Teaching machine technology: The state of the art

Download Teaching machine technology: The state of the art

Post on 22-Aug-2016




1 download






    Leonard C. Silvern

    The author is Education and Training Research Director of Video- sonic Systems, Hughes Aircraft Company, Culver City, California. Dr. Silvern is also chairman of the Committee on Teaching Machine Technology of the American Society of Training Directors, which is collaborating with the Joint AERA-APA-DAVI Committee. (See AVCR 9: 4: 206-08; July-August, 1961). This article is based on a paper he presented at a special conference on teaching machines and programed learning, sponsored by the American Management Associa- tion, in August 1961.

    T RAINING IN INDUSTRY BEGAN wi th the need and opportunity to learn a trade, customarily through apprentice- ship. The New York Central and Gen- eral Electric were among the first to have both shops and company schools for apprentices where technical instruc- tion was given during working hours. By 1913, a number of these programs were broadened into corporation schools for employees other than apprentices; from these the National Association of Corporation Schools was formed. This society merged in 1922 with the Indus- trial Relations Association to form the National Personnel Association, and from it, the following year, the American Management Association emerged (4 and 18).

    One of the most important outgrowths of training experience in World War I was the realization that to train effec- tively it was necessary, first, to deter- mine by a careful analysis of the work to be done, the skills and information which the employee must be taught (12). Charles R. Allen is credited with two extremely significant contributions to training methodology which rank with the history-making efforts of Pres- sey and Skinner (25). Both of these techniques--it will be shown later on here form the foundation for what is now called programing (22). In 1910, Dr. Allen began to formulate a sys- tematic approach to vocational educa- tion and training. It was not until 1917 that, as director of education and train-



    ing of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, he could implement his methods of job analysis and the principles of instruc- tion incorporating preparation, presenta- tion, application, and test (30). In 1918, Dr. Allen's book, The Instructor, The Man and the Job, not only established analysis as a necessary prerequisite to effective instruction, but also stated the principles which, in World War II, be- came known as the "Four-step Method." Of these steps, "presentation" is most interesting because it was generalized in 1941 thusly: " . . . instruct slowly, clearly, completely and patiently, one point at a time . . . question and re- peat . . . make sure the learner really learns" (30).

    Pioneer Job Analysis

    Dr. Allen did not continue alone. He was joined by Frank Cushman, then federal agent for industrial education, and in 1919 they produced the first job analysis for a complete trade. This was termed an "epoch-making pioneer study" by Struck of Pennsylvania State, himself a leader in vocational education and training (28). Regrettably, 1919 to 1940 were standstill years in that they brought no widespread use of these methods in business and indus- try (30).

    Later, in World War II, Frank Cush- man, as Commander and Head of the Training Branch, Division of Shore Es- tablishments and Civilian Personnel, U. S. Navy Department, continued to en- courage the systematic approach which he had developed in World War I with Dr. Allen. It was during this period that the writer fell directly and intimately under the influence of Cushman's phil- osophy of job analysis and lesson plan- ning (25, 8, and 21).

    Identification of New Technology

    Those with technical and scientific backgrounds tend to introduce a new subject with definitions expected to provide a common foundation and lan- guage that will permit the communica- tion of concepts, principles, and methods described by the terms being defined. However, a quick review of the aca- demic background and experience of the practitioners and leaders in this emerging field reveals an extremely wide spectrum. Is it possible that the disci- plines represented by the physicist, elec- trical engineer, statistician, attorney, educator, psychologist, journalist, audio- visualist, public accountant, and business administrator will allow for agreement in these early days? No; rather, new terms and definitions have been tumbling out of the pertinent literature as rapidly as the machines, mechanisms, and mon- strosities that companies as users are expected to procure, and with the same degree of confusion and contradiction.

    Where is the systematic philosophy so badly needed to bring some uni- formity to terms, definitions, and meth- ods (26)? Because the technology is so new, agreement has not yet been reached on even elementary terminol- ogy. It is expected that the kind of problems which led ultimately to the factory system and interchangeability of parts through the now generally ac- cepted methods of drafting and design standard symbology, linear and weight measurement, surface finish, fits and compositions of alloys, will descend upon us. Let us hope that the user will expect and demand that mechanisms and curriculums do not go through the pain- ful step-by-step evolution typified by the industrial revolution. The art will flourish if the standstill years of 1919


    to 1940 are not duplicated. At the other extreme, uncontrolled and random ac- tivity, even of a seemingly professional nature, is as devastating as the inertia in the years between the wars. The Art of Instruction

    Human learning occurs in a con- tinuum beginning at birth and ending at death. Learning, in this sense, may be described as the understanding, acquisi- tion, retention, and transfer to real life situations of certain knowledge and skill.

    Not all learning is formal much of it is informal, consisting of casual, ran- dom, non-structured exposures and ex- periences. Though line supervisors and operating managers are, of course, con- cerned about informal learning, this pa- per is concerned with the formal organi- zation necessary for efficient human learning in work environments, not with the control of employees in informal learning situations. If formal learning is analyzed, its first stage of differentiation is seen as education and training.

    If we describe education as the life- long process, or organized maturation, of the whole man to face and solve the problems of living in his society, we may next differentiate training as the short- term process of preparing youth and adults to face and solve specific and narrowly-bounded problems. In com- panies, the problems are immediate, and the training must be short and intensive. In most situations, training is provided and accepted by the employee with the argument that it will upgrade his knowl- edge and skill, and thereby be remuner- ative (22 and 30). Implicit in this definition is the requirement that the employee be rewarded, and also that management be expected to profit as a result of its investment.

    Since the inception of training in the business and industrial setting in the early 1900's, instruction has been a means of communication essentially characterized by a "man-men" relation- ship.

    Dr. Allen's "Four-step Method" which became prominent in World War II as the "JIT" or Job Instructor Training program was a technique which called for one employee or learner to be in- structed step-by-step by one supervisor or instructor (16). This constituted a "man-man" relationship, and in one sense as a training technique was simi- lar to the role played as an education technique by the tutor. Industry soon found that the efficiency of the human instructor's communication could be im- proved by the use of such familiar cur- riculum materials as the textbook, work- book, and text-workbook which in the trade areas included the operation sheet, job sheet, information sheet, and assignment sheet. Further improvement seemed to result from the judicious utili- zation of audiovisual aids or training devices. These were fundamentally in- structor-centered in the sense that they were aids to the human instructor's communication.

    Human instruction is an ar t . . , and as an art practiced by individuals, it has improved. A systematic body of knowl- edge representing behavioral science was also developing, and it became in- creasingly clear that new, non-human methods of instruction appeared as effi- cient as some traditional techniques (17). The human-instructor for a spe- cific lesson and possibly a series of les- sons could be displaced--not replaced - -by the machine-instructor.

    Earlier, it was pointed out that agree- ment is still to be reached on teaching


    machine terminology. Yet, it is possible for one to continue to work in a tech- nology without a precise or complete vocabulary. Therefore, in the absence of an approved definition, let it be agreed that the machine-instructor is the teaching machine which presents a lesson consisting of information, actions, or objects in a prescribed sequence which are understood, learned, and re- tained by a learner completely without the presence of a human instructor, and in which there is an interaction of learner and machine. This entire process is characteristic of the man-machine or,

    The Art oJ Machine-Instruction Certainly there must be criteria which

    differentiate machine-instruction from human instruction. While still being formularized, the elements which in the aggregate are believed to constitute the criterion (16 and 7) are these:

    1. instruction is provided without in- tervention by a human instructor;

    2. learning occurs at the learner's rate;

    3. the learner receives immediate knowledge of his progress; that is, feed- back from the machine (measured in seconds) ;

    4. there is a participative, overt in- teraction between learner and machine;

    Figure 1--General purpose teaching machine


    Machine instructs learner visually and aurally, then pro- vides question or problem.

    Learner uses instruction to conceptualize answer or solve problem (work; mental-manipulative).

    Learner decides upon answer or solution; goes on to the next incremental instruction.


    better, the learner-teacher machine rela- tionship. Unlike traditional instructor- centered environments, the learner is the only human in the man-machine sys- tem, and the system therefore, is ob- viously "learner-centered" (16).

    5. subject matter, identified as a se- quence of teaching points which are syn- thesized to form whole lesson plans, is carefully controlled and consistent;

    6. reinforcement is used to strengthen learning.

    A teaching machine, therefore, is not


    merely a machine which teaches or com- municates- i t must operate according to the criteria established for it (7). Among the areas of current investiga- tion is one which deals with overt and covert interaction between man and machine. Overt responses by the learner fall into these modes in the general- purpose teaching machine (19 and 23): (a) multiple-choice (recognition); (b) written-completion (recall); (c) oral- completion (recall).

    Figure 1 shows a man-machine sys- tem diagram which describes a general- purpose teaching machine.

    It has become virtually a requirement - -a t least in the lesson-planning stage-- for all learner responses to be recorded automatically or scored by use of a scorer device.

    Covert responses, on the other hand, are typified by a similar relationship ex- cept that step 4 is absent and step 5 is

    modified. Since a participative, overt in- teraction does not exist, and since scor- ing of a response that is merely thought is not yet possible, a man-machine rela- tionship involving covert responses does not represent a true teaching machine environment.

    Figure 2 is a man-machine system diagram describing a device which dis- plays information to a learner sequen- tially and incrementally, but which is not a teaching machine even though learning may result (14).

    There has been some reference made to job aids or performance aids. The statement that these are teaching ma- chines "designed to gain 2 to 1 increases in industrial product iv i ty . . , to achieve a 10 to 1 reduction in production errors and scrap in complex assembly opera- tions" was published recently (2). This statement is not just misleading; it is erroneous since the criteria estab-

    Figure 2roMan-machine device that is not a teaching machine


    Learner i,

    ( )



    A v

    Machine Machine instructs learner visually and aurally, then pro- vides question or problem.

    Learner uses instruction to conceptualize answer or solve problem (work; mental-manipulative).

    Learner decides upon answer or solution.

    Learner informs machine by a. multiple-choice b. written-completion c. oral-completion.

    Machine verifies or has learner verify response and feeds this back to learner. Learner may repeat, branch or go on to the next incremental instruction depending upon curriculum design.


    lished for the teaching machine, when applied, are not satisfied. Perhaps this denial is a matter of semantics but re- gardless-once we have established the criteria--those methods which do not satisfy it should be known by some other name. Figure 3 is a man-machine system diagram describing a typical per- formance aid.

    It should be noted that the method informs rather than instructs since the goal is work rather than learning. Again, we define learning as the acquisition, understanding, and retention of knowl- edge and skill for transfer later to real- life situations. While some learning does occur in this system, it is random and casual rather than directed and explicit.

    The Art of Lesson-Planning

    Allen and Cushman pioneered job analysis in the 1900's; because of their work, the art of lesson planning for human instruction in training developed. The lesson plan was actually an educa- tion invention of Johann Herbart (1776- 1841) who also provided a systematic approach to education by establishing the "Five-step Method" of preparation, presentation, comparison, generalization, and application. Allen had, in essence, adapted Herbart's philosophy to voca- tional and industrial education (11 ). Herbart's principles were sufficiently popular for the National Herbart So- ciety to be formed in 1895 at Illinois State; later it was renamed the National

    Figure 3--Work, not teaching, is the goal of this machine

    Employee Machine

    Machine informs employee visually and aurally.

    Employee performs work in prescribed manner.

    Employee decides work is completed; upon command, machine proceeds to the next incremental step.


    The fact that a human may learn as the result of exposure to any machine does not attest to a teaching machine environment. To watch television and to learn as a consequence is a good illustration of a result in a non-teaching machine environment.

    Society for the Study of Education. Some of Herbart's ideas were later re- flected in the Morrisonian method of unit instruction. Morrison, like Allen, adapted Herbart's philosophy to be precipitated in this sequence: pretest, teach, test the result, adapt procedure,


    teach and test again to the point of ac- tual learning. If we applied it to an in- cremental teaching point rather than an entire lesson, we have here a fairly pre- cise definition of programing.

    In 1942, DeYoung of Illinois State, in discussing the concept, "lesson," said it was becoming obsolete since "the acquisition of a small segment of infor- mation during a brief period is not in accord with modern methods of studying subject fields organized into relatively broad areas of activity for considerable periods" (11 ). The term "lesson plan", he believed, implied a rigid procedure rather than flexible planning character- istic of the "best modern practice". Nevertheless, in the same year, 1942, both job analysis and lesson planning were introduced in civilian and military training organizations on a vast scale in order to systematically instruct un- believable numbers of individuals in new and different technical tasks and jobs.

    ards, and has been described in the manner shown in Figure 4.

    This systematic job analysis for training (but not for other purposes) requires a delineation of all knowledge and skills into areas that are directly, or indirectly, or generally related, or un- related with respect to job performance criteria. This special technique was developed and used by Silvern for train- ing in I942 as an outgrowth of earlier work by Allen, Cushman, Selvidge, Hill, Ewing and others in vocational education. The workbook was first pub- lished in 1948 (27), plagiarized in 1956 (6), published again in I957 (24).

    One cannot and should not ignore existing methods of analysis and syn- thesis to arrive at the teaching machine lesson plan.

    Dynamics of the Field

    Nothing is more distasteful than a day-old statistic. The numerical data to

    Figure 4--Lesson planning for a teaching machine


    In retrospect, it is evident that the early inventions of Herbart and Allen form the basis for current training-cur- riculum development. Because training is based upon these techniques, teaching machine lesson-planning will be simpler in business and industry. But for educa- tors, it will be much more difficult since the art of lesson-planning, unfortunately, is almost a lost art lost because it was not in accord with so-called modern methods (11 ).

    The sequence of events in preparing teaching-machine lesson plans begins at the end with job performance stand-

    be presented now will age rapidly, but the system frame of reference is rela- tively constant.

    1. Mechanism Manufacturers: it is fashionable today to build and sell teach- ing mechanisms. Not only are older and well-known companies engaging in this practice, but new companies are being formed specifically for this purpose; 49 are known; 38 additional are rumored to exist without being authenticated. The incremental increase is estimated at two per week.

    2. Mechanism Manufacturers with Lesson Planning Capability: since ma-


    chines alone return a small profit, entre- preneurs tend to offer curriculum service along with their hardware. Incidentally, if the term programing (which was borrowed from computer programing technology) persists, then the newly emerging near-equivalent "software" in lieu of "program" should delight those programers who use hardware. Seventy- eight are known; 21 additional have been rumored but not verified. These or- ganizations are now increasing at the rate of about four per week.

    3. Curriculum Developers with Les- son Planning Capability: while com- panies, schools, institutions, and intel- lectually curious individuals are engaged in teaching machine lesson planning, most of this lesson planning is for in- ternal use, and probably is not generally available. However, the preparation of lesson plans for use by others is rapidly developing, and it is clear that the func- tion of the professional curriculum de- veloper is being synthesized into a new occupation (26). It may be of interest to note that the occupation of digital computer programer (D.O.T. 0-69.981), virtually non-existent in 1955, was for- mally recognized with the publication of job descriptions in 1959 (29). It has been estimated that 170,000 com- puter programers will be at work by 1966 in the United States, engaged in an occupation which did not even exist 11 years before (5). And the reference from which this data was obtained was published in June 1957. Current esti- mates are much higher.

    In educational institutions at the col- lege level, mainly departments of edu- cation, psychology, engineering, and business administration seem to be headed for some sort of a permanent curriculum-development role. The pat- tern is just beginning to emerge: (a)


    Non-Profit Profit

    Research studies produce curriculums which are then available for sale by the faculty members to publishers or mech- anism manufacturers; (b) faculty mem- bers take on curriculum preparation assignments as they normally would ac- cept a book-writing or consulting con- tract; (c) curriculums prepared for institutional courses are debugged and then made available outside the univer- sity. Probably the number of institutions of higher education engaged in some form of curriculum development for out- side use is 37, and a rapid nose count shows 296 professors thus involved.

    Curriculum development is also per- formed by two kinds of organizations: one, established for profit, makes it clear that it operates under the ground rules established traditionally for com- panies. The other is the "non-profit" organization. It is hard to understand how such an organization can have a payroll of several hundred or even sev- eral thousand persons with an income to suit and yet be considered as not-for- profit. Some folks are still old-fashioned about what "non-profit" means. At any rate, except for the legal differentiation, there is not any difference fundamen- tally in what services or products in curriculum development are provided, or even in the prices set for these items. Nor is the quality of the product a matter of argument.

    Table lmCurriculnm-development Organizations

    Others Not Increase Known Verified Per Week

    7 31 .25 64 30 2

    Larger business and industrial organi- zations will probably have teaching ma- chine curriculum staffs just as they now have training specialist staffs for human


    instruction under the jurisdiction of the Training Director for employee training. If customer training, management devel- opment, and professional development are to be conquered by machine-instruc- tion, the individual corresponding to the Training Director in these areas will have teaching-machine curriculum staffs for the same purpose (20).

    Business and Industry as Users

    If a systems approach to the problem of user or consumer is adopted it is clear that all known users will fall into one of eight categories (16):

    [ business and industry I government

    Training ~ (non-military) [ government ( (military) ( assistance to

    Training & ~ developing nations Education ( home and family

    [ public education [ (K-12)

    Education ~ higher education [ adult and special ( education

    How does business and industry com- pare at this time with the other areas in (a) the volume of curriculums being

    developed? (b) the volume of curricu- lums being used? In using a scale of 0 to 10, in which 0~zero or near zero activity and 10~strong activity, it should be understood that quality and the success or failure of a curriculum are not calculated or estimated. Also, a value of 10 merely indicates that, rela- tive to newness of the field and the ulti- mate potential, the activity is fairly high as Table 2 indicates.

    Occupational Groups Involved

    Because the shaping of human be- havior, at least in the laboratory stage, is a problem in behavioral science, the initial investigations are conducted by psychologists. Four classes of psycholo- gists are influencing and being influ- enced by teaching machine technology:

    1. Theoretical psychologists engage in the development of mathematical models for human learning and in conceptualizing rationales dealing with teaching machine systems. About seven are known to be actively engaged in this effort.

    2. Experimental psychologists engage in establishing experimental designs to

    Table 2---Curriculum-development Activity

    Area User

    r Business and Industry Training ~ Govemment (Non-Military)

    L Government (Military) I Assistance to Developing

    Training & Nations Education [ Home and Family

    ( Public Education (K-12) Education ~ Higher Education

    Adult & Special Education

    * established May 22, 1962

    Volume ol Volume ol Curriculums Curriculums Developing In Routine Use*

    2 1 0 0 2 0

    0 0 2 1

    4 0 1 0 1 0


    test hypotheses and obtain conclusions involving human learning under con- trolled conditions for machine-instruc- tion. About 127 psychologists are ac- tively engaged in investigations of this sort.

    3. Educational psychologists perform the work of the experimental psycholo- gists but direct their efforts specifically to education in elementary and second- ary school environments. Probably 95 are performing experiments in this area.

    4. Engineering psychologists study man-machine relationships in situations which involve apparatus design, and therefore the relation of an operator or maintainer to the mechanism. Machines may range from typewriters to space vehicles, and environments from a kitchen to a space hut. It is estimated that 12 are directly engaged in machine- instruction investigation from the hu- man-factors aspect.

    Purely for purposes of definition and nose-count, a psychologist is one who holds membership in the American Psy- chological Association (13). This soci- ety has a membership of 18,948 with 23 divisions of specialization.

    However, the curriculum development will be performed not by psychologists, but by individuals professionally pre- pared for this function. Of course, teams of psychologists, curriculum specialists and subject-matter specialists will be necessary until the hybrid with capabil- ity in all three disciplines is common- place. In business and industry, the training specialist with experience in job analysis, course development, lesson planning, and measurement will satisfy this requirement (16). His counterpart in education environments is the cur- riculum specialist. There is great danger in believing that most or all classroom instructors or teachers can perform this

    function. Probably 25 qualified indi- viduals in business and industry are currently engaged in curriculum devel- opment. Again for definition and nose- count, a training specialist is one who holds membership in the APA or the American Society of Training Direc- tors (10). ASTD has a membership of 3,300 with no division of specialization.

    To Pump Content

    While the psychologist and training specialist together possess certain com- petences, they could not possibly have subject-matter specialization in all the sub-vocations, trades, crafts, semi-pro- fessions, professions and supra-profes- sions which may call for machine- instruction. The instructor usually is a subject-matter specialist and should have practical, human-instruction ex- perience of--let us say--five years. However, when a new or modified course is required, it will be necessary to obtain the subject-matter or content from an expert who may never have actually instructed, and who may have only a curiosity about machine-instruc- tion. Worse, he may hate to instruct. So, the pumping method would be used to extract the content from this expert and to translate it in teaching machine lesson plans as a joint effort by the training specialist and psychologist. As the technology becomes more systematic and formularized, the psychologist will tend to move on to other more chal- lenging tasks, leaving the training spe- cialist, but the content expert will always have to be nearby so long as new jobs or tasks are created. The number of subject-matter specialists cannot be es- timated, nor can their societies be iden- tified since the subject fields are multi- tudinous and diverse.

    Finally, we come to the physical


    sciences. If mechanisms are to be de- signed to suit the learner, rather than the reverse, then design engineers will play an increasingly significant role. From an examination of existing mech- anisms and considering such factors as reliability, flexibility, maintenance and "productizing," one may conclude that the more talented designers have not yet been assigned to teaching machine proj- ects. Design standards suitable for equip- ment which is expected to operate eight hours per week are inadequate for ma- chines to be used continuously 40 hours per week for at least 50 weeks. Perhaps some 50 engineering designers are engaged in this work. These individ- uals are assumed to be members of the Institute of Radio Engineers, Ameri- can Institute of Electrical Engineers, or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

    ProJessional Groups Involved

    A word about professional activity. Three professional groups are influen- cing this technology. Because of its di- chotomous origin, one being behavioral science, the initial professional activity was by psychologists.

    1. American Psychological Associa- tion: At the 1960 Annual Convention, six papers and one symposium were pre- sented in September at Chicago (9). The 1961 Annual Convention in New York offered 18 individual papers, 11 symposia, and one open discussion. Of the 11 symposia, nine were directly re- lated and three indirectly related to the technology. Others which were generally related are not included in this tabula- tion. The nine symposia involved 42 speakers, 12 chairmen, and 11 discus- sants, totaling 62 psychologists contrib- uting through symposia alone. This nose- count illustrates the increase in quantity

    over 1960. 2. National Educational Association:

    Two component groups of the NEA- - DAVI and AERA (The American Edu- cational Research Association)--are participating with APA through the Joint Committee on Auto-Instructional Devices and Programs. (See AVCR 9: 4: 206-08; July-August, 1961; also AVCR 10: 1: 61; January-February, 1962.) Other activities of DAVI in the programed instruction field, includ- ing the publication of the Lumsdaine- Glaser source book (TMPL) and the recent Finn and Perrin report (Occa- sional Paper No. 3 of the Technological Development Project), are well known to A VCR readers. Several other divi- sions of NEA also have sponsored con- vention sessions and have published articles devoted to programed instruc- tion.

    3. American Society of Training Directors: For business and industry, the professional group most likely to speak in its behalf, reflecting its wishes and promoting its qualitative objectives of employee and customer training, of management and professional develop- ment, is ASTD. One can visualize a har- monious relationship of ASTD, ACM, EIA and similar company-oriented or- ganizations in conferring on matters dealing with teaching machine technol- ogy and of channeling these to the Joint Committee.

    4. Other activity: Within APA, there is a movement to establish a new divi- sion representing teaching-machine tech- nology practitioners. Mention has also been made of the possibility of forming a new and separate association for this purpose (15). The National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council recently issued an advisory quoting a resolution by the Division of Mathe-


    matics: "Directors of projects in pro- gramed learning should not rely ex- clusively on psychologists, but should also actively utilize the services of ex- perts in the subject involved who are closely in touch with recent develop- ments in its teaching." (1) This state- ment suggests that in the minds of some subject-matter specialization is at least as important as psychological meth- odology.

    Conclusion This has been a report on the state

    of the art of a new technology viewed objectively as a system but interpreted by only one practitioner. As for guide- lines which should be observed in the months and years ahead:

    1. Much current effort is being de- voted to (a) comparisons of human instruction with machine-instruction; (b) comparisons of one response mode (multiple-choice) with another (writ- ten-completion); (c) comparison of one mechanism with another mechanism. This effort is of academic interest, but for training directors it is not as useful as proven teaching machine curriculums and methods. What is badly needed are controlled investigations of the efficiency or figure of merit of a curriculum com- pared with the job performance or employee behavior which it is expected to elicit. Business and industry are inter- ested in product first---process next.

    2. There has been a considerable in- crease in professional group activity. A fascinating pattern is beginning to emerge. Individuals who have stumbled upon teaching machine technology in recent months are trying desperately to cloak themselves with an aura of re- spectability. This they do by suddenly appearing on programs in the role of broad-brush specialists or oracles. An

    oracle is "a god revealing hidden knowl- edge or making known a divine purpose" much like this presentation. Another technique is to join every professional society the budget will permit and, by infiltration, maneuver into an annual meeting program. If this can be achieved swiftly on about four occasions, the in- dividual can be quickly classed as an expert, and invitations to oraculate will keep his secretary busy filling out travel reports and expense accounts. Of course, he will soon run out of gas. Is this true professionalism, or merely "profes- sional" opportunism? One way of un- masking this critter is to determine how many years he has been a member of the particular society, or if he is a mem- ber at all. Beware of ATM--after teach- ing machine--members who suddenly appear from the woodwork with a car- petbag and no training experience in hand.

    Who Holds On

    Someone was once asked, "How can you distinguish between a physicist, an engineer and a technician?" The reply was: "If a technician is soldering a piece of wire to a contact, and if, as he applies the iron, heat travels up to the solder and reaches his fingers, he yells dammit and drops the solder. The engineer ap- plies the iron, heat travels up the solder, and reaches his fingers; he yells dammit but holds the solder. The scientist ap- plies the iron, heat travels up the solder, reaches his fingers--and he doesn't feel anything. That's the difference."

    The training director as a professional representative of business and industry is just like the engineer. He can say "dammit" but must hang on, while the research people in the teaching machine field don't feel the heat.



    1. Allendoerfer, C. B. Communication from the Chairman, Committee on Mathematical Films and Television, Division of Mathematics, National Academy of Sciences-National Re- search Council; June 16, 1961.

    2. American Management Association. "Special AMA Conference and Ex- hibit August 28-29, 1961" (announce- ment). New York; undated, un- marked.

    3. American Society of Training Direc- tors. 1961 Membership Directory, Madison, Wis.; ASTD, 1961.

    4. Brophy, J. M. "Training in New York State Industries," Research Bulletin No. 1. Ithaca, N. Y.: New York State School of Industrial and Labor Rela- tions, Cornell University; June 1949.

    5. California Department of Employ- ment. "Programmer Business Data Processing," Occupational Guide No. 81. June 1957.

    6. Civil Defense Administration. "Civil Defense Instructor's Course," Instruc- tor's Guide IG-3-3. Washington, D. C.: FCDA, February 1956.

    7. Center for Programed Instruction. "Committee Sets Initial Criteria for Programmed Materials," Programmed Instruction; New York: CPI; May 1961.

    8. Cushman, F. Private communications with L. C. Silvern. May 1944; June 1945.

    9. Darley, J. G., editor. "The American Psychologist," Journal of the Ameri- can Psychological Association; July 1960.

    10. "The American Psycholo- gist," Journal o[ the American Psy- chological Association; July 1961.

    11. DeYoung, C. A. Introduction to American Public Education. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1942.

    12. Gates, A. B. "An Appraisal of Indus- trial Training Experience," Person- nel, Series No. 78. American Man- agement Association, 1944.

    13. Holsopple, J. Q., editor. American Psychological Association, 1961 Di- rectory. APA, 1961.

    14. Hughes Aircraft Company. Princi- ples o[ the VIDEOSONIC* System, document 6.2.1 (revised). Culver City, Calif. ;March 1962.

    *Trademark of Hughes Aircraft Company

    15. Kopstein, F. "Forming of a new Di- vision in the American Psychological Association." Memorandum to mem- bers of Divisions 1, 3, 15 and 21 and other select American Psychological Association members; undated; re- ceived July 21, 1961.

    16. Levine, S. L. and Silvern, L. C. "The Evolution and Revolution of the Teaching Machine," Journal of the American Society of Training Direc- tors. December 1960; January 1961.

    17. Lumsdaine, A. A. and Glaser, Robert, editors. Teaching Machines and Pro- grammed Learning: A Source Book. Washington, D. C. : DAVI, National Education Association; July 1960.

    18. Peffer, N. Educational Experiments in Industry, New York: The Macmil- lan Company, 1932.

    19. Shettel, H. H. and Lumsdaine, A. A. Principles of Programming as Ap- plied to the Development of Two Self-Instructional Programs for Sage Operators. AFCCDD-TN-61-27/AIR- Cll-61-SR-247. Pittsburgh: Ameri- can Institute for Research; February 1961.

    20. Silvern, L. C. "Change in the Train- ing Director's Job," Journal of the American Society of Training Direc- tors; February 1961.

    21. - - Private communications with Cdr. F. Cushman. April 1944; May 1944.

    22. - - "P r inc ip les and Techniques for Training Programmers." Preprints of the 16th National Conference of the Association for Computing Ma- chinery, Los Angeles; September 18, 1961.

    23. - - "Specifications for a Compo- nent-Type General-Purpose Teaching Machine of Optimum Capability for Curriculum Deve lopment - 1961." Human Factors Journal of the Hu- man Factors Society; Vol. 3, No. 4, 1961.

    24. - - Textbook in Methods of In- struction, Culver City, Calif.: Hughes Aircraft Company, January 1, 1957.

    25. ~ "The Influence of Teaching Machine Technology on Electronic Systems Maintenance Training." IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Engineering; September 1961.

    26. - - "Uniformity in Teaching Ma- chine Technology." Opinion and Fact, AID, Lubbock, Texas; Institute of International Research and Develop-


    ment; May 1961. 29. 27. Workbook in Methods o/

    Classroom Instruction. Work Im- provement Program, New York Naval Shipyard, Navy Department. Unpublished documents 1942-47; published 1948. 30.

    28. Struck, F. T. Vocational Education [or a Changing World. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1944.

    U. S. Department of Labor. Occupa- tions in Electronic Data-Processing Systems. Washington, D. C.: Occu- pational Analysis Branch, USDL, 1959.

    War Manpower Commission. The Training Within Industry Report 1940-1945. Bureau of Training, WMC. September 1945.

    Simple Exper iments Help

    Many of the important improvements in teaching have grown out of relatively simple experiments done by regular classroom teachers. Often, a technique tried out with success in a classroom has become the basis for large-scale, carefully controlled research resulting in widely applicable new teaching methods. In brief, experimentation is as much a part of the life of the individual teacher as it is of the institutionally endowed specialists who are able to devote full time to their researches. Indeed, the closer the involvement of experiments with actual classroom condi- tions, the more useful the results are likely to be.

    Every teacher has the professional obligation to assist in improving our knowledge of human learning. To fulfill this responsibility teachers ought to be familiar with simple but sound techniques for testing new ideas and for evaluating results.

    ---From a study by William OdeU of Stanford University, excerpted in How Teachers Can Evaluate Teaching Machines and Learning Programs. Report 2, a pamphlet available free from Teaching Materials Corporation, a division of Grolier Incorporated, 575 Lexington Avenue, New York City 22.

    9 9 9 equa l educat iona l oppor tun i ty

    Programs presented by machines of fer . . , objectivity. Failing students frequently rationalize their difficulties by charging that the teacher doesn't like them. A machine develops no likes and dislikes. It has equal patience for the slow and the quick. It does not discriminate between rich and poor. It makes no distinctions with regard to race, color, or creed. We do not yet know what part of our educational program should be presented in this manner. But it is clear that thoroughly tested programs will make it possible to come closer to realizing the democratic ideal of equal educational opportunity for all.

    From "Teaching Machines and Human Beings," by John W. Blyth, p. 415. Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning, edited by A. A. Lumsdaine and Robert Glaser. Washington, D. C.: DAVI, NEA, 1201 Sixteenth Street. 1960. $7.50.