Date of Award
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Education and Human Development
The widespread availability of information requires people to know a lot more than was necessary in the past to qualify as educated citizens. Population growth, however, has made it difficult for education systems to meet their students’ learning needs. This paper examines changes in education methods, focusing on technology-based learning, or “teaching machines”. The researcher evaluated "programed learning” by juxtaposing two 9th grade algebra classes—a 30 member experimental group and a 32 member control group. The experimental group received “programed learning” instruction while the control group was taught using traditional methods. A post-test was administered at the program’s conclusion to determine each group’s mastery of the material.
The researcher created booklets with the question on one side of the page and the answer on the other, allowing students to check their own work and proceed at their own pace. The booklets were then distributed to the experimental group. The researcher noted a marked improvement in the experimental group’s morale and engagement level. The experimental group completed the unit in four days, with fast learners completing the unit more quickly than average or slow learners. The control group completed the same unit in eight days, with the researcher noting lower engagement among control group participants. The post-test revealed no significant difference in student comprehension between the two instructional methods. The researcher remarks that time saved in the classroom is lost in program preparation, and notes that commercially produced programming may be the answer. He suggests further research and experimentation to determine the efficacy of program-based learning.
Wood, Britton, "Mechanized Mathematics" (1964). Education and Human Development Master's Theses. 929.