Behavioral Factors in Learning, Instruction, and Technology

Behaviorism has a rich and varied history through the 20th century and that history is entwined with the use of instructional technology. The most modern strand of behaviorist thought, radical behaviorism, has maintained particularly strong ties to instructional technology since its inception. Radical behaviorism’s focus on consequences to influence learning has been realized in technologies such as the American psychologist B. F. Skinner’s notions of teaching machines and programmed instruction, Fred Keller’s Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) method, and most recently in online instruction and gaming. Indeed, it can be argued that Skinner’s largely forgotten book, The Technology of Teaching, was a foundational text for the field of instructional technology. The tenets of radical behaviorism continue to be applied to instructional technology into the 21st ...

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