Self-Study Course are written in a programmed instruction format. Course pages are typically divided into five frames. Some pages have fewer frames to allow for a panel containing larger graphics. Each frame includes a carefully designed piece of instructional information requiring the trainee to provide a written response in a box on the frame. The correct answer is also included on the frame and kept covered with an Answer Mask until the trainee has written the response. The Answer Mask is then moved down on the page to check the response against the correct answer. If correct, the trainee proceeds to the next frame. The material is designed such that the trainee rarely fails to provide the correct answer. If the response is incorrect, reviewing a few previous frames will provide the information necessary to understand the correct response before proceeding. This patterned learning format causes the trainee to go through a five step process five times on a typical page.
The five steps of programmed instruction are: