Programmed Instruction Method Meaning, Advantages & Disadvantages

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 07:44 -- Umar Farooq

Definition of Programmed Instruction Method of Teaching

Program instruction method of teaching is an autocratic and individualized strategy. It is based on psychological principles of operant condition. The response of the learner are strictly controlled by the programmer.

Meaning of Programmed Instruction

Its main focus is to bring desirable change in the cognitive domain of the learner’s behavior. The structure of teaching method is that the selected content is analyzed and broken into smaller elements. Each element is independent and complete in itself. The programmer develops frames based on each element. Responses are also provided to the learner in the program on some different leaflets. The correct response of the learner is the new knowledge or new behavior. Immediate confirmation of correct response provides reinforcement to the learner and he proceeds to the next frame. Wrong responses required feedback. Physical presence of the teacher is not necessary. He may come to give instructions regarding the program. Students are left for learning at their own pace.

Types of Programmed Instruction

There are three types of this teaching strategy

  1. Linear Programming. It is being used for teaching all subjects. In programed teaching strategy progressive chain elements are presented. Last step is at the mastery level. It is based on five fundamental principles.
  1. Small steps
  2. Active responding
  3. Immediate confirmation
  4. Self-pace
  5. Student testing
  1. Branched Programming. It is generally used in mechanical fields.
  2. Mathematics. Retrogressive chain of elements is presented. First step is the master level while the last step is the simplest element.

Advantages of Programmed Instruction

Following are the advantages of this teaching strategy

  1. The main emphasis is on individual differences and students’ involvement.
  2. There is not fixed time interval for learning. Students may learn at their own pace.
  3. Learning by doing maxim of teaching is followed to involve learners in the learning process.
  4. Students are exposed only to correct responses, therefore, possibility to commit errors in reduced.
  5. Immediate confirmation of the results provides reinforcement to the learners and encourages the learners to proceed further.  Feedback is provided to wrong answers, so that learner is able to develop mastery over the content.

Disadvantages of Programmed Instruction

  1. It is very difficult to develop an instructional programme
  2. Only cognitive objectives can be achieved
  3. Due to tight schedule of time table, students cannot be left to learn at their own pace. It would be very difficult to learn the content the subject matter in a limited period of time.
  4. There is no chance for students’ creativity, their responses are highly structured.
  5. Development of programme is not economical in terms of cost and time
  6. In absence of the teacher, students may spoil the disciplinary tone of the class, or they will be helpless when any problem arises.
  7. It cannot be applied at primary level of education or at higher education

Suggestion for this Teaching Strategy

  1. A programmer should have thorough knowledge of the content and technique of content analysis.
  2. This strategy should be used as a supplementary device for remedial teaching in the class room.
  3. It should be used in distance education or continuing education programs where no rigid time table is applied.
  4. If no at a primary level or higher level of education, this strategy may be useful at secondary level of education where many new subjects are introduced in the curriculum and they create problems in learning.

If applied in classroom teaching, teacher should be present in the class. He can maintain discipline in the class and help in eradicating the difficulties of the learners. Personal touch of the teacher can be more fruitful and effective in student’s learning.