Course:KIN366/ConceptLibrary/Augmented Feedback

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Movement Experiences for Children
KIN 366
Instructor: Dr. Shannon S.D. Bredin
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Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
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Augmented feedback, also referred to as extrinsic feedback, comes from sources such as a coach, teacher, parent, trainer or training device (Magill & Anderson, 2012). This latter type of feedback adds to the natural sensory feedback, also known as inherent feedback and can be provided in a variety of ways, such as in auditory, visual, proprioceptive, or tactile form. During the learning process of a motor skill, feedback is the positive or negative response that tells the learner how well the task was completed. Inherent feedback is always present after completing a skill, since it is the sensory information that tells the learner how well the task was completed (Schmidt & Lee, 2005). However augmented feedback is information that supplements or “augments” the inherent feedback (Magill & Anderson, 2012). It has also shown to decrease the amount of time to master the motor skill and increases the performance level of the prospect (Schmidt & Lee, 2005). In the case of young children, it is an important component of facilitating movement experiences by aiding in the acquisition of fundamental motor skills.

Role of Augmented Feedback in Motor Skill Acquisition

Main Functions

  1. facilitate the learning of a new skill – provide performance-based information that allows the individual to determine what he or she should continue to do and what not continue to do (Magill, 2001).
  2. enhance the performance of well-learned skills – provide information that allows the individual to determine how to improve performance in specific contexts and situations (Magill, 2001).
  3. motivation to continue to practice a skill or to continue to participate – by providing this feedback, it becomes a continuous learning cycle for creating and enhancing movement experiences in children (Schmidt & Lee, 2005).

Importance of Augmented Feedback

Augmented feedback is essential in situations where:

  • sensory information is not available (cannot see the target)
  • the learner’s sensory pathways are impaired due to injury, accident, age, or disease
  • the task intrinsic feedback is available but performer cannot use it (due to lack of experience).

Augmented is not needed (but can always be used in addition) when:

  • the skill inherently provides task-intrinsic feedback
  • the skill that has a detectable external reference in the environment (i.e. targets, basket, goal)
  • observational learning situations in practice where one sees a skilled performer or skilled peer performing the skill

The guidance hypothesis

The hypothesis states that augmented feedback plays a major role in scaffolding the learning process by helping the learner discover how to accomplish the goal of the task. Important principles that provide augmented feedback so that it facilitates rather than hinders learning have been based on this hypothesis revealing that augmented feedback has guidance-like properties (Salmoni, Schmidt, & Walter, 1984; Gordon, 1968). Winstein & Schmidt (1990) explain the guidance hypothesis and recognize that if 100% feedback guides the learner, they become dependent on the augmented feedback. However, relative frequency does not develop dependency and helps direct ones performance to reduce errors.

Dimensions of Augmented Feedback

Concurrent vs. Terminal

Concurrent feedback is presented during the movement. Terminal feedback is presented after the movement (Schmidt & Lee, 2005). Terminal feedback is effective in any skill learning situation but concurrent feedback depends on level of task-intrinsic feedback in performing (Magill, 2000).

Immediate vs. Delayed

This deals with the time feedback is delivered. Immediate feedback is presented immediately after the relevant action. Delayed feedback is delayed in time after the relevant action (Schmidt & Lee, 2005).

Verbal vs. Non-verbal

Verbal feedback is presented in a form that is spoken or being capable of spoken. For example, when a parent tells their child what he or she did right or wrong during the performance of a skill. Non-verbal feedback is presented in a form that is not capable of being spoken. This would include, computer-based technology, auditory (e.g. metronome for stroke rate in swimming to keep tempo), visual (e.g. mirror), self-modelling and summary feedback ( analysis) (Magill & Anderson, 2012).

Accumulated vs. Distinct

Accumulated feedback represents an accumulation of past performance. Distinct feedback represents each performance separately (Schmidt & Lee, 2005).

KR vs. KP

Knowledge of Results (KR) is verbalized (or verbalizable) post-movement information about the outcome of the movement in the environment. Knowledge of Performance (KP) is verbalized (or verbalizable) post-movement information about the nature of the movement pattern (Schmidt & Lee, 2005).

Types of Augmented Feedback

Although there has been some controversy and inconsistent use of the two subdivisions of augmented feedback (i.e. knowledge of results (KR) and knowledge of performance (KP)) as arbitrary terms, arguments have been made for this distinction, and these terms are often used to help describe the type of feedback (Magill, 2001).

Knowledge of Results

KR feedback deals with the outcome of the movement in terms of the environmental goal. It is defined as verbal, terminal feedback about goal achievement (Salmoni, Schmidt, & Walter, 1984) and is sometimes contains with a reward component, such as “very good”. For this reason, most young children rely on this type of feedback when developing novel motor skills ranging from basic motor milestones to more skill related activities like throwing and catching. It relates to the environmental factor (“you missed the ball”) rather than the movement itself (“your elbow was bent”) and can be described in very simple terms leading to one objective/outcome (Schmidt & Lee, 2005).

Precision of KR

This refers to the degree of exactness of the information presented in a qualitative manner or quantitative manner (Schmidt & Lee, 2005). K-R can also be provided in a bandwidth method where the feedback is given on a small band of correct trials or standard set by the teacher, coach, or therapist. When the learner is outside this band - feedback is given frequently. When the learner is within this band - feedback is given sparingly. This provides a useful means to individualize the frequency of augmented feedback (Magill, 2001).

Schedules of KR

Giving augmented feedback after every trail is neither practical nor optimal for learning. Some type of relative or reduced frequency feedback schedule is appropriate. Winstein and Schmidt (1990) study indicates that “more is not better.” Reduced frequency of feedback is better for learning skills, and the optimal relative frequency of feedback is specific to the skill learned. The faded technique is the best form of relative feedback in which one systematically reduces KR frequency and facilitates retention performance (Chen, 2001). For example, start by giving augmented feedback for 50% of the trials and slowly reduce to only given when asked for it.

Temporal Locus of KR

The KR-delay interval is between the end of one practice attempt and the augmented feedback (Schmidt & Lee, 2005). Post-KR internal is the interval between the augmented feedback and the beginning of the next practice attempt. The length of post-KR delay interval is a very important interval because most believe this is the period where we develop a plan of action. There seems to be a minimum amount of time that must pass before giving feedback (Swinnen, 1996). Therefore, if augmented feedback is given too soon, it interferes with the task intrinsic feedback processing; but if one waits just a few seconds, task intrinsic feedback processing is facilitated and the movement experience is enhanced (Sullivan, Kantak, & Burtner, 2008).

Interpolated Activities during KR intervals

Three outcomes have been cited in research that indicates that activities interpolated during KR intervals might hinder, benefit, or have not have an effect. The most common effect is no influence. However, when the interference activity uses the same learning processes as the primary task being learned (motor or cognitive), it hinders the learning. Conversely, the individual will benefit from the interference activity if the learner is required to evaluate their performance afterwards (Sullivan, Kantak, & Burtner, 2008).

Knowledge of Performance

This additional feedback is concerned with the movement pattern that the individual is only vaguely aware of and is mostly used by instructors (Schmidt & Lee, 2005). When providing this feedback, the early learner needs qualitative feedback; once the skill is learned, then you can enhance it with quantitative feedback (Magill & Anderson, 2012).

Video feedback

Videotape replays is a common practice that many assume aids in skill acquisition. Effectiveness of video tape replays depends on one’s stage of learning. Beginners need assistants to point out critical information. Advanced player benefit form attention-directing instructions such as verbal cues or checklists (Magill, 2001). Kernodle & Carelton (1992) demonstrated the importance of giving specific cues to look for while watching a videotape replays. They also provided evidence that self-modeling tapes when combined with instruction are an effective form. Magill (2001) stated that watching one’s own performance displayed better performance than those who saw the same skills performed by someone else.

Kinematic feedback

This feedback is referring to the specific motion and can use graphic computer simulations of performances for advanced performers (rather than novices). For beginners, interpretation of more complex kinematic information is difficult to grasp and the goal of the task must be simplified to see similar benefits (Schmidt & Lee, 2005).


This is the use of task-intrinsic feedback related to physiological processes (heart rate, muscle activity). It is frequently used for rehabilitation, but shown to be effective in enhancing skills that cannot ever be perceived directly (Schimdt & Lee, 2005). For example, swimming cap with an audible signal to maintain velocity and arm cycle was shown to be effective (Magill & Anderson, 2012).

Consequences of Augmented Feedback


Like any scaffold or crutch, the learner can become dependent on augmented feedback if it diverts attention away from discovering how to accomplish the goal of the task in the absence of augmented feedback. If scheduled inappropriately, augmented feedback can become an essential part of the task or it can prevent the learner from processing critical sources of task-intrinsic feedback or engaging in important aspects of action planning that are essential to task success. This can occur if augmented feedback is provided:

  • too quickly after a practice attempt (Schmidt & Lee, 2005)
  • concurrently during performance (Schmidt & Lee, 2005)
  • too frequently during practice or in a manner that is too easy to use (Winstein & Schmidt, 1990).

Solution to Dependence

Observe and change method of feedback presentation by (Magill, 2001):

  • Delaying it over trials
  • Providing it in summary form or as an average
  • Making the provision of augmented feedback contingent on the magnitude of errors made by the learner
  • Allowing learners to self-select the trials on which they receive augmented feedback
  • Estimate their errors before receiving feedback

Erroneous Feedback

If learner is presented with redundant feedback and ignores it with task-intrinsic feedback, performance is not affected. However, if the learner used the erroneous feedback, then it will bias the performance. In early stages of learning, the beginner will use augmented feedback whether it is correct or not because it helps them deal with uncertainty about what the task intrinsic feedback is telling them (Schmidt & Lee, 2005).

Concurrent Feedback

When feedback is given during performing, it causes a system overload, especially in early learners. A negative learning effect occurs when feedback directs the learner attention from critical task intrinsic feedback and towards the augmented (Magill, 2001).

Tips for Practitioners

Knowledge about the types of feedback can provide the foundation for developing instruction and practice strategies that will facilitate the learning, or enhance the performance, of skills (Chen, 2001). Practitioners teaching motor skills should design practice conditions in accordance with the cognitive processing capacity of the learner (Bates et al. 2012).

The amount of info that should be provided:

  • The information needs to be remembered and used, so there is a limited amount you can provide.
  • The feedback should be clear and concise but effective – the minimum amount in order to achieve the task.
  • General rule: provide information about 1 specific error observed. This is critical for beginners and cannot be combined with a cognitively demanding task either (dual-task interference).

The content of the info: what should you actually say?

  • The verbal statement must be meaningful to the child; e.g. remembering an arm position in space, use a clock-face label like 2 o’clock is better for remembering (Shea & Wulf, 1999).
  • For the beginner, the error should be identified along with movement-specific information about how it should be corrected.
  • OR the error should be identified, but the correction information should be less specific so that the learner is encouraged to search actively for ways to correct the error (through exploratory method), for skilled performers (Magill & Anderson, 2012).

Summary of Guidelines for giving Augmented Feedback

Augmented feedback can be provided in a variety of forms to enhance performance and learning. Not one study shows that one method is better than another because it depends on the task and the learner. Here are tips to provide the most effective augmented feedback to an individual(Magill, 2001):

  • the feedback must be meaningful to the learner (e.g., limb positions can be referenced to a familiar frame of reference such as a clock face)
  • the amount provided after each practice attempt should be minimized (e.g., limit to one error) so as to not overburden the learner’s information processing capabilities.
  • Beginners need “ballpark” info, and skilled individuals need more specific info.
  • Combine error-based feedback and performance information of what is done correctly
  • Verbal KP should be based on the most critical errors made during practice (through analyzing and prioritizing the components of skill)
  • Prescriptive KP is better for novice; descriptive KP is appropriate for advanced.
  • Videotape replays can be effective with beginners (Practitioners provide direction to help them detect)
  • Computer generated displays is effective for advanced performers
  • Biofeedback needs to give perform info they can use to alter movements
  • Do not give feedback after every trial and develop a faded feedback schedule using bandwidth standards.
  • Wait a few seconds before giving feedback.
  • Have the student or client engage in self-evaluation of their performance then give feedback.
  • Summary feedback should be provided over trials. Provide more trials for easy skill and less trial for more complex tasks.
  • Give the performer a choice in when they want feedback.


Bates, J., Occhiogrosso, B., Schlagenhaufer, J., Sidaway, B., & Wilkes, D. (2012). Interaction of feedback frequency and task difficulty in children's motor skill learning. Physical therapy, 92 (7); 948.

Chen, D.D. (2001). Trends in augmented feedback research and tips for the practitioner. Journal of physical education, recreation & dance, 72 (1); 32-36.

Gordon, N B. (1968). Guidance versus augmented feedback and motor skill. Journal of experimental psychology,77(1); 24-30. doi: 10.1037/h0025753

Kernodle, M. W., & Carelton, L. G. (1992). Information feedback and the learning of multiple-degree-of-freedom activities. Journal of Motor Behaviour, 7, 15-27.

Magill, R. A. (2001). Augmented feedback and skill acquisition. In R. N. Singer, H. A. Hausenblaus, & C. Janelle (Eds.), Handbook on research in sport psychology (2nd ed.) New York: Wiley

Magill, R. A., & Anderson, D. I. (2012). The roles and uses of augmented feedback in motor skill acquisition. In N. J. Hodges & M. A. Williams (Eds). Skill Acquisition in Sport: Research, Theory and Practice. (3-18). New York: Routledge

Salmoni, A. W., Schmidt, R. A., & Walter, C. B. (1984). Knowledge of results and motor learning: a review and critical reappraisal. Psychological Bulletin, 95(3), 355-386.

Schmidt, R.A., & Lee, T.D. (2005). Augmented Feedback. Motor control and learning: a behavioral emphasis (364-400). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Shea, C. H., & Wulf, G. (1999). Enhancing motor learning through external-focus instructions and feedback. Human Movement Science, 18(4), 553-571.

Sullivan, K.J., Kantak, S.S., & Burtner P.A. (2008). Motor learning in children: feedback effects on skill acquisition. Physical Therapy Journal, 88(6); 720-832. doi:10.2522/ptj.20070196

Swinnen, S. P. (1996). Information feedback for motor skill learning. A review. In H. N. Zelaznik (Ed.), Advances in motor learning and control (37-66). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Winstein, C. J., & Schmidt, R. A. (1990). Reduced frequency of knowledge of results enhances motor skill learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 16(4), 677