What Is the Impact of Two Instructional Strategies on Student Motor Skills Acquisition?

September 10, 2018

Effectiveness of the Practice Style and Reciprocal Style of Teaching: A Meta-Analysis

This meta-analysis looks at the effectiveness of two strategies in teaching motor skills to students: practice and reciprocal. The research examined two of the 11 teaching strategies identified in Mosston’s Spectrum of Teaching Styles designed for teachers in physical education. Six studies met the criteria for inclusion in this paper. The practice strategy involves the student in the decision-making process. The reciprocal strategy assigns each learner to a specific role: One learner performs the task and the other is the observer who offers immediate and ongoing feedback using a criteria sheet designed by the teacher. At the end of the practice, the students switch roles.

The study showed a very large effect size of 1.16 for the practice strategy, and a large effect size of 0.94 for the reciprocal strategy. It would not be surprising to see these particularly large effect sizes moderated in subsequent replication studies (Makel & Plucker, 2014; van Aert & van Assen, 2018). The study confirms previous research on reciprocal teaching as an effective instructional strategy. Reciprocal teaching has been found to be a powerful strategy for teaching reading and other academic subjects. John Hattie (1995) reported an effect size of 0.74 for reciprocal teaching. The takeaway from this meta-analysis is that practice and reciprocal styles have positive effects on motor skill acquisition.


Chatoupis, C., & Vagenas, G. (2018). Effectiveness of the practice style and reciprocal style of teaching: A meta-analysis. Physical Educator75(2), 175–194.

Makel, M. C., & Plucker, J. A. (2014). Facts are more important than novelty: Replication in the education sciences. Educational Researcher, 43(6), 304–316.

van Aert, R. C. M., & van Assen, M. A. L. M. (2018). Examining reproducibility in psychology: A hybrid method for combining a statistically significant original study and a replication. Behavior Research Methods, 50(4),1515–1539.

Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.

Link: http://scholar.uoa.gr/sites/default/files/gvagenas/files/chatoupis_vagenas_2018.pdf