Gary Merriam

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Printing and Journalism


It is the purpose of this study to help in the resolution of some of these questions by determining if the type of response made to programed material has any effect on the retention of the material. If, as was mentioned earlier, learning is the result of stimuli transmitted through the senses to the brain, it seems logical that the more senses involved in transmitting the stimuli to the brain the more effective and efficient the learning process will be. It is the hypothesis of this study that a person responding to programed material by having to think what the correct response is and then having to write it down should learn more from the program, and remember it longer, than a person who only "thinks" the correct response. A search of the available literature revealed no previous study of this nature. Several studies were cited comparing retention of programed material and conventional instruction methods or retention of programed material immediately following learning and retention at a later time. Other studies compared performance scores of groups using overt and covert responses, but failed to check for retention at a later time. The results of most studies designed to measure retention show high amounts of retention over periods of weeks and months and " ••• report high degrees of correlation between achievement measured immediately following learning and after a longer retention interva1.”A study by Evans, Glaser and Homme in 19599 first raised the question of the necessity of an overt response to programed material. Their study showed that a covert response by participants required less time and resulted in higher mean performance scores. This report led to other studies comparing overt and covert modes of response and the results have been conflicting. However, in general the type of response seems to have little bearing on the level of learning achieved.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Programmed instruction

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University