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Computer Assisted Instruction

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  • Pages: 6
  • Word count: 1280
  • Category: Computers

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            Computer assisted instruction refers to remediation of the teacher’s instruction which is aimed at making sure that a concept is understood well especially in a scenario where there are below average or disadvantaged students who may require more attention.  These instructions come in varying packages which in cooperates animation and interactions allowing students to learn at their own pace (AIR, 2009). These instructions are meant for complementing purposes and therefore they cannot be effective on their own. The information age dictates that the use of computers is necessary but not a replacement for regular tutorials with human instructors which call for a balance between the two.

            There is a consensus in the articles that learning rate is boosted when computer assisted instruction is used (CAI). This happens through the interactive approach that CAI uses in order to capture the attention of the learners through compelling means. A very hard concept can be explained through a 3-dimensional animation interlaced with interesting music that will arouse the curiosity of the learners and if they had switched their minds unconsciously, their attention will be recalled back to class (Patrick, 2003). In the traditional teacher/instructor and student dissemination of lectures can lead to boredom especially what the instructor is explaining is difficult idea and all attention is turned to one person in front. When both the methods are employed, it almost doubles the rate of learning as compared to learning rate of the separate methods (Kathleen, 1991).

            CAI involves an active approach to learning where there is maximum participation of all people involved as opposed to instructor method where the teacher talks most of the time accounting for around of 80% of total time. Breaking of monotony is very important in helping the students to retain what they are learning. The mind is very complex and it gets tired very soon and a small activity like a laugh can refresh the buffer capacity and increase the retention rate without necessarily forcing it (Patrick, 2003). This is a key advantage of CAI because of its flexibility nature that allows an almost informal setting of learning activities although strictly speaking it is supposed to be formal. Due to this free atmosphere to learn, the mind tends to absorb a lot of content and retaining it because it is usually presented in steps where for you to proceed to the next step you must have the pervious lessons at your finger tips so that you can apply them in the next step (Paul, Allyson, 2009).

            In majority of activities involving the young people, fan is required to annex their attention from wandering out of class. CAI has been shown to change the attitudes of students towards learning. Many students are opposed to the traditional mode of teaching claiming that it is very boring which weighs down on their academic performance (Patrick, 2003).In instances where this kind of learning (CAI) has been applied, there has been tremendous improvement in the punctuality to class, attending of class and even the general performance.

            Controversy however rises as to how CAI can be implemented without making the students too much dependent on the computer more than the natural ability. A computer can do everything for you and from mathematical calculations to doing logical deduction and other complex functions that would take a normal person a considerable amount of time to do. A pertinent problem regarding this issue is exactly when to introduce this kind of learning because the early it is introduced the more people will become independent on them. There are two schools of thoughts that have opposite opinions on exactly when these programs should be introduced because the bottom line is that CAI is necessary for effective learning (Paul, Allyson, 2009).

            Some research conducted show that there is a high likelihood of failure of development of the analytic nature of the brain especially when CAI is introduced early in life (Patrick, 2003).This can be retrogressive since the main aim of this program is to help people in learning and make learning experience worthwhile. The proponents of this argument are of the opinion that the early induction the better it makes one adapted to this mode of academic delivery and therefore it prepares someone for eventuality that come later in life. The problem with this argument is that these programs are different depending on the subject and they are always changing and therefore for them to keep pace with the fast advancement of technology, a lot has to be done so that the pace is maintained (AIR, 2009).

            Most of these programs (software) are tailor made to suit some specific needs and therefore in some cases they may fail to meet the expected goal but that does not mean they have failed. This has been a very valid problem and one that is threatening the applicability of CAI since in a class there are all sorts of students who also have very varying tests and preferences. The learning abilities of students also differ and therefore it can be not very accommodating especially when we use the same program for two people who are not at par in mental capabilities (Kathleen, 1991).

            Since the computers were introduced to the American learning institutions, there has been improvement in the sector and some processes that were laborious to undertake have been simplified. However this independence on machines (computers) is spiraling out of control with all sorts of programs being made that can do everything from research to arranging of personal diary with machine requiring you to only feed it with data and the rest it will do for you. CAI has also come with its negative side where with education going virtually online and digital, many people have taken advantage of this and have started to poison the minds of students with inappropriate materials like pornography or hate campaigns that have been disguised as learning material (Paul, Allyson, 2009).  If this problem is not addressed properly, it can undo all the great progress that has been achieved especially with regard to young children. Which again brings out the debate when exactly is the ideal age to expose students to the full exposure of CAI.


            There is no denying that technology has become an integral part of our education system in optimizing the learning options of the students. All learning activities are dependent on computers in every aspect which is a very positive step toward educating all but is exposing young developing minds to a lot of danger especially when they become dependent on those machine such that they cannot think or use their own intellect (Patrick, 2003). For the complete success of the program, teachers should be involved in their development because they (teachers) understand the minds of students better than those scientists who develop the programs. This could also prevent development of programs that are not inclusive and help to integrate the whole learning process into one compact program.


AIR, (2009). The Access Center: Improving outcomes for all students. Retrieved 30, May 30,     2009 from,


Kathleen, C. (1991). School Improvement Research Series. Retrieved 30 May 2009, from


Patrick, L. (2003). Effects of computer-assisted- instruction on different learners. Journal of      Instructional Psychology. Retrieved 30 May 2009, from


 Paul, M., & Allyson, R. (2009). Benefits of computer-assisted instruction for struggling readers           in middle school. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 1469-591X, Vol.24,         Issue 1, Pp 103 – 113.

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