Adaptive and Part-Whole Training in the Acquisition of a Complex Perceptual-Motor Skill

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The benefit of two instructional strategies: adaptive training and part training in teaching complex perceptual motor skills was evaluated. One method was the part training method, where a subject practiced on essential subtasks before performing the whole task. The other method was adaptive training, where the time pressure of the task was continually adjusted to conform to the subject's performance level until his performance was sufficient to handle the ultimate task difficulty. The task was a computer-controlled video game, developed for research purposes. The task was challenging and proficiency could be achieved only through significant amount of practice. The results found the part training regime superior to all others. The two adaptive training regimes brought mixed results, with one group superior and one equal to a control group. Negative transfer from the slow to the fast version of the game was evident, and may be the reason for the lack of clear advantage to the adaptive regimes.

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Acta Psychologica, v. 71, issues 1-3, p. 179-196.