Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.
Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India
Learner behaviour comprises collective activities displayed by the learner. Learner behaviour is different at the point in time they begin to participate in the teaching-learning process, it varies during the process and finally, at the end of the process. For our purpose, we are concerned with entry and terminal beaviour, which are assessed by the teacher .
The Entering behavior
Entering behavior describes the student level before the instruction begins. It refers to what the student has previously learned, his intellectual ability and development, his motivational state, and certain social and cultural determinants of his learning ability. Entering behavior is a more precise term than its usual alternatives—human ability, individual differences, and readiness. This precision may come at the price of seeing the student as less complex, less able, and less experienced than he may in fact be.
Schools tend to define entering behavior in terms of the traditions curriculum rather than in terms of student ability, experience, and interest. A student with the more abstractive ability and interest of the mathematician, therefore, may be viewed as having a higher level entering behavior than that of a student whose major interest and ability are in creating the visual, geometric forms of modern painting and sculpture.
Entry behaviour includes the prerequisite knowledge, attitudes or skills which the student already possesses that are relevant to the learning task or subject matter and that you may require students to demonstrate before beginning your module. This includes previous education and experience that the student brings to the new learningcontext. The ultimate goal of the module being to advance the student from where he is (entry behaviour) to where you would like him to be (having mastered the learning objectives or terminal behaviour).
There are many potential influences on student behaviour, and many factors should be considered before determining the entering behaviour . These include:
- biophysical factors, such as medical conditions or disabilities
- psychological factors, including emotional trauma or lack of social skills
- behavioural/social factors, including where a student’s problem behaviour has been learned through reinforcement, consequences or adaptation to social practices. For example, a student with a learning difficulty repeatedly misbehaves knowing that he/she will be removed from the class and this will avoid his/her learning difficulty being exposed.
- historical community factors, including for Koorie students whose family member/s had difficult, sometimes traumatic, experiences of school and government agencies
- cultural factors, for example dalit community
- environmental factors, for example the level of classroom noise or classroom seating arrangements
- classroom organisation issues, such as inconsistent routines, inadequate materials or obliviousness to cultural differences
The Terminal behavior
in modem education one often hears of the concept terminal behavior this is a term supplied from the field of psychology which reflects the belief that the measure of any successful educational activity is the degree to which the students behavior is modified to what extent does he do or do things he did not or could not before the lessons were presented
Desired final behavior being shaped by a training or learning process, and which the trainee or learner is to demonstrate at the end of the process.
Describing terminal behavior has two purposes. First, the teacher has a means for assessing the adequacy of the performance and for determining the need for further instruction. The teacher at a given point in time may not desire that the students for completely able to identify and use the concept. The prior description of the students’ expected performance clearly indicates to the teacher and to the students the degree of adequacy the students are to attain at a particular time. Second, the students have a way of assessing their own performance and of determining when their learning is complete. The students’ self-assessments then become a way of generation their own reinforcement.
A three components learning objective format consists of the terminal behavior, the conditions and the standard. Terminal behavior describes what the learner should be able to do in order to demonstrate that s(he) achieve the objective. The terminal behavior is any performance that can be observed or recorded. Terminal behaviour should be expressed using action verbs. If the behavioral component is missing it is difficult to measure whether the student has achieved an instructional goal. The terminal behavior should describe different cognitive processes – remembering, understanding, applying, problem solving etc, that leads to the different level of accomplishment.
The standard property of learning objective formulation describes the minimal accepted level of performance at the end of the instruction. The standard is a kind of proof that a learner is achieved at the objective. The type of standard selected depends on the specificity of the terminal behaviour. It could be occurrence of behaviour, time, speed, accuracy, reference, consequences, etc.
Terminal behavior usually refers to something very specific-for example the teacher may say “I want to see everyone reading quietly for the next five minutes”-and includes what can be termed the “form and frequency of a desired response” (Ormrod & Rice, 2003, p. 71). In the earlier example of students lining up, the teacher’s desired terminal behavior may be something similar to “I want all of my students to quietly line up within one minute of my first asking them to do so.”
Terminal behavior can be quite difficult to achieve. If, at the beginning of the school year, the class typically took ten minutes or more to line up, getting to the terminal behavior can be quite a feat. The operant conditioning theory keeps this in mind and recommends the use of shaping to gradually achieve the terminal behavior. Shaping is especially useful when an individual’s baseline behavior is very low. In the process of developing the desired terminal behavior plan, the teacher should develop a set of reference points that show that the student is progressing towards the terminal behavior. Instead of focusing on the terminal behavior, the teacher should reinforce each successive benchmark. Once behavior at one level comes “naturally” or without reinforcement, the teacher should start reinforcing at the levels that bring the student closer to the terminal behavior In the example of lining up, the teacher may begin by first reinforcing how students behave in the line, and later focus on reducing the amount of time it takes students to respond to the request to line up.
Describing terminal behavior has two purposes. First, the teacher has a means for assessing the adequacy of the performance and for determining the need for further instruction. The teacher at a given point in time may not desire that the students for completely able to identify and use the concept. In the beginning, for example, the teacher may be quite satisfied to have the students recognize direct objects only in simple English sentences. Later, he may want the students to recognize direct objects in compound sentences in both dependent and independent clauses. Still later he may want the students to use direct objects in various sentence contexts. The prior description of the students’ expected performance clearly indicates to the teacher and to the students the degree of adequacy the students are to attain at a particular time. Second, the students have a way of assessing their own performance and of determining when their learning is complete. The students’ self-assessments then become a way of generation their own reinforcement.
To conclude it can be said that More simply, entering behavior describes the present status of the student’s knowledge and skill in reference to a future status the teacher wants him to attain. Entering behavior, therefore, is where the instruction must always begin. Terminal behavior is where the instruction concludes.. This way the teaching can be described as getting the student from where he is to where we would like him to be- as moving from entering to terminal behavior. Together descriptions of entering and terminal behavior define the limits of instructional responsibility for each degree of teaching.
Entry behaviour includes the prerequisite knowledge, attitudes or skills which the student already possesses that are relevant to the learning task or subject matter and that you may require students to demonstrate before beginning your module. This includes previous education and experience that the student brings to the new learning context. The ultimate purpose is to advance the student from where he is (entry behaviour) to where you would like him to be (having mastered the learning objectives or terminal behaviour).
Entry behaviour comprises the activities/responses of the learners prior to the teaching-learning process. The prior knowledge of learners, their interests, attitudes, abilities, etc make up the entry behaviour of students. Terminal behaviour comprises the activities/responses displayed by learners after the completion of the teaching-learning process. Thus the change in behaviour after the teaching-learning process will make up the terminal behaviour.