An investigation, comparing the effectiveness
of formal lecturing with programmed learning, in the
teaching of first year undergraduates reading chemistry
In Chapter 1, problems facing early workers, such as
Skinner and Crowder, are discussed and the relevance of
programmed learning to tertiary level teaching considered.
Recent advances in the teaching of science subjects are
described, particular attention being paid to the use of
programmed methods in chemistry. A review of comparative
studies in other disciplines is made with critical comment
on experimental designs used. Finally suggestions are made
concerning the use of experimental criteria in comparative
The second chapter describes the experiments which
were carried out but, prior to this, discusses the aims
and scope of the research, dealing with such aspects as the
selection of the sample, internal and external validity, and
the hypothesis to be tested. The problem of experimental
design is dealt with at length and details of the two designs
chosen (namely Latin square and randomised group) are given.
Experiment 1 is then described. Details concerning the
topics, teaching methods and tests are given and the results
dealt with using analysis of variance. Experiment 2, while
of different design from Experiment 1 was carried out to test the same hypothesis the statistical technique in this
case being analysis of covariance.
Finally analysis of the post -test is carried out
by assessing (i) how marks are distributed for experimental
and control groups (chi -square) and (ii) which particular
behavioural objectives are measured by each question.
Suggestions are put forward to explain the experimental
results in terms of post -test sensitivity.
The concluding chapter consists of a detailed
discussion of research into teaching methods concentrating
particularly on how results should be interpreted and used.
It is suggested that considerable further study is required,
and those areas where such study is likely to be fruitful
are identified. Finally, it is pointed out that there
remains a number of unsolved problems and suggestions for
the future solution of these are put forward.