The Program of Systematic Evaluation
Research is at the "heart" of the Program of Systematic Evaluation. Beginning as a single concept in the 1960's, it has evolved, to date, as the most comprehensive research endeavor focusing on the use of visualization in the design of effective and efficient learning environments for instructional and training purposes.
More so than ever before the use of visualized materials are becoming a worldwide means of transmitting information at all levels of education and training. Beginning in 1965 Dr. Dwyer ( Executive Summary; Visual Researcher Extroadinaire (2003)) developed an instructional module and several criterion tests measuring different educational objectives which have become the foundational instructional materials in an innovative and systematic research program at Penn State University known as the Program of Systematic Evaluation (PSE): ( Research Justification of PSE, Canelos, J.; Overview of PSE, Dwyer, C.; Overview of PSE, Dwyer, F;Summary of the Program of Systematic Evaluation 1965-2007, Dwyer, F.M.).
The general thrust of the PSE was to identify the types of visual materials used singly and in combination with other independent variables which would be most effective in facilitating student achievement of specific educational objectives. Specifically the Program of Systematic Evaluation was designed to:
- Provide a research paradigm and materials which could be used to facilitate individual quantitative research studies on variables related to improving the effectiveness, efficiency and utility of instructional/training software materials.
- Help students develop a strong foundation for their future research as well as their contributing to the growing body of data related to the improvement of instructional design guidelines being generated in the Program of Systematic Evaluation.
- To provide opportunities in conducting research and publishing the results in referred journals. More than 250 research studies have been published.
- To provide opportunities in presenting research findings at state, regional, national and international conferences. To date over 350 presentations have been delivered.
The research thrust represented in the Program of Systematic Evaluation is unique in that all the research studies utilized the same instructional materials and the same criterion measures. To date the Program of Systematic Evaluation has:
- Involved more than 200,000 high school, university, military and corporate level participants.
- Been used in over 100 quantitative doctoral dissertations (PSE Dissertations).
- Been used in research studies conducted at a dozen different universities.
- Generated research which has resulted in over 250 scholarly publications (Research Publications PSE).
- Resulted in more than 350 scholarly presentations at the state, regional, national and international levels.
- Been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Korean.
Following is a sampling of independent variables investigated in the Program of Systematic Evaluation:
Advance organizer strategies
Levels of adjunct postquestions
Varied levels of visualization
Imagery learning strategies
Variations in visual/ verbal testing
Inductive/deductive interactive visuals
Order of testing
Levels of testing
Levels of cognition
Immediate and delayed retention
Locus of control
Myers Briggs personality measure
Elaborative/reduced step cueing
Cognitive trace compatibility
Sign similarity hypothesis
Levels of information processing
Mixed-chunk elaborative feedback
Levels of self pacing