Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shimaburko, Shinkichi

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Education


Programmed instruction


Problem: The purpose of this study was to investigate the critical need of overt responses for efficient learning when responding to linear programs of instruction. Procedure: Pertinent professional literature which dealt with active participation or overt-covert responding was reviewed. An experimental and control group were created from three fifth grade classes. The children were paired on the basis of IQ and language achievement. They were then randomly separated into the two groups which were equal as to mean IQ scores, mean language achievement scores, number of boys and girls, and socio-economic background. The groups were given two linear programs of instruction and tested on them. On the first program one group responded overtly, and the other group covertly. This procedure was reversed for the second program. The test scores were analyzed for significant differences, and each test was examined for reliability. Findings and Conclusions: (1) The previous experimental bindings showed little, or no difference as a result of the two modes of responding. (2) The results of this experiment, although limited and not conclusive, supported the above. (3) Individual results differed greatly on comparable tests. This showed that there may be individuals who are affected significantly by the mode of response, and a recommendation for study on an individual basis was made. (4) The covert response may be an integral part of the theory of operant behavior. Research was suggested to investigate that concept, the nature of the covert and overt responses, and to clarify the theory of operant conditioning.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 54-55)


viii, 62 pages




Northern Illinois University

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