SOME FACTORS IN THE DESIGN OF SYSTEMS FOR COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTION.
HARVARD COMPUTING CENTER CAMBRIDGE MASS
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The digital computer is a significant tool for explicating and guiding the instructional process. Today it is most useful to develop formalized and testable conceptions of instruction, but in practice it is being used more to implement instruction. The potential contribution of a CAI system as a catalyst in the process of formalizing instruction and in testing the validity of conceptions of instruction has been underestimated. An argument is made for the development and testing of teaching models that are prescriptive as well as descriptive. The most useful form of description to be used for the rules of instruction is the contingency statement. Sets of rules are combined to define teaching strategies. An urgent research problem is the identification of useful variables to include in both the if and then statements of teaching rules. Based upon previous research, the idiographic model uses variables relating to student characteristics as one component of useful if statements. Another component comes from the learning task. Five modes of instruction are described for the then statement. Author
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