Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. A. W. Sturges


Statement of the Problem

The problem was to determine whether a combination of conventional and programed instruction was more effective than conventional instruction alone in the teaching of a ninth-grade Physical Science unit, "Matter,Atoms, and Molecules." The three treatment groups compared were (1) the Conventional Group, (2) the Introductory Group, in which the programed material was used as initiatory assignments, and (3) the Review Group, in which the programed material was used as review assignments. Student achievement was measured by means of the Adjusted Recall Gain Score, the Adjusted Application Gain Score, and the Adjusted Total Gain Score.

In addition, the problem was to compare the effectiveness of the five Physical Science instructors taking part in the study and to determine if there was a significant correlation between the gain scores and (1) student intelligence, as measured by the CTMM, (2) student ability in mathematics, as measured by the ITED Quantitative Score, (3) student ability in reading material in natural science, as measured by the ITED Science Reading Score, and (4) the student's general achievement level, as measured by the ITED Composite Score.


A linear program and a criterion test were prepared by the researcher for the unit, "Matter, Atoms, and Molecules." The program consisted of 619 frames calling for 835 responses. The criterion test was divided into two parts, a Recall Test and an Application Test. Both parts were composed of 30 test items.

Twenty-three intact classroom sections (547 students) were randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups. The only restriction placed on the assignment of the sections was that each of the five teachers should have at least one section, but no more than two sections, in each of the treatment groups.

The criterion test was administered as the pre-test and as the post-test. The ITED and CTMM tests had been administered to the students prior to the study.

Students using the programed materials were asked to complete a short questionnaire designed to determine their reaction to the programed material. The teachers were asked to provide background information relative to their own experience and training.


1. There was no significant difference between the three adjusted gain scores of the three treatment groups, although the Review Group had the highest Adjusted Recall Gain Score and the highest Adjusted Application Gain Score.

2. There was a significant difference between the adjusted gain scores of the five teacher groups.

3. There was a significant correlation between the gain scores (Recall, Application, and Total) and the ITED and CTMM scores. These significant correlations held for each of the treatment groups.

4. The students tended to become tired of the programed material toward the end of the unit. However, the majority felt the material had helped them and they expressed a desire to use the programed material again.

5. There was no significant correlation between the adjusted gain scores and the teacher experience and training except for that between the Adjusted Application Gain Score and the semester hours of Physics.

6. The best single predictor of student success, as measured by the gain scores, was the ITED Composite Score.


The one major conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that the success of the Grand Forks ninth-graders in the Physical Science unit, "Matter, Atoms, and Molecules," is more dependent upon the teacher than upon the instructional methodology.

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