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Abstract

Programmed instruction began as a practical application of B. F. Skinner’s theory of radical behaviorism, a reinterpretation of the earlier theories of Pavlov, Watson, and Thorndike. He invented a mechanical device that allowed individual users to read brief informational passages, respond to questions about the information and receive a reinforcement in the form of knowledge of correct response. Later developments, such as branching programs, the Sullivan Reading Program, Programmed Tutoring, Precision Teaching, Direct Instruction, and Personalized System of Instruction attempted to improve upon and expand the application of Skinner’s original notion. All relied upon rigorous testing of results to enhance effectiveness. These innovative technologies provided the template for later individualized instruction formats, such as computer-assisted instruction and Web-based distance learning. They also generated many of the conventions associated with systematic instructional design, such as performance objectives, task analysis, and formative and summative evaluation.

In: AECT at 100

Abstract

This chapter is a conversation amongst key leaders who brought AECT through the existential crisis around the turn of the 21st century. The group discussion shared below brings together the perspectives of the two Presidents who served immediately prior to Marcy, Robert Harrell (1998–1999) and Kyle Peck (1999–2000) and that of the recently retired Executive Director, Phil Harris (1999–2021).

In: AECT at 100
In: AECT at 100

Abstract

The second half-century began with DAVI establishing a new identity as the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), staking claim to a broad range of concepts, tools, and techniques beyond audiovisual instruction. The new technologies of programmed instruction and instructional systems development shifted the focus from hardware to the underlying processes of teaching and learning. In the 1980s and 1990s, the proliferation of computers and then their connection through the Internet opened new horizons for expanding the reach of education. These developments led to a smaller and more diversified membership for AECT, providing a new platform for its second century.

In: AECT at 100
In: AECT at 100
The purpose of AECT at 100: A Legacy of Leadership is to highlight the Association for Educational Communications and Technology’s 100 years of leadership in educational technology and learning. AECT has a rich history, evolving from the National Education Association’s (NEA) Department of Visual Instruction (DVI) and later the Department of Audio-Visual Instruction (DAVI). Over its 100 years, AECT and its members have had a substantial impact on the evolution of American educational technology and learning, including in the areas of audiovisual instruction, instructional design, and online learning.

AECT at 100: A Legacy of Leadership brings together writers and experts in the organization to explore various periods of history within the field and how AECT and its membership stood as a leader within the field. Topics such as visual instruction, the audiovisual movement, leadership development, programmed instruction, diversity leadership, AECT and educational technology topics, journals, ethics, and social justice are explored. Additionally, a number of leaders are explored from the early days of AECT such as James Finn, F. Dean McClusky, Edgar Dale, and Elizabeth Golterman all the way to recent leaders such as Rob Branch.
In: The Vulnerability of Teaching and Learning in a Selfie Society