|M.Sc Student||Hochmitz Ilanit|
|Subject||Spatial Relation versus Abstract Representation Training|
in Procedural Skills Acquisition
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Eldad Yechiam|
|Full Thesis text|
Simulation-based training is becoming widely established for the purpose of acquiring and training procedural skill. However, in most cases these simulators offer technological sophistication at the expense of theory-based design and the question what features of the task are important for the acquisition of procedural skill in psychomotor tasks is remained unanswered. Motor memory and motor schema theories suggest that these features should involve full representation of the motor parts of the task. Yet, based on several theories we argue that focusing on the spatial characteristics or the abstract representation of the necessary actions should contribute to procedural skill acquisition. We addressed this issue by comparing two alternative training methods for procedural skill acquisition in a Lego assembly task, one focusing on the spatial features of the task (the allocation of the bricks) while the other focused on the abstract features (the verbal explanation of what should be done). These two training methods were compared to two benchmark groups, a Motor training group (actual performance of the task) and a control group who experienced no training at any kind. The results revealed that the Motor training group was superior to both Spatial and Abstract groups, in most aspects, supporting past research on the impotence of motor training and motor memory to performance. Yet, applying any of the two training methods would be better to no training at all. Additionally, a comparison of the Spatial and the Abstract groups revealed that the Spatial group spent more time on errors, but less time on each correct construction stage; suggesting that the two training methods have complementary advantages. These results are consistent with the item-order hypothesis.