Branched Sequences/ Branched Programming: Concept & Features

Branched Sequences/ Branched Programming: Concept & Features

Concept of Branched Sequences/Branched Programming

The founder of Branched programming is Norman A. Crowder, hence it is also known as Crowderian Model. It is based on configuration theory of learning. It is a problem solving approach. It is stimulus centered approach of learning. As the word “branched” means the subdivision the stem or trunk. The same concept is applied in the branched programming instruction style.

The main concept (the trunk of the tree) is sub divided into smaller concepts (the stems of the tree) and further again to other minute details of the topic. Norman A Crowder has given its definition as It is a program which adapts to the needs of the students without the medium of extrinsic device as a computer. It is called intrinsic because the learner within himself makes the decision, to adapt the Learning to his/her needs. The rationale of intrinsic programming postulates that the basic learning takes place during the student’s exposure to the new material on each page. In branched program, the learning material is divided into “units of material called “frames. Much information, one or two paragraphs or even a page, is provided in a frame. Thus each frame is quite larger than that employed in linear program. The learner goes through the frame. After that he is required to respond to multiple choice questions associate with the learning material of the frame.

The learner moves forward if he answers correctly but is diverted (branched) to one or more remedial frames if he does not. These frames explain the matter afresh, ask him questions to elicit the right answer and reveal his previous mistakes, and then return him to original frame. This cycle goes on till the learner passes through the whole instructional material at his own pace.

Each Content frame includes the following:

  • Repeating student response
  • Positive confirmation
  • New information
  • Question
  • Alternatives followed by page numbers, where the student should go next

Each Remedial frame includes the following-

  • Repeating student response
  • Negative confirmation
  • Reasons why he is wrong
  • Further explanation in simple language
  • Directions as to where the student should go next.

Features of Branched program

  1. Material in a frame is larger; much information is presented at each step. A step may consist of two or more paragraphs and sometimes a full page.
  2. The method of student response is different than that of linear model; student has to make choice out of several choices. Multiple-choice question are asked. Each response to the question is keyed to different pages. If the learner selects correct response, his response is confirmed and in case he selects wrong response, then he routed to material which explains as to why he is wrong.
  3. Crowder holds that teaching is communication and so he concentrates his attention upon the improvement of communication.
  4. Learner has freedom to choose his own path of action according to the background of subject matter. The learner controls the exact sequence that he will follow.
  5. The programmer has ample opportunity to exploit the literary style.
  6. Student is more alert and concentrates on the subject matter more carefully
  7. Detection and concentration of errors is important. Crowder holds that making error is basic to learning. He permits 20 percent errors in his model. In such a model first the errors are detected and then corrected. The learner knows why he is wrong. Crowder says that it is impractical to eliminate errors in the process of learning.
  8. The crucial and identifying feature of branched model is the fact that the material presented to each student is continuously and directly controlled by the learner’s performance in answering questions.
  9. Intrinsic programmed material when presented in a book form, the book is called scrambled book because the pages do not follow in a normal sequence.
  10. It is very useful in concept learning or where the material is given largest steps.
  11. The role of active response is not central in intrinsic theory. Intrinsic program offer less guidance to learner as to what material in the frame is important.

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