Discuss different phases through which skill learning passes.
According to Fitts, skill learning passes through the following three phases:
(i) Cognitive: In this phase of skill learning, the learner has to understand and memories the instructions, and also understand how the task has to be performed. In this phase, every outside cue, instructional demand, and one’s response outcome have to be kept alive in consciousness.
(ii) Associative: The second phase is associative. In this phase, different sensory inputs or stimuli are linked with appropriate responses. As the practice increases, errors decrease, performance improves and time taken is also reduced. With continued practice, errorless performance begins, though the learner has to be attentive to all the sensory inputs and maintain concentration on the task. Then the third phase, i.e., autonomous phase, begins.
(iii) Autonomous: In this phase, two important changes take place in performance : The attentional demands of the associative phase decrease, and interference created by external factors reduces. Finally, skilled performance attains automaticity with minimal demands on conscious effort.