Psychological Principles in System Development - 1962
Robert M. Gagne edited the ground breaking Psychological Principles in System Development— integrating psychotechnology in system development
In the book, Gagne discusses the Air Force's formalization of the systems concept in the post WWII 1950's and its influence on air traffic control. The main theme of system design was to integrate people and machines into an operational system. While engineers generally concentrated on machines, this collection of works focuses on man and his interaction with machines, devices, and technology (political correctness was not in vogue at the time).
Planning for Human Components in System Development
System design begins with a state of purpose. The chart below shows Gagne's procedures used in system development.
Robert Glaser also became deeply involved in helping the military with instructional systems 1950s and 1960s. And since both him and Gagne had deep influences on our training and educational systems, system concepts naturally began to weave their way into both fields.
One of the interesting system development projects discussed in Gagne's book is building a revised course of instruction for armor crewman training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The project was code named SHOCKACTION and undertaken during the late 1950s. The course trained tank crewmen to act as a tank commander, driver, gunner, or loader of the Army's main battle tank. The course was considered important and worthy of considerable investment of research and development funds. It was noted by officers that the present course was not training armor crewmen to a level of proficiency.
The SHOCKACTION training revamp is discussed in two chapters (Concepts of Training by Meredith Crawford and The System Concept and Methodological Decision by John Finan) and is quite interesting as the newly developed course was not only superior to the old course, but also quite a bit shorter as the training was reduced from eight weeks to six weeks.
Return to the History of Instructional System Design
Gagne, R. M. (1962). Psychological Principles in System Development. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.