Developments into programmed instruction.
the 1950s many of the ideas that had surfaced earlier were clarified and
popularised. Programmed instruction
was among the first, in historical significance for instructional developments
and analytical processes, important to instructional design.
This form of instruction is based on the behavioural learning theories.
early programmed instruction was often delivered by some form of
‘teaching machine’ but
later it brought the concept of interactive text.
The programmed instruction movement extended the use of printed self -
instruction to all school subject areas to adult and vocational education as
well (Romiszowski,1997). Later as
the technology developed other media, such as radio, television video and
computer, came of use.
researches and findings of Skinner were of great importance for the developments
in program instruction and before going any further I would like to inform about
Frederic Skinner (1904-1990).
continued with the developments of the earlier behaviourists and carried out
many experiments on animals (based
on laboratory rats and pigeons, Skinners box).
He came to that conclusions, that
the best way to guarantee that an animal learns how to make a particular
response to a stimulus, is not to give it reinforcement every time it performs
the response, but with what Skinner termed as an ´intermitted schedule´ of
reinforcement. Skinner has shown in
his researches that shaping an animal’s behaviour to secure that it keeps the
response (that is, to make the response whenever it meets the appropriate
stimulus), involves a specific and rather complex association between response
and reinforcement. It is not necessary to reward behaviour every time it occurs.
distinguished carefully between those responses which are triggered by known
stimulus and those responses which occur without any apparent stimulus.
He called this type of behaviour operant, and he was most interested in
using reinforcements to condition this operant behaviour because ´it is the
most common type of human behaviour’. Skinner
relates more to Thorndike´s trial and error system rather than Pavlov’s
procedure. Skinner waited for a change behaviour to occur and then
systematically set out to reinforce the desired behaviour. This procedure, in
reaching the desired goal, is termed as ‘shaping’. An extinction process can also be required if one wants to
eliminate a response completely, punishment is not the most effective technique
even though it will distinguish or surpress the rates of response.
More effective is, not to reinforce the undesired behaviour and
corresponding, to reinforce the desire behaviour (Richey.R., 1986)
Skinner applied his findings on animal learning to the teaching of
children and it lead him to blame teachers for not employing effective
‘schedules of reinforcement’ in the classroom. In a chapter of his book 1968
‘Why teachers fail’ he argued that formal education is usually based on
‘aversive control’. Teaching
rests on punishment and ridicule for unsuitable behaviour rather than showing a
consideration for the shaping and reinforcement of responses to be learned.
He also said that lessons and examinations are designed to show what
pupils do not know and cannot do, rather than to expose and build upon what they
do know and are able to learn. Therefore,
he argued, teachers fail to ‘shape’ their children’s behaviour
sufficiently, leading to inappropriate learning or to learned responses that are
quickly forgotten (Skinner, 1968). Skinner
questioned the way reinforcements
were conducted in schools and found
out that many minutes and in many cases many hours or even days may intervene
responses and teacher’s answers. He
calculated that during the first four years of education 50,000 reinforcements
were essential to get efficient mathematical behaviour, but
in a traditional class situation it would just be possible for the
teacher to give only a few thousand. To provide the learners with enough
reinforcement would be by an instrumental aid
(Spencer. K., 1991)
went on to design the first learning programs for use on teaching machines in an
attempt to apply his theory to education.
3.2 Behavioural concepts and the implication for Instructional Design.
shaping technique have been used as overall guide to constructing instructional
materials, as well as to deliver instruction
and evaluating performances.
model Stimulus - Response is
described by Romiszowski (1997) as:
learning has occurred when a specific response is elicited by specific situation
or stimulus with a high degree of probability. The more likely and predictable
the response, the more efficient the learning has been…. These attempt to
shape human behaviour by presenting a gradual progression of small units of
information and related tasks to the learner.
At each stage the learner must actively participate by performing the set
task. He is then immediately
supplied with feedback in the form
of correct answer” (p.16)
reliance upon specific goal statements is a device that also allows the learners
to know specifically when they have achieved their goal. By using such a statement, students can monitor their own
by this linear approach Skinner introduced in the early 1950s the “teaching
machine” which imparted subject matter in easy to learn, step-by-step
sequences (Hackbarth, S. 1966).
The linear approach to learning lead to many attempts in developing a
scientific approach to learning.
Gagné (1965) published a hierarchical list of
eight categories of learning. This
list is proceeding from very simple conditioning-type learning, up to complex
learning, such as involved in problem solving.
1. Signal learning
2. Stimulus - response learning
4. Verbal chaining
5. Discrimination learning
6. Concept learning
7. Rule learning
classification relates to other learning and teaching models such as; 1. Signal
learning relates to the classical (Pavlovian) conditioning; 2. Stimulus-response
learning, 3. Chaining, 4.Verbal chaining and 5.Discrimination learning relate to
the operant conditioning model (Skinner); 6. Concept learning and 7. Rule
learning relates to the “ruleg” techniques; and 8. Problem-solving relates
to learning by discovery.
the beginning of the 60s Bob Mager wrote a book in the praise of behavioural
objectives. It is build on the
simple conclusion that if one defines learning as a change in behaviour, then
the teacher may be wise to define the aims or objectives of his lessons in terms
of the behaviour patterns he wishes to establish.
to Mager, the essential ingredients in behavioural objective are:
1. A statement of what the student should be able to do
at the end of the learning session (the terminal behaviour)
2. The conditions
under which he should be able to exhibit the terminal behaviour.
3. The standard
to which he should be able to perform (the criteria).
(Romiszowski.A.J., 1997, p.20).
popularised the precise statement of objectives for programmed instruction and
his approach became more widely applied to the designing of instructional
and his colleagues met over five years' periods and the result of their work was
The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. There, instructional outcomes were
divided into three domains-cognitive, affective and
psychomotor - with the cognitive domain dealing with thinking, the
affective domain with feelings, and the psychomotor domain with physical
movement (Spencer, K., 1991).
taxonomy became a standard to many concerned with curriculum planning and
instructional design. Bloom, Krathwohl and Harrow developed sub-divisions for
the three categories and following are the Major Classes of Taxonomies of
Educational Objectives (based on Bloom et al.,1956; Krathwohl et al., 1964
Bloom et al., : cognitive Domain
Krathwohl et al., : Affective Domain
CHARACTERIZATION BY A VALUE or VALUE COMPLEX
Harrow: Psychomotor Domain
hierarchical sub-division in the Cognitive Domain and in the Affective Domain is
arranged so that the lower levels are prerequisites to the higher levels.
This taxonomy was to provide a ´ theoretical framework which could be
used to facilitate communication among examiners ´ (Spencer, K., 1991p.54).
from the behavioural school of thought of
specifying objectives the systematic approach,
or system engineering, rose in instructional designing.
Roundstone the band see their site here
Some photos from Iceland see here
Sólrún B. Kristinsdóttir © 2001 Síðast uppfært 21.10.2008