HC Deb 29 April 1964 vol 694 cc70-1W
Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will make arrangements for interested educational bodies to observe the experiments that are being conducted in the Royal Navy in the use of teaching machines;

(2) what results he has obtained from the experiments in training naval apprentices by means of teaching machines; and whether he will extend these techniques to other defence departments.

Mr. Hay

Most of the naval experiments so far have concerned the syllabuses of training for electrical mechanics, with whom the largest trials have been conducted. There have also been some trials with new entry engineering mechanics and seamen using elementary mathematics programmes. There have not been any experiments directed specifically towards the training of naval artificer apprentices. The results of all these trials so far evaluated show a significant improvement in the quality of training with large classes using a combination of teaching machines and live instruction. Because of the protracted nature of the trials, it has not been convenient to organise visits of observers while the trials were in progress, but some representatives of interested educational organisations have been invited to visit the establishments concerned on completion of the experimental work.

Results obtained have been published in the January, 1963, edition of the journal Occupational Psychology and have also been passed to the Ministry of Education for publication in educational circles. I have arranged for copies of a recent detailed account of the programmed instruction so far undertaken in the Royal Navy, which was prepared for distribution to interested authorities, to be placed in the Library of the House of Commons.

The other Services are already conducting work in this field, and information is passed freely between those engaged.

Forward to