presentation), (2) the type of learning involved in the lesson content (logical, sequential analysis skills needed for computer language programming vs. the spatial and manual skills requisite in drawing a graph from given data), and (3) the identification to the participants in both groups of key lesson concepts (overt, constructed response vs. passive, italicized cued-text). It should be mentioned that while not a specific modification of the previous study, the general technological background, in particular, computer literacy, of the participants in this study is conceivably higher. Computers and technology represent a paradigm shift in academic media; and today's students are increasingly more exposed to technology than students of only a few years past. This research is logically related, and imparted a different perspective into the experimental conditions undertaken in Kritch and Bostow (1998).
The Experimental Analysis of Behavior
The approaches employed stem from lessons learned in an experimental approach to learning. They are based in what has been called “the experimental analysis of behavior,” (EAB) a phrase coined by Skinner (1969, 1972) to address a specific category of the natural sciences. This category refers to the functional interactions between directly measurable behaviors and specific historical and immediate environments. The EAB presupposes that the formation and behavior of organisms are a result of natural selection, that is, evolutionary processes (Skinner, 1969).
According to the behavioral perspective, learning is identified as a permanent change in behavior due to experience or practice. The focus of this approach is on how overt behavior is affected by the learning environment (Huitt & Hummel, 1998). Predictable interactions between the behavior of living organisms and environmental variables are referred to as “functional relations.” Johnston and Pennypacker (1980) describe a “functional relation” as the variation in responding that is