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The Effects of Variations in a Self-Instructional Program on Instructional Outcomes

Jacobs, Paul I.; Maier, Milton H.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Carnegie Corporation, Academic Achievement, Learning Motivation, Programmed Instruction, Second Language Instruction, Sequencing Skills, Spanish, Student Attitudes


The effects of varying the sequence of frames in a self-instructional program on the instructional outcomes of achievement, interest in learning, and attitudes toward programmed instruction were investigated. Thirty-nine sixth-grade Spanish classes were randomly assigned to a program with an orderly progression or a scrambled order of frames. The students worked on the program for 30 minutes each week without any teacher-directed instruction. For none of the three outcomes did the mean levels differ significantly after one semester of instruction. In each group a high relationship was found between aptitude and achievement and between initial attitudes and interest in learning. Attitudes toward programmed instruction were not consistently related to any other variables. The conclusion was that small variations in sequence exert little effect on outcomes.

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