Multidisciplinary Views on Applying Explicit and Implicit Motor Learning in Practice: An International Survey

M. Kleynen*, S.M. Braun, S.M.C. Rasquin, M.H.C. Bleijlevens, M.A.S. Lexis, J. Halfens, M.R. Wilson, R.S.W. Masters, A.J. Beurskens

*Corresponding author for this work

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31 Citations (Web of Science)


Background A variety of options and techniques for causing implicit and explicit motor learning have been described in the literature. The aim of the current paper was to provide clearer guidance for practitioners on how to apply motor learning in practice by exploring experts' opinions and experiences, using the distinction between implicit and explicit motor learning as a conceptual departure point. Methods A survey was designed to collect and aggregate informed opinions and experiences from 40 international respondents who had demonstrable expertise related to motor learning in practice and/or research. The survey was administered through an online survey tool and addressed potential options and learning strategies for applying implicit and explicit motor learning. Responses were analysed in terms of consensus (>= 70%) and trends (>= 50%). A summary figure was developed to illustrate a taxonomy of the different learning strategies and options indicated by the experts in the survey. Results Answers of experts were widely distributed. No consensus was found regarding the application of implicit and explicit motor learning. Some trends were identified: Explicit motor learning can be promoted by using instructions and various types of feedback, but when promoting implicit motor learning, instructions and feedback should be restricted. Further, for implicit motor learning, an external focus of attention should be considered, as well as practicing the entire skill. Experts agreed on three factors that influence motor learning choices: the learner's abilities, the type of task, and the stage of motor learning (94.5%; n = 34/36). Most experts agreed with the summary figure (64.7%; n = 22/34). Conclusion The results provide an overview of possible ways to cause implicit or explicit motor learning, signposting examples from practice and factors that influence day-to-day motor learning decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0135522
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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