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Study of program sequencing in computer- assisted instruction Struthers, Telford

Abstract

This study was undertaken to investigate how program sequencing would effect a sixth-grade group of Ss. A linear program of 111 frames that taught base five arithmetic was chosen for the study. The program presented in its original order was called the logically sequenced program. The program whose frame sequence was determined by a table of random numbers was called the scrambled sequenced program. On the basis of IQ scores, two groups of students were formed. Equal numbers from each of these two groups were then assigned at random to one of the two programs of instruction. The two programs of instruction were presented to the Ss by means of computer terminals. A posttest was then administered to test the effect of program sequencing on learning facts and skills that were taken directly from the program. Also tested was the effect of program sequencing on the student's ability to use the principles developed in the program to solve problems that are an extension of these principles. There was found to be a significant increase in the program error rate and program completion time for the scrambled sequenced program when compared to the logically sequenced program, implying that the program chosen for the study contained dependency among the frames. The results of the posttest indicated that there was no significant difference between the mean scores of the two groups although in each case the logically sequenced group did achieve a higher mean score. It was also found that there was no significant interaction between sequence of instruction and ability level. Many previous studies in program sequencing have dealt with an older population in comparison to the population chosen for this study. The conclusions from these studies have generally been that sequence of instruction has been overemphasized as a variable for consideration in program construction. While the results of this study indicate that sequence of instruction may be more important for a younger population, some doubt is raised as to the importance of attempting to obtain a carefully sequenced, small error rate program.

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