That same year, B.F. Skinner came up with the idea for his teaching machine. Visiting his daughter’s fourth grade classroom, he was struck by the inefficiencies. Not only were all the students expected to move through their lessons at the same pace, but when it came to assignments and quizzes, they did not receive feedback until the teacher had graded the materials — sometimes a delay of days. Skinner believed that both of these flaws in school could be addressed through a machine, and built a prototype which he demonstrated at a conference the following year.
All these elements were part of Skinner’s teaching machines: the elimination of inefficiencies of the teacher, the delivery of immediate feedback, the ability for students to move through standardized content at their own pace.
Today’s ed-tech proponents call this “personalization.”