Instruction design and behaviorism



  • ABA is used when someone’s behavior becomes so counterproductive that it requires an intense systematic intervention. In ABA, the behavior must be identifiable and observable. The behavior will be measured both before and during the intervention and all environmental factors encouraging this behavior will also be identified and assessed. Then, a specific intervention or treatment plan will be developed and implemented.


  • Skinner developed PI to remedy the inconsistencies of classroom teaching. In PI instruction materials are presented through a series of segments of frames. The student receives information and is asked a question about it before proceeding to the next frame of information. Early PI was linear in the fact that each student followed the same path through the individual frames. Crowder later introduced a Branching Method where incorrect answers were sent to a different frame than correct answers. Branching helps individualize the lesson to the individual student’s strengths and weaknesses.


  • Mastery Learning is where students must learn or “master” certain information before they move on to their next lesson. Mastery Learning assumes that most students can learn any material if they are given enough time and instruction. Mastery Learning uses shaping to reinforce a simple response until it is produced more frequently, followed by a more difficult response, and so on and so forth until the desired response or terminal behavior is produced.


  • Keller developed an alternative approach to teaching college students that place d an emphasis on individual study, utilizing unit exams so that students can master each unit and receive immediate feed back on their performance. Also, the use of proctors to give individual attention to students who are having trouble with certain topics or lessons. In PSI, teachers provide students with the tools to find their own way through the course material.