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Research Comparing Reverse and Forward Chaining Instructional Methods on a Motor Task with Moderately Mentally Retarded Individuals



240 – 246

The purpose of this study was to compare reverse chaining and forward chaining instructional methods in teaching a motor task to moderately mentally retarded individuals. The motor task employed was a modified bowling skill using a four-step approach. Thirty moderately mentally retarded individuals were randomly assigned to either the reverse chaining or forward chaining group. The 15 subjects in the reverse chaining group were taught the last subtask first and then each subsequent subtask was added one by one until the entire skill sequence was taught. For the 15 subjects in the forward chaining group, the first subtask was taught first, each following subtask was added one by one until the entire skill sequence was taught. Results showed that the subjects in the reverse chaining group required significantly fewer trails and physical assists to learn the given motor task than the subjects in the forward chaining group. No significant differences in retention scores were found between the two groups.

Authors: Pao-Yin Hsu, John M. Dunn

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