Dyad practice impacts self-directed practice behaviors and motor learning outcomes in a contextual interference paradigm


We studied dyad practice to determine whether and how alternating practice blocks with a partner impacts self-directed practice scheduling, learning, and perceptions of practice. Participants were assigned to be Partner 1 (P1) or 2 (P2). P1s had a blocked, random, or self-directed schedule, while all P2s self-directed practice of three, differently-timed keystroke-sequences. P2s showed both own error-dependent practice (switching sequences following better performance) and partner-dependent practice, with the partner's schedule impacting sequence selection and switching frequency. A partner's schedule also impacted learning. Random practice resulted in better timing accuracy than blocked practice for both partners in an immediate and delayed retention test. These data give evidence that self-directed practice behaviors and learning outcomes are modulated by a partner's practice schedule.