Postgraduate Profiles

Brodie Ward

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Thesis: Development of a fundamental movement skills assessment rationale based upon perceptual processes involved in human movement assessment

My PhD seeks to develop a greater understanding of the perceptual processes involved in fundamental movement skill (FMS) assessments through an investigation of visual search patterns and information extraction. My project will also investigate the efficacy using of 3D marker-less motion capture technologies in the field of FMS assessments. My findings will be used to develop a robust, reliable FMS assessment rationale, and will also inform the development of statistical-learning algorithms which may allow automated, computer driven movement skill assessments. In addition to this, I will be investigating the relationship between movement pattern variabilty and movement proficiency in FMS. The project is designed to improve the current rationales for assessing FMS and to decrease the burden on primary school teachers.

Why my research is important

FMS competency amongst Australian children is low, even though a large emphasis is placed on sporting participation within our culture. FMS are the basic skills which form the foundations for more sport specific skills. FMS competency is important for more than simply developing sporting stars. Low competency is linked with poorer health outcomes including increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as academic, social, and emotional difficulties. Intervention can be beneficial for children with low FMS competency, but relies on accurate information surrounding FMS performances. FMS assessment is most commonly administered by primary teachers, albeit with little training, and inappropriate assessment tools. This renders assessment information unreliable and time consuming. This project looks to reduce the burden on teachers by developing objective, automated, computer based FMS assessments, increasing the reliability and value of assessment information.


Jul 2014

Jul 2017