History of Instructional Media and Design

This timeline will highlight the history of the field of instructional design and technology in the United States.

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  1. Instructional media is defined as the physical means, other than the teacher, chalkboard, and textbook, through which instruction is presented to learners.
  2. The Educational Museum, which featured articles purchased from the 1904 World's Fair Palace of Education. The museum opened in 1905, and in 1943 it evolved into the first audiovisual department in the United States.
  3. The motion picture projector was one of the first media devices used in the school systems in the later 19th century. The public school system in Rochester, NY became the first to adopt films for regular instructional use.
  4. The audiovisual instruction movement arrived in the later 1920s and 1930s. As radio broadcasting, sound recording, and sound motion pictures became popular, schools began to use them for instructional use. Despite the Great Depression, this movement continually evolved.
  5. During the 1930s, the radio became the talk of the town. Many audiovisual enthusiasts believed radio would revolutionize education.
  6. KILL OR BE KILLED! - World War II Training Film - Remastered Sound and Video
  7. Theories of Communication
  8. Post World War II in the early 1950s, theorists such as Shannon and Weaver developed communication theories focusing on the communication process. As people began to focus on the process of communication and not just the medium, the audiovisual movement began to expand.
  9. Instructional Televsion: 1950s
  10. Schools used television for instructional purposes because it was an efficient way to teach students material. However, the movement of instructional tv was not successful for different reasons, such as expenses and its inability to present information for all types of learners.
  11. B.F. Skinner Developments: Mid-1950s
  12. When Skinner wrote the article, "The Science of Learning and Art of Teaching" it opened doors for the education field. Throughout his article, Skinner discussed how there are requirements for human learning. Those requirements include effective instructional material, such as programmed instructional material.
  13. Criterion-Referenced Testing Movement: 1960s
  14. This style of testing measures how well an individual can perform a particular behavior or set of behaviors. These tests were directed to see how much the student grasped from an instructional program. Robert Glaser was the first to utilize the term criterion-referenced measures.
  15. Terminology Changes: 1970s
  16. During this time, the audiovisual movement and/or audiovisual instruction began to develop into the new concept of instructional technology and educational technology.