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Computer assisted instruction: current trends and critical issues

By Jack A. Chambers, Jerry W. Sprecher

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 23 No. 6, Pages 332-342

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The use of computers to assist in the learning situation in a simulation, game, tutorial, or drill and practice mode is reviewed on an international basis with centers of activity identified in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. The use of the computer as an adjunct to support learning is compared to its use in a substitution mode. Evaluative studies of CAI are reviewed and costs are examined. The critical issues of CAI are enumerated and analyzed as they pertain to computer hardware, CAI languages, and courseware development and use. The future of CAI is briefly sketched from the viewpoints of individuals prominent in the field. Finally, conclusions are drawn and recommendations are offered to help ensure the most educationally cost-effective use of CAI in learning situations.

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