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Martin Gérin-Lajoie, Carol L. Richards and Bradford J. McFadyen

This article introduces a novel, ecological, obstructed walking paradigm. Gait adaptations to circumvent obstacles undergoing uncertain displacements, and the effect of revealing the obstacle’s action beforehand, were investigated in young adults. The personal space (PS) maintained during walking was quantified for the first time under different environmental factors including auditory distractions. Obstacle movement and its uncertainty resulted in gait adjustments aimed at gaining time to assess the situation. Early gait adaptations and constant clearances around the obstacle suggest that anticipation and preplanning are involved in such navigational tasks. Participants systematically maintained an elliptical PS during circumvention, but they adjusted its size according to different environmental factors. There was a relationship between the size of PS and level of attention, which suggests that the regulation of PS is used to control locomotion. This novel paradigm has important implications for the assessment and training of locomotor ability within real world environments.

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Joyce M. Harrison, Lisa A. Preece, Connie L. Blakemore, Robert P. Richards, Carol Wilkinson and Gilbert W. Fellingham

This study examined volleyball achievement and task-specific self-efficacy for 182 students in 6 beginning college volleyball classes taught using either the Mastery Learning or Skill Teaching models. Three instructors each taught one Mastery Learning and one Skill Teaching class. Assessments included the AAHPERD pass, set. and serve tests, the Stanley spike test, successful and unsuccessful game trials. Bandura-type self-efficacy scales, and a knowledge test. A random coefficients growth curve model analyzed the intercepts and slopes of the learning curves and revealed significant pre- to posttest improvement on skills tests, self-efficacy, and the percentage of correct passes and serves in game play for all students. No significant difference existed between the two models on average number of trials per day; rate of improvement for the pass, serve, or spike skills tests; self-efficacy; percentage of correct passes, sets, or serves in game play; contacts per serve in game play; or knowledge scores. The Mastery students’ rate of learning was significantly better on the set skills test (1.3 points higher) and the percentage of successful spikes in game play, in which they started significantly lower. The low-skilled students improved at a faster rate on the serve and on self-efficacy for the pass, set, and serve. Males had higher self-efficacy than females, while females increased more rapidly in self-efficacy for the pass, set, and serve. All results were analyzed at the .05 level of significance. Students learned to play volleyball and improved significantly in skill performances with either model.