Programmed instruction is a method of presenting new subject matter to students through a graded sequence of controlled steps with corresponding activities. Students work through the programmed material at their own speed independently and assess their own comprehension after each step through exam questions or filling in a diagram. This method consists of a network of tests and statements which direct the student accordingly depending on their pattern of errors.
Programmed instruction refers to two main methods of learning. The first was developed by Norman Crowder, where the instructor includes multiple choice test questions within the text and provides feedback for each of the non-correct alternative options when a student chooses them. The second was developed by B.F. Skinner and includes a schedule of reinforcement for activities placed in a specific, continuous order.