educational technique characterized by self-paced, self-administered instruction presented in logical sequence and with much repetition of concepts. Programmed learning received its major impetus from the work done in the mid-1950s by the American behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner and is based on the theory that learning in many areas is best accomplished by small, incremental steps with immediate reinforcement, or reward, for the learner. This technique can be applied through texts, so-called teaching machines, and computer-assisted-instruction. No matter what the medium, two basic types of programming are used: linear, or straight-line programming, and branching programming.
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