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SPHS502 - Motor Learning

Course Details

Course Code: SPHS502 Course ID: 4234 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

An evaluation of the physical, physiological, and psychological factors that affect motor skill acquisition, performance, retention, and transfer. With a focus on voluntary movement, topics include nervous system control of movement, sensory and perceptual contributions to motor learning, information processing, optimal conditions for learning motor skills, preferred modes of feedback delivery during learning, and individual variability in motor skill acquisition. Students will apply the principles of motor learning to coaching, fitness, and rehabilitation settings. Additionally, they will analyze motor learning settings and determine adjustments to be made in those settings to foster motor skill acquisition for a variety of populations.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 01/31/21 Fall 2020 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/20 - 01/01/21 01/04/21 - 02/28/21 Winter 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the importance of ability, retention, transfer, and feedback on the acquisition and performance of movement skills.
  2. Assess current motor learning research and apply that research to current sport and exercise science settings.
  3. Analyze the internal processes that are responsible for memory and control of coordinated movements.
  4. Compare and contrast varying practice methods to determine the ideal practice conditions for any sport, fitness, or rehabilitative motor skill.
  5. Apply motivational theory to the learning and performance of motor skills.

Reading Assignments:

As graduate level students I anticipate that you will all read the required text reading weekly. Text reading will be covered in forums and assignments.

Supplemental Readings:

During our course you may be asked to read material outside of your text. This may include original research articles, review articles, or some other website source. These readings will covered in a variety of places, including forums, assignments, and a term paper.

Forum Assignments:

Throughout the course you will write responses to Forum prompts. These responses, also called Posts, will involve analyzing readings, comparing and contrasting the views of authors, and critiquing arguments presented by the readings or the class. Posts will be graded for accuracy of interpretation, rigor of argument, and clarity of expression. Unless otherwise noted, the following standards apply. Your initial post must substantive. Developing conversations with at least TWO of your classmates is required as part of your grade for each question. Week #1 has word count requirements, please be sure to review these guidelines in the classroom.

Responses and posts should abide by the University Netiquette policy. The purpose of the Forum activities is to expand your learning opportunities by engaging in academic and thought-provoking asynchronous conversation with your classmates and instructor. The instructor’s role is to facilitate the learning process by participating in the discussions and moving conversations by promoting an advanced level of inquiry.

Homework Assignments:

Assignments will be evaluated based on the individual grading rubrics provided with each assignment.


There are no exams in this course.


There will be one set of essay questions to complete over the course. These will be questions that cover the text book reading material.

Final Project:

The detailed guidelines and grading rubric for the Final Project are provided with the Assignments.

NameGrade %
Discussion Forums 30.00 %
Week 1 Forum 3.75 %
Week 2 Forum 3.75 %
Week 3 Forum 3.75 %
Week 4 Forum 3.75 %
Week 5 Forum 3.75 %
Week 6 Forum 3.75 %
Week 7 Forum 3.75 %
Week 8 Forum 3.75 %
Assignments 20.00 %
Week 2: Assignment #1 10.00 %
Week 4: Assignment #2 10.00 %
Essay Assignment 10.00 %
Week 6: Essay Assignment 10.00 %
Final Project 20.00 %
Week 8: Final Project 20.00 %
Exam 20.00 %
Exam I 10.00 %
Exam II 10.00 %

Required Readings

Weekly required readings are shown in the course eight week outline.

Additional Resources

Your text lists additional websites for you to visit at the end of each chapter. Please take the time to look at those sties once you have completed reading the chapter.


In addition to the required course texts the following public domain Websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Website URL/Address

American Psychology Association

American Council on Exercise

National Strength & Conditioning Association

American College of Sports Medicine

IDEA Health & Fitness Association

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.