Before 1920 
  The Future

The 1940s:
Instructional Media Research and Develoment

Influences on this period:

  • World War II (1941-1945)

This period was dominated by military training needs.

With World War II created an enormous instructional problem - thousands of new recruits had to be trained rapidly, and the sophistication of new weapons demanded an unprecedented level of mastery. Mediated strategies such as the use of films for instruction and AV technology were dominant.

In the four years between 1941 and 1945, the Division of Visuals Aids for War Training within the U.S Office of Education produced:

  • 457 sound motion pictures
  • 432 silent filmstrips
  • 457 instructors' manuals

Many people hired by the military to work on wartime training were well-established researchers and military training became an example of what a well-funded research and development effort could accomplish. in addition this effort continued after the war, ultimately predisposing the military toward innovative instructional approaches.

During this time, the role of an instructional technologist emerged. In addition to subject-matter experts and technical experts, there was also a need for a professional who could contribute expertise in education.Thus the idea of an instructional development team was conceived.

  Vannever Bush writes in an article "As We May Think" (Atlantic Monthly, 1945):

"There should be a tool that would enhance human memory and thinking and that allows people to retrieve information from a computer in many of the same ways in which retrieval is accomplished within human memory.

"As We May Think" - A Celebration of Vannevar Bush's 1945 Vision, An Examination of What Has Been Accomplished, and What Remains to Be Done

Edgar Dale developed the Cone of Experience. The purpose of the cone was to provide a visual example of various teaching levels and materials.(1946)