UBC Theses and Dissertations
The success of limited learners in attaining general science concepts through programmed instruction Dow, Michael Alan
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the use of a programmed instruction booklet, as the basic instructional material, could be considered as more appropriate for limited learners than traditional teaching methods. An attempt was made to measure the success that limited learners have in attaining general science concepts through programmed instruction. The study collected evidence to show if there was any significant difference between normal learners and limited learners in academic science achievement (as measured by pre-test and post-test results), when taught using this methodology. The investigation provided evidence to support increased development and use of programmed materials for modified and regular science classrooms. To assess the achievement in general science concepts, an author-developed examination was implemented as a pre-test and later as a post-test following the experimental treatment. The mean scores in achievement were calculated for distinct groups thus enabling a comparison of gains in achievement. A non-equivalent control group with a fixed effects factorial design was used in the investigation. The fixed effects analysis of covariance, using the pre-test as the covariate, permitted the separate analysis of learning ability, methods of instruction and a two-way interaction between these variables. The analysis of covariance produced significant differences for the two main effects. In terms of learning ability normal learners achieved higher than limited learners and the difference was significant at the 0.05 level. For the methods of instruction, students using programmed instruction scored significantly higher than those students taught with the traditional approach. Since there was a significant difference for programmed instruction and no interaction between learning ability and instruction mode, it follows that programmed instruction was better for both groups of students. The results of the study are that both limited and normal learners were more successful, in terms of acquisition of science knowledge, with programmed instruction than with traditional teaching in terms of post-test mean achievement scores.
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