The effect of learner autonomy on motor learning: An empirical study in Dutch vocational education

Arnoud Katz, Wim Westera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study investigated how student autonomy in physical education can
be enhanced without producing adverse effects. A sample of 150
students from Dutch preparatory vocational education was divided into
four groups subjected to different levels of autonomy during a physical
education lesson. The autonomy conditions varied from teacher-led
lessons to student-led task strategy selection, self-monitoring of task
execution with video-based self-feedback and self-assessment of
performance. Students in the autonomy conditions showed significantly
higher motor performance than students in the teacher-led condition.
Also, video-based self-feedback led to increased motor learning as
compared to video-based teacher-led feedback. Students’ self-
assessment scores of exercise performance were found to converge very
well with the scores assigned by the teachers. Finally, it was established
that high performers benefited more from enhanced autonomy than low
performers. Motivation was found to be high in all conditions, revealing
no significant differences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-38
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Self-Directed Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2019


  • physical education
  • autonomy
  • motor learning
  • Vocational Education
  • video-based self-feedback

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