Qualitative skill analysis is an essential analytic tool for physical educators (Hay, 1973) and refers to a process in which a teacher identifies discrepancies between the actual response observed and the desired response (Hoffman, 1977b). Providing instruction for preservice teachers regarding how to recognize errors has been largely neglected in teacher preparation (Barrett, 1979; Hoffman, 1977a; Locke, 1972). The purpose of this study was to evaluate an alternative approach for teaching qualitative skill analysis to undergraduates. The study evaluated the effectiveness of a visual-discrimination training program. The subjects were 18 undergraduate students. The visual-discrimination training program was introduced using a multiple-baseline design across three volleyball skills: the forearm pass, the overhead pass, and the overhead serve. After the introduction of each instructional component, subjects made abrupt improvements in correctly analyzing the volleyball skill. This approach for teaching qualitative skill analysis is one alternative to the conventional techniques currently being used in professional preparation.
Susan Wilkinson is with the Department of Human Performance at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192.