is better to ‘kick for touch’ or ‘run’ a penalty depending on how the other team was playing. The coach would give negative feedback if it goes wrong; he would also use KP and KR in his external feedback.

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