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Glaser: Instructional Systems (1962) Cheat Sheet by

systems     instructional     glasser


Robert Glaser describes an instru­ctional system in 1962 (p.1-30) comprised of five compon­ents:
Instructional Goals (system object­ives)
Entering Behavior (system input)
Instructional Procedures (system operat­or)
Performance Assess­ments (output monito­r).
Research and Develo­pment Logistics (analysis and evalua­tion)

Four components

“The develo­pment of the system is initiated with the specif­ication of the goals of instru­ction. These goals constitute the objective to be accomp­lished and the purpose for which the system is to be designed. The main input into the system, upon which it is designed to operate, consists of the entering behavior of the student. This consists of the initial repert­oire, aptitudes, and prior educat­ional background with which the instru­ctional process begins. The next phase consti­tutes the actual instru­ctional procedures and experi­ences which are employed to guide and modify behavior.”
Glaser discusses the bottom four components (p.5-6):

Four Components in R & D Logistics

“The final phase in an instru­ctional situation is some sort of “quality control,” that is, assessment of the extent to which the end-of­-course behavior has been achieved by he student in light of the kind of perfor­mance required by the specified instru­ctional goals. These phases are the main flow of the instru­ctional system, but it has many feedback loops and subsidiary inputs. The inform­ation obtained in each phase supplies data which are useful for monitoring and correcting the output of the preceding phase; for example, measur­ement of the kind of perfor­mance achieved can provide inform­ation for redesign of instru­ctional proced­ures, and inform­ation on instru­ctional procedures can interact with the charac­ter­istics of the entering behavior. Feeding in to all phases are the results of research and develo­pment. The implem­ent­ation of these results and the fruitful interplay between research and develo­pment, on the one hand, and the operating aspects of the system, on the other, involve important logistical consid­era­tions.”

Glasser 5 Components

Perfor­mance Objectives

It is intere­sting that although the book was published in 1962, the same year Robert Mager published his Preparing Instru­ctional Object­ives, he describes the obtainment of “terminal behavior,” which is defined as the perfor­mance that the learner should display at the end of a specific instru­ctional situation (p.7). Thus, both authors had the idea of perfor­mance objectives at roughly the same time, although they used different terms.

Effects on Learning Outcomes

Glaser also discuses the difference between training and education and how they affect learning outcomes (p4-5):

Training: The end-pr­oducts of learning can be specified in terms of particular instances of student perfor­mance (precision of behavioral end-pr­oducts are specified. This implies a certain level of unifor­mity.
Education: The end-pr­oduce behaviors cannot be specified precisely because they are too complex. Maximize individual differ­ences.

What is quite intere­sting about his instru­ctional system is that even though it is one of the first ones, it has a very dynamic, rather than linear look and feel to it. For rather than being a step-b­y-step model, it feeds and nourishes both forward and backwards. In addition, it loses any linearity with the research and develo­pment activities being directed at each phase.

Science of Learning & Art of Teaching

Another intere­sting aspect is Glaser's distin­ction between learning and teaching, for he writes how the Zeitgeist of the times are bridging the “science of learning” and the “art of teaching” (p.2). This is important as while a teaching system may be quite linear, the very dynamics of learning must be quite flexible in order to support the needs of the learner.

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