#OAPS101: Enhancing Performance


(Vocaroo Summary of this post)

I have really enjoyed Week 1 of the small open online course Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.

There have been some fascinating exchanges particularly about Seeing and Observing and Decision Making.

The numbers of participants enrolled in the course has increased this week. Shortly before the course started we had 155 and now it is 374. This means it is still a small open online course. I have discussed the approach taken in the course in a number of Clyde Street posts and in this Day 1 post on OpenLearning.

I have been keen to offer Open Badges for the course.

Conversations in the first week have prompted me to think about:

  • Feedforward
  • Performances of Understanding
  • Personal Learning Environments


Will Oldham’s post Analysts as Educators acted as a catalyst for my thoughts. In a post that synthesises a variety of ideas, Will concludes that:

We must take be confident enough in our skills and abilities that we are able to provide assurance to those who require it that we can add value to established coaching setups and processes, that we’re not in the business of coaching revolutions, but simply the development of athletes and coaches.

I commented on his post and suggest that the value we add is as educational technologists. I should have added that wherever possible bring an interdisciplinary understanding to performance. I think this requires a sensitivity to a narrative of performance that is customised to athletes and coaches.

My three big issues for the first week:


What if performance analysts decide to share the world as it might be?

I think feedfoward gives us the opportunity to do this. In Peter Dowrick’s wordssubjects see themselves not so much as they were but as they might be“.

Performances of Understanding

Last year I wrote about Sam Stosur’s victory in the US Open Tennis. In that post I noted that “I am fascinated by the process by which athletes prepare to perform. I am fascinated too by the realisation of the readiness to perform in actual performance”. My ideas about performances of understanding help me think about this readiness.

A decade ago I followed a Harvard University course online, Teaching for Understanding Using New Technologies. In that course performances of understanding were important indicators. Such performances:

… require students to go beyond the information given to create something new by reshaping, expanding, extrapolating from, applying, and building on what they already know. The best performances of understanding help students both develop demonstrate their understanding.

Personal Learning Environments

I am hopeful that many of the participants in the Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport course will write about their experiences as performance analysts or their interests in performance analysis. There is so much experience to share.

I am keen to find out about personal learning environments. My participation in the CCK08 course opened my eyes to the benefits of sharing openly. I have written about personal learning environments since that course. I see personalisation as one of the ways to offer a service to athletes and coaches.

Into Week 2

I am looking forward to Week 2 of #OAPS101. I am hopeful that this post might stimulate discussion that goes beyond the content of the course and helps address some second order questions about performance analysis.

Photo Credit

I received the photograph in this blog post from a friend. I have been unable to find a source for it. I am keen to learn whether it is a Creative Commons Licensed image.

Direct Instruction, Personal Learning and Expert Pedagogues

There was a reprint published last month of Noel Pearson’s 2009 Quarterly Essay Radical Hope: Education and Equality in Australia.

In the essay Noel observes that:

In Australia, there seems to be a contradiction at the heart of our commitment to public education. On the one hand, educators are briefed with the task of enabling disadvantaged students to transcend their background: to defy the social and economic forces of class predestination. On the other hand, the same educators (and the society that gives them their brief) are likely to believe that educational inequality will always reflect social and economic inequality: that the further down the ladder you go, the less prospect there is of encountering a school of willing students and able teachers.

Noel discussed the teaching and administrative changes being implemented in some Cape York schools on Radio National’s Big Ideas program.

I was particularly interested in the pedagogy issues under discussion including direct instruction. As a result I followed up on Siegfried Engelmann‘s work to look at the way direct instruction: was used in small groups; focused attention on the teacher; used scripts from designed instruction; encouraged individual and group response; was characterised by feedback and correction; and conducted at a high pace.

I liked the focus on high expectation, high quality education in Cape York schools and thought that notwithstanding the philosophical and political issues raised by direct instruction there were important matters to address about personal learning and differentiated support for learners.

I was intrigued by Engelmann’s concept of faultless communication and thought I would add it to my desire to understand and practice errorless learning.

I am hopeful that exploring these ideas will help me understand better the explicit and tacit behaviours of expert pedagogues (teachers and coaches) to support differentiated (personalised) learning and performances of understanding.

Photo Credit

The Telegraph Road

Integrity and Achievement

This is a brief post to celebrate Samantha Stosur‘s victory over Serena Williams in the Women’s Singles at the US Tennis Open 2011.

Performance is a key theme in my blog.

I am fascinated by the process by which athletes prepare to perform. I am fascinated too by the realisation of the readiness to perform in actual performance.

I look out for athletes’ performances of understanding.

I think Sam Stosur’s win at the US Open Tennis is a great case study in this realisation and demonstration of performances of understanding. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the integrity of and in sport too.

For me:

There was:

  • A technically and tactically outstanding first set.

Source: IBM data

Source: IBM data

I thought the game had everything an observer could want in a game of tennis. I do think that Eva Asderaki’s decision in the first game of the second set contains within it the essence of the integrity of sport. It reminded me again of the partnership players have with officials in making a game … and the role spectators have in engaging in a sporting event either at the event or through a live broadcast.

Photo Credit

Sam Stosur’s Blog