* 2 weeks prior to performance: alternate 1 day distributed, 1 day massed (with all aspects as similar to actual performance as possible, including time of day, location, room acoustics, wearing performance-related articles of clothing, etc.), saving 1 day per week for rest following a massed practice day.
Massed Practice Schedule Same amount of practice time or repetitions used as in distributed practice (below), but practiced in a relatively short time period.
McDonnell (1996) compared the effects of massed practice instruction to a combined massed practice and distributed practice format on the acquisition, transfer, and generalization of prompted requests for five students with developmental disabilities.
The dependent measures used to compare the relative effectiveness of one-to-one embedded and one-to-one massed practice were the percent of correct responding during testing probes, total trials to criterion, and the perceptions of the teacher and paraprofessional regarding the utility and acceptability of the two instructional formats.
In addition, the authors calculated the total number of instructional trials provided to each student in each session of both the one-to-one embedded and one-to-one massed practice instructional procedures to ensure their equivalence.
The study utilized a single subject alternating treatment design (Holcombe, Wolery, & Gast, 1994) to compare the relative effectiveness of one-to-one embedded instruction in the general education classroom and one-to-one massed practice instruction in the special education class.
Finally, it is interesting to consider hypotheses about the causal influences of task-specific discussions in light of the massed practice schedule that was employed in the present experiment.
Thus trainers could provide opportunities for discussions to overcome the detrimental effects of massed practice. Further support for the hypotheses about the causal relationship between discussion, explicit processing, and performance suggests that trainers could refine the application of unguided discussion by monitoring its effects on explicit task processing.
In summary, the present results imply that unguided discussion might be a cost-effective way to enhance learning in training centers that teach selected men and women complex skills with independent learning goals and massed practice schedules.
The question addressed in this experiment is whether the distributed practice technique of task variation (with maintenance tasks interspersed) is more effective than a constant task condition (commonly referred to as massed practice
) when teaching gross motor skills to people with autism.
Our extended condition maps well onto a massed practice schedule (i.e., solving 12 contiguous problems per problem set), but mapping the abbreviated condition onto a distributed practice schedule requires a consideration of their problem-solving activities.
However, the deleterious effects of massed practice have been well documented in the literature (e.g., fatigue, boredom, inattentiveness).