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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Programmed Instruction in Soil Science: An Evaluation1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 3, p. 487-488
    Received: June 22, 1968

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  1. J. W. Shafer Jr.,
  2. R. J. Crabtree and
  3. H. D. Foth2



The introductory course in soil science has been taught at Michigan State University since the fall of 1966 as a multimedia course. The lecture-laboratory format was changed to include one lecture, one recitation and about three hours of nonscheduled programmed laboratory per week. The programmed part of the course consists of preparatory reading assignments, a taped-slide presentation of new material and laboratory investigations, displays that are integrated with the tape presentation, and homework problems and questions. About two-thirds of the students found this to be one of the most stimulating courses they have had in college. The integration of laboratory work with the lecture was preferred 2 to 1 over the traditional separation of laboratory and lecture. Staff found this approach more conducive to individualized help of students. Administrators find it easier to schedule courses, fewer pieces of scientific equipment are required, and there is more efficient use of space. Its major disadvantage is the extensive time required to develop the program and its initial cost.

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