Effects of Computer-Aided Personalized System of Instruction…

Effects of Computer-Aided Personalized System of Instruction...

Behavior analysis arguably has played a major role in the movement away from the traditional approach to higher education (B. F. Skinner, 1958, 1968; see Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, 2005). One widely recognized behavioral approach to higher education is Keller’s (1968) personalized system of instruction (PSI). The major components of PSI are: (a) instructor-selected textbooks and other textual material; (b) study questions based on the assigned material, (c) student self-pacing; (b) clear study objectives; (c) stress on the written word; (d) textual material divided into small study units; (e) demonstration of mastery of one study unit of material before proceeding to the next study unit; (f) use of more advanced students (typically in another course) to administer unit tests and provide immediate feedback; and (g) use of lectures for motivational purposes as opposed to providing new information. In a PSI approach, the instructor taking on the role of facilitator allows students to become more interactive with the material. PSI has been shown to be more effective than the traditional lecture method in developing student learning (Kulik, Kulik, & Bangert-Downs, 1990; Kulik, Kulik, & Cohen, 1979). Students in PSI-taught courses have achieved higher exam scores with less instructional time, and professed greater enjoyment toward learning the course material. Differences were more pronounced when performance was measured on essay exams as opposed to multiple-choice exams.

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