A comparison of reverse- and forward-chaining instructional methods on a motor task with mentally retarded individuals Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1544br65f

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  • The purpose of this study was to compare the reverse-chaining and forward-chaining instructional methods in teaching a motor task to mentally retarded individuals. The subjects were selected from Fairview Training Center, Salem, Oregon. Each of the subjects was classified as mentally retarded with a range from moderate to severe retardation. The subjects' ages ranged from 12 to 21 with a mean age of 15.7 years. The subjects included 6 females and 24 males. The motor task used in this study was a modified bowling skill using a four-step approach. The bowling skill was analyzed into four subtasks--A, B, C and D. Thirty mentally retarded individuals were randomly assigned to either the reverse-chaining or the forwardchaining group. The 15 subjects in the reverse-chaining group were taught the last subtask (subtask D) first and then each subsequent subtask was added one by one (that is, subtasks C and D; then subtasks B, C and D) until the entire skill sequence (subtasks A, B, C and D) was taught. For the 15 subjects in the forward-chaining group, the teaching procedure was opposite of that with the reverse-chaining group. They were taught the first subtask (subtask A) first, and then each following subtask was added one by one (that is subtasks A and B; then subtasks A, B and C) until the entire skill sequence (subtasks A, B, C and D) was taught. This study found that the subjects in the reversechaining group required significantly fewer trials and physical assists to learn the given motor task than the subjects in the forward-chaining group. There was no significant difference in retention between the two groups. The results of this study supported the relative advantages of using the reverse-chaining method as opposed to the forward-chaining method when teaching mentally retarded individuals a motor task. The reversechaining instructional method should be recommended as an appropriate teaching method for mentally retarded individuals.
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