• The task is completely new to the learner
  • First problem: verbal and cognitive

-identify the goal

-evaluate performance

-look at the what, when, and how of the skill

-figure out what to do and generate an attempt

-self talk: demands a lot of attention which prevents processing of simultaneous activities

  • What can help in the stage?

-instruction > verbal information



  • Performance:

-halting, jerky, uncertain

-gains are rapid and large

MOTOR STAGE – timeframe: several weeks to months

  • Focus now is on organizing more effective movement patterns

-build a motor program to accomplish movement requirements (quick movement)

-use response-produced feedback (slow movement)

  • Characteristics:

-reduced energy cost and self talk

-anticipation, smoother movements, less rushed

-monitor own feedback

  • Performance:

-continues to improve rapidly > improved consistency


  • Automatic action now and does not require much attention
  • Motor program well developed

-can perform higher order cognitive activities (e.g., strategy, style)

-no self talk

-increased self-confidence and error detection

-slow performance improvements

Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Stages of Learning," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,

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