Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Printing and Journalism


Programmed learning is probably as old as mankind. In theory the essentials of this method consist of three major interdependent factors; 1) immediate feedback or knowledge to the learner of the adequacy of the responses, 2) the presenting of material in small enough units to allow rapid assimilation and reinforcement, and 3) the arrangement of such units in a sequence which continues to build upon and reinforce the prior learning. It would be difficult to believe that some of the more apt to teach of any generation would not have capitalized upon such a program in presenting to an apprentice or son the proper method of executing some particular work needed in a trade or profession. A master carpenter first showing an apprentice how to drive a nail would have been utilizing programmed learning if he divided the task into a number of "steps" and reinforced the proper execution of each by an approving comment such as “That's right, that's right." In more recent years programmed learning has tended to be associated quite closely with a format utilizing a mechanical or electronic device to provide the immediate feedback. Indeed, some such programs even require an electronic computer to check the correctness or incorrectness of a ·given response and select the next sub-unit of material to present to the learner. It was felt that most instructional programs in the graphic arts would probably not be fortunate enough to acquire equipment such as that used in the more complete designs. However, it appeared very possible that the underlying principles of programmed learning might be utilized to advantage with at least some portions of the instruction in this field and that research into the advantages and disadvantages of such use might be profitable.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Programmed instruction




South Dakota State University