EDF2171 - Motor control and skill acquisition - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Justen O'Connor

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit explores the discipline of human movement, particularly how humans acquire and refine a broad range of movement skills. The study of motor control and skill acquisition is a broad area that uses foundational biophysical knowledge together with elements of psychology, sociology and understanding of growth and development to explore how and why the human body moves. Students are introduced to concepts such as tacit knowledge and environmental constraints to understand the dynamic interaction between body and environment in the production of high-level skilled sporting and lifetime physical activity movements. The unit also investigates how movement abilities can be diverse due to a range of factors beyond the immediate control of the individual. Students develop a theoretical foundation to underpin many practical approaches common to sports coaching and movement settings. Practical application of theoretical understandings provides students with an appreciation for how they might plan for, implement and evaluate a range of approaches to learning motor skills.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. describe theories of motor control and skill acquisition and how these underpin practice
  2. articulate how the body, mind and environment interact in dynamic ways to impact movement outcomes
  3. understand how diverse biological, personal, developmental, social and environmental factors combine to impact skill acquisition across a range of abilities
  4. provide a sound justification for particular approaches that might be used to develop motor control and skill acquisition outcomes in sports coaching and movement contexts
  5. discuss how different experiences might impact skill acquisition and how experience can be understood via different ways of knowing
  6. demonstrate understandings of discipline knowledge through experiencing the practice of movement as both participant and facilitator.


Digital presentation (2000 words or equivalent, 50%)

Examinations (2000 words or equivalent, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • workshops: 24 hours over the semester
  2. Additional requirements:
    • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study