The recommendation that learners be provided choice over feedback scheduling is challenged when a perceived coach-controlled group is added to the typical self-controlled learning paradigm


Researchers have shown that learners who self-control (SC) their knowledge of results (KR) schedule learn the task more effectively than yoked learners. A recommendation that has followed from such results is that learners should be provided choice over their KR schedule, rather than at a coaches' discretion (Wulf & Lewthwaite, 2016). No research to date, however, has compared SC learners to a group that more closely mimics that of receiving KR from a coach, thus challenging whether such recommendations can be made. To this end, three groups learned a golf putting task; a SC group, a traditional yoked group (TY), and a group who were led to believe that their KR schedule was being controlled by a golf coach (perceived coach-controlled yoked group; PCC). Participants (N= 60) completed three phases; pre-test, acquisition, and two 24-hr delayed post-tests (retention/transfer). All groups lowered their mean radial error (MRE) throughout acquisition (F(8.26, 470.6)= 4.95, p <.001). As hypothesized, the SC group (M= 40.18) had lower MRE compared to the TY group (M= 43.10) during the post-tests, yet, the PCC group had the lowest MRE (M= 36.54). These differences, however, were not statistically significant. Results from a questionnaire indicated that both yoked groups showed similar moderate ratings for receiving KR when they wanted it, as well as preferring KR on good trials, or good and bad trials equally. Taken together, these results call into question the recommendation for practitioners to give choice to a learner over KR scheduling and further research is warranted.