A Behavioural Approach to Teaching Subsidiary Physics to Engineering Students

Brian Pickthorne, Kevin Wheldall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/opinionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A modified version of the Keller Plan or Personalised System of Instruction (PSI) was employed in a controlled experiment designed to evaluate the success of an innovatory behavioural teaching approach in Higher Education. Technology students studying subsidiary physics were randomly allocated to two groups. One group was taught under a traditional lecture format and the other under a modified PSI format. The PSI group were able to earn free time and bonus coursework marks for successfully completing fortnightly criterion tests. The results showed that fewer PSI students failed the course or passed with low marks and that overall their mean scores on the exam were significantly higher, by about 10%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalEducational Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes


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