INFORMATION feedback, the process of providing information about the correctness or adequacy of a response (Bilodeau, 1966) (1), is regarded as the single most important variable governing the acquisition of skilled habits (Bilodeau, 1966; Irion, 1966). Fitts (1965) proposes a model which distinguishes between internal and environmental feedback loops. In education and/or training, comments from an instructor would be one source of environmental feedback. In addition, in many skills learning tasks, feedback intrinsic to the task would also form part of the information coming from the environment (Irion, 1966). However, in other tasks, clarity of feedback from the task itself is minimal and information from the instructor then assumes greater importance.
Markle (1965) proposes, in regard to the teaching of English, that it may be possible to teach the student appropriate discriminations so that he may become his own observer and evaluator, and, with this self-monitoring behavior, be able to provide his own information and knowledge of results rather than having to rely on environmental feedback. This would be of particular value where feedback intrinsic to the task is low or non-existent.
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