A behavioural approach to teaching subsidiary physics to engineering students

Brian Pickthorne, Kevin Wheldall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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
Title of host publicationBehaviour analysis in educational psychology
EditorsKevin Wheldall, Frank Merrett, Ted Glynn
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCroom Helm
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781351755856, 9781351755849, 9781315192697
ISBN (Print)0709936893, 9781138723900, 9781138724068
Publication statusPublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge library editions: psychology of education

Bibliographical note

1st published 1986, eBook published 2017.
All articles were originally published in the journal 'Educational Psychology'
1981—1985, published by Carfax Publishing Company and are copyright Journals
Oxford Ltd


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