20 January 2015




One of the most important contributions of modem technology in the field of individualised instruction is the introduction of computers in the teaching-learning process. Although, its use has not yet been extended on a mass scale to our schools, the future years may witness fast computerisation of the teaching-learning activities. 

As teachers, we should know the role of computers in the teaching-learning process. A computer can record, analyse and react to students' responses. It can store and manipulate information on an extensive scale; it can control and manage a wide variety of learning materials; and it can simultaneously cope with learning requirements of many individuals. It can make a number of planning decisions also.

Computer-assisted instruction: 

Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is, in a sense, an extension of programmed learning material and the personalised system of instruction. In CAI, there is flow of information and interaction between the computer and the student The computer provides instruction directly to the student and allows him/her to interact with it through the lessees programmed in the system. The student puts questions to the computer and feeds answers into it with the help of the keyboard. The computer provides feedback to the student on the basis of his/her performance. On the whole it may be said that the computer acts as a teacher to the student.  

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In order to carry out this teaching/learning function, the computer utilizes various instructional modes. Let us discuss these modes in brief.

        I.         Drill and practice: In this mode, the computer presents to the student a series of exercises which he or she attempts by giving some responses. It provides the student feedback on his/her answers in the form of congratulatory message, if it is right, or a corrective comment, if it is wrong. Thus, computer-assisted instruction provides endless drill and practice with repetition at a pace that can be controlled by the student. The computer allows the students to proceed further only when mastery has been achieved by him/her.

      II.            Tutorial mode: In the tutorial mode, as in programmed instruction, information is presented in small steps followed by a question. The student's response is analysed by the computer and appropriate feedback is given.

    III.            Simulation mode: Learning experiences related to the real life phenomena are provided to the student through this mode. For example, the study of genetics, experiments in town planning, the operation of a system, etc.,can be shown to be student through the computer simulation
    IV.            Discovery mode: This mode uses inductive approach to learning wherein the problems are presented and the student solves them through trial and error.

      V.            Gaming mode: In gaming mode teaching can be imparted through a playway mode.

Computer-managed instruction

Computer-managed instruction (CMI) is another contribution of the computer to the domain of instruction. In CMI, the computer gathers, stores and manages information to guide the student through individualised learning experiences. The computer helps the student move through check-points (in the form of definite activities) in the education process at different times via different paths matching the individual capabilities. CMI achieves this individualised instructional process by a series of activities administering diagnostic tests, scoring them, prescribing the appropriate paths and monitoring the progress of individuals all along the route.

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