CAL base for Computer Aided Learning and in many instances referred to as Computer Aided Instruction every bit good [ Bachman, 1998 ] .
An in deepness reappraisal of the literature suggests that there is no concrete definition of CAL as such. Many research workers have explained what can be achieved by CAL and how it can be done but no 1 has truly tried to specify CAL. Computer Aided Learning in simple footings can be described as an assistance or aid towards the acquisition procedure utilizing a computing machine. It is really of import to observe here that we are utilizing the word ‘aid ‘ . Here ‘aid ‘ is of import because while utilizing computing machines in the acquisition procedure no effort is being made to replace the instructor or lector and the computing machine is used as an assistance merely. Computer aided Learning has been promoted in a figure of ways for instruction and larning intent. Some of these include Problem Based Learning [ Schor et Al, 1995 ] , learning basic anatomy [ Stanford et al, 1994 ] , supplementing talks and tutorials [ Shannon, 1990 ] etc. It is of import to observe that CAL should non be considered as a individual plan or application that fulfils a certain undertaking as desired by the user. CAL can be a individual or series of plans or application which acts as an assistance to the overall acquisition procedure.
Historically, it was in the early 1950ss during the last century that human existences used any sort of electronic device to execute a mathematical computation. Equally shortly as this was realized a series of developments took topographic point and shortly the computing machine came into being. Peoples realized the huge possible computing machines had and started to utilize it in about every field. Researchers openly stated that the usage of computing machine for educational intent would alter the face of instruction in a really short span of clip. Schittek ( 2001 ) points out that it was non until grand 1981, when IBM presented the personal computer IBM Personal computer ( personal computing machine ) that the usage of computing machines for educational intent started to develop. Research workers like Papert ( 1994 ) so suggested the usage of schoolroom computing machines and abandon the worksheet course of study. As a common belief the research workers in favour of CAL believed that computing machine had the possible to excite and back up assorted educational ends. The important inquiry at that clip and even now is that which goal/s should be selected? It was really of import to choose the ends suitably as the picks made would hold an huge consequence on the kids ‘s heads, their acquisition manners and on the instruction procedure overall. The educational ends that could be achieved utilizing computing machines 20 old ages back were limited due to technological barriers. With an exponential growing in technological discoveries and turning experience in utilizing these computing machines for instruction the statements made during the last one-fourth of the nineteenth century makes a batch of sense now. Technology is no more a barrier today and it is up to the academicians to utilize it suitably to run into the desired educational ends.
There were many disparagers for the usage of computing machines in instruction every bit good. One of the primary reserves was the construct that computing machines will finally replace the traditional instructor or lector. Other grounds include the reluctance to alter their mentality to suit something new in the course of study. These research workers felt that computing machines were a challenge to the existing educational patterns at the rational, societal, economic and matter-of-fact degrees and therefore favored the traditional methods over the usage of computing machines. The protagonists of CAL argue that we ne’er questioned the fact that chalkboard or books will replace the instructor so why are we so opposed to the usage of computing machines in instruction? Even today these groups of people are outnumbered by the disparagers and are go oning their attempt to warrant the legion advantages that computing machines can convey in to the educational course of study. This is even more apparent from the fact that there are today a figure of CAL plans available on the market, However it seems that the development of CAL is based on the work of really few persons instead than being a portion of the module ‘s ICT schemes [ Plasschaert et Al, 1995 ]
1. Game-based acquisition: By and large, games satisfy the basic demands of larning environments identified by Norman ( 1993 ) and can supply an engaging environment for larning. Games should supply possibilities for reflectively researching phenomena, proving hypotheses and building objects.
2. Computer simulations: Grimes et Al. ( 1988 ) studied the effects of a textbook-based package bundle in two categories of the Introductory Macroeconomics class. Their consequences indicate no statistically important difference in larning between the experimental ( package users ) and control ( non-users ) groups. Finally, Grimes and Wiley ( 1990 ) conducted an experiment utilizing a textbook-based simulation bundle in the Introductory Macroeconomics class. Their consequences indicate a statistically important difference in overall attitude and public presentation between pupils who did and did non utilize the simulation package.
3. Animations: One peculiarly promising capableness of computing machine based acquisition is the ability to incorporate life as portion of direction. Authoring application plans have made life readily accessible to any pedagogue who has the forbearance to larn how to utilize the application ( Sturman, 1998 ) .
Some other signifiers of Computer based direction include Virtual Seminars/ Video conferencing, Drill and Practice and Problem Solving.
The function of CAL in instruction is recognized and appreciated by more and more people as clip base on ballss by. CAL has taken several signifiers depending on the available engineering available as described earlier. Hence its function in instruction has besides varied over clip. In its babyhood CAL was used as a cognition bank of inquiries and the pupils could self-assess themselves. Apart from this other computing machine related activities were non truly adding to the ‘learning ‘ procedure of the pupils. With the coming of multimedia the function of CAL was extended and it was used to expose simulations and lifes to the pupils which were otherwise non possible for the pupils excessively see in real-time. This was seen as one of the most of import ground to include computing machines in the schoolroom talk every bit far as the instructors were concerned. Apart from this the instructors and the lectors are by and large really loath to integrate CAL due to several grounds as discussed by Heywood and Norman ( 1988 ) . First of all they feel that the available package does non fit their exact standards to run into specific course of study ends. Second it is really clip devouring procedure for them to larn the engineering foremost and so change over the bing stuff they have in CAL format. Heywood and Norman ( 1988 ) found that the 2nd factor was non a consequence of added work load but was more due to the assurance in their ain abilities in the usage of the engineering. This basically means that while the authorities is actively advancing the usage of CAL in the course of study it should besides put the guideline on how to make it and develop the pedagogues in the first case.
There is small uncertainty about the turning importance of CAL in instruction as research shows that CAL can hold positive influence on the pupil larning [ Devitt and Palmer, 1998 ] . Devitt farther added that supplying analyze stuff in computing machine format can better cognition on the topic. Ideally the function of CAL in instruction prevarications in the custodies of the academicians. The function that these Educators give to CAL will find the bounds of its accomplishment.
What makes a successful CAL?
Some of the chief pedagogical and economical forces that have driven the push for universities and schools to follow and integrate computing machine aided larning include:
Greater information entree – The World Wide Web has made it possible for people to entree primary beginnings of information on demand.A Mastery of this tool has become indispensable in order to derive entree to an ever-growing organic structure of recent and up-to-date cognition available electronically.
Greater Communication installations – Interaction between academic staff, co-workers and pupils can be structured and managed through electronic communications to supply greater entree and flexibleness ( Bates 2000 )
The quality of learning – New engineerings have gained much attending from academic staff as they perceive their usage will decrease their jobs of high work loads, increased pupil to teacher ratio and usage of inexperient staff to learn ( Bates 2000 ) . There is ample grounds that good designed multimedia package can be more effectual than traditional schoolroom methods, where pupils are able to interact with the package and learn at their ain gait. Integrated efficaciously into the schoolroom environment, ICTs can ease higher order believing accomplishments and develop new ways of acquisition ( Barron & A ; Ivers, 1996 ; Bates, 2000 )
Asynchronous larning – This enterprise has enabled establishments to provide for a assortment of pupils by taking the barriers of clip and distance. Students who are usually geographically disadvantaged have entree to a assortment of resources non normally at their disposal ( McNaught et al. , 1999 ; Bates, 2000 ) .
Pedagogical Improvement and staff reclamation – Teaching staff are able to preset information utilizing a assortment of tools in order to better relate to the content to the concrete worlds of a given field of survey. Advanced hands-on acquisition experiences are besides made possible for pupils through computing machine simulation package.
Advantages of CAL
One of the chief advantages of Computer aided larning concerns the clip, the topographic point and the gait with which one can larn. A few more advantages of CAL identified by other research workers and writers are listed below:
1. Provision of alternate learning techniques. The computing machine can use a figure of learning methods and stuffs that may non be feasible to utilize in a traditional scene. For illustration, a artworks display terminal utilizing alive characters on a screen is a stimulating tool [ Deaton, 1991 ] .
2. Individualized direction. Learning is significantly more effectual and efficient when direction can be tailored to the alone demands of each scholar. CAL enables pupils to travel through specific lessons at their ain gait [ Semb et Al, 1991 ] .
3. Ability to carry on simulations. In a national study on the usage of CAL in Dutch establishments of higher instruction, de Jong et Al ( 1992 ) found that the most popular signifier of CAL was simulation. One of the grounds that simulation is so popular could be that it is the lone type of CAL in which the plan adds something to the course of study that a instructor can non offer.
4. Supplying instructions on demand. The computing machine can supply virtually limitless handiness to educational stuff. The computer’s handiness is non constrained by the same factors that place a bound on a teacher’s clip. Whereas a instructor is available merely during specific hours, in a specific topographic point, and normally for group lessons, a computing machine is available for usage at all times and on an single footing and in many topographic points [ Stern and Stern, 1983 ; Telfer and Probert, 1986 ] .
5. Flexibility is another reported strength of CAL ( Petrides, 2002 ; Schrum, 2002 ) . Petrides ( 2002 ) stated that participants reported it was easier to work in collaborative groups in an on-line class without rearranging everyone ‘s agenda as 1 might make in a traditional face-to-face class.
In a survey conducted by Coyner and McCann ( 2004 ) , learner ‘s feedback on four classs was taken and different advantages and challenges associated with acquisition and learning online were noted. Computer-aided acquisition can be considered as a portion of online acquisition. The acronym ACCOMMODATE signifies the advantages identified ( Coyner and McCann, 2004 ) .
A – Handiness. Computer aided larning provides the pupils with entree to the stuff 24 hours a twenty-four hours.
C -Convenience. Students can work and analyze harmonizing to their ain clip agenda and their convenience.
C – Critical Thinking. Critical thought techniques are enhanced as the pupils have the associated informations and information available to them 24 hours a twenty-four hours.
O – Offers. Students are cognizant of all the constituents of the class and they can compare themselves with others.
M – Model. Future usage can be enhanced with CAL.
O – Organization. Course can be organized much before the starting of the peculiar class.
D – Dependence. All the necessary resources are available to the pupils and drunkard he dependence on the instructors is decreased.
A – Accountability. Any on-line class provides a batch of information about the users and so the pupil ‘s answerability can be checked easy.
T- Technology. Students get good technological accomplishments.
E – Encourages. Students can work in squads and it encourages more engagement.
Some people feel that if pupils spend the majority of their clip interacting with a terminus, instead than with people, they can lose touch with what others are making and experience stray and anomic [ Telfer and Probert, 1986 ; Chambers and Sprecher, 1990 ] . Even though the costs of hardware and package have significantly decreased in the last few old ages, an extended capital investing is still required for implementing and utilizing CAL [ Shlechter, 1991 ] . The consequences of several surveies have shown that instructors lack clip to acquire to cognize CAL plans [ Cox et Al, 1988 ] , prepare and incorporate CAL [ D’Amico, 1990 ] , develop package, and put up or keep equipment [ Hammond et Al, 1992 ] . Inadequate preparation of instructors has contributed to a deficiency of computing machine usage. Training should non be about computing machine or engineering entirely but about how computing machines can assist in learning the capable affair [ Brancum, 1992 ] . A study conducted by Plomp et Al ( 1990 ) revealed that the opposition of instructors against computing machines was a confining factor to implementing CAL. Participants in Hara and Kling ‘s ( 1999 ) qualitative instance survey of a Web-based class at a major U.S. university reported deficiency of immediateness in acquiring responses back from the teacher, and as a consequence they felt frustrated. Recent surveies indicate similar consequences. For illustration, in Vonderwell ‘s ( 2003 ) survey, one reported disadvantage of an on-line class was the hold of immediate feedback from the teacher.
Comparison of traditional acquisition accomplishments and CAL accomplishments
What traditional schoolroom larning achieves: The learning scheme that has been used for centuries is talking – an expert stating the pupils what they should cognize. A instructor ‘s personal enthusiasm for a topic can be transmitted through non-verbal behaviours such as oculus contact with pupils, voice projection, organic structure linguistic communication and narrative relation ( Stephenson, 2001 ) . The physical presence of the lector in the schoolroom creates a sense of duty to the pupils towards the topic and they can be provoked and stimulated by detecting an expert instruction and showing them. One of the major advantages of talks is that the scholars can acquire response to their questions at that place and so. While in Online acquisition this is non the instance. Some surveies have shown that pupils complain about the work load required by self-study in the Web-based direction ( Nachmias et Al, 2000 ) .
What Computer-Aided Learning achieves – By and large schoolroom instruction has a high teacher-to-learner ratio which leads to less interaction between instructor and scholar. One to one relationship is emphasized more in Online larning than in schoolroom talks. Harmonizing to Tiffin & A ; Rajasingham ( 1995 ) , the traditional schoolroom instruction means that besides forming a topographic point for acquisition, it is necessary to form when instructors and scholars meet and how they use their clip. Typically, schoolroom direction provides a set group of pupils with a set ball of direction on set sates for fit period of time.A Here one can visualise the importance of online acquisition by comparing the efficiency of this scenario with supplying the information the person scholar wants, when the scholar wants, at the gait the scholar wants, for the length of clip and with the frequence that suits the scholar. In a survey conducted at the University of Akron ( Coyner & A ; McCann, 2004 ) , several advantages of carry oning an on-line class were analyzed. Harmonizing to their survey, the scholars can entree the on-line class information at any clip of the twenty-four hours and they can work at times/locations convenient to their life style. They are no longer instructor dependant for information, resources and stuffs. Emphasis on threaded treatments, confabs and forums encouraged scholars to work together. Harmonizing to a survey on bettering online acquisition ( Song et al, 2004 ) , participants reported that it was helpful non to hold to go to the campus. The ability to finish assignments and undertakings at anytime was another reported strength. The benefits of CAL are many including cost-effectiveness, enhanced reactivity to alter, consistence, seasonably content, flexible handiness, and supplying client value ( Rosenberg, 2001 ) . Most of the surveies on the appraisal of pupils ‘ attitudes towards online computer-aided direction have concluded that such classs compare favourably with classroom-based direction and bask high pupil satisfaction ( Phipps & A ; Merisotis, 1999 ) . Besides some possible value can be added to online acquisition by supplying the chance for invitee experts from around the universe to portion and contribute to a category by posting extracts of articles, statements and so on ( Paulsen, 1995 ) .
Harmonizing to a survey conducted by Ross and Schulz ( 1999 ) , it was concluded that computing machine aided direction is non suited for all scholars. Surveies show that some scholars have trouble accommodating to computing machine aided acquisition. Hoffman and Water ( 1982 ) stated that computing machine aided acquisition is suited for persons who have the ability to softly concentrate, are able to pay attending to inside informations and have an affinity to memorising inside informations. Harmonizing to Gregorc ( 1985 ) , a computing machine can non stand for a instructor who may be able to trouble-shoot and modify the lesson harmonizing to the pupil ‘s demands. He adds that “ pupils who can non run into the demands of the system are denied entree to the content and ends and are vulnerable to possible psychological harm. Children can therefore become victims of a medium which is violative to them. They are at the clemency of the machine. ” Besides Regular talk meetings provide construction to the on the job twenty-four hours, and some inexplicit information about the rate at which factual stuff can moderately be covered and assimilated.
Advocates of CAL claim it gives pupils control over when and where they learn and the gait of their acquisition ( Smart, 1997 ; Adnanes & A ; Ronning, 1998 ) . One of the chief characteristics of computer-aided Learning is its capacity to individualize direction to run into the specific demands of the scholar ( Rasmussen and Davidson, 1996 ) . Harmonizing to a survey conducted by Dewhurst et Al ( 2000 ) , Students moved more towards holding with the proposition that the Computer aided larning would let them to work at their ain gait, possibly favoring their ain peculiar acquisition manner, and that it offered greater flexibleness, enabling them to take where and when they studied. CAL constitutes an appropriate and acceptable option to conventional schoolroom acquisition and the pupils holding small old practical experience with such acquisition and analyze attack can allow it readily.
Whether CAL is better than traditional schoolroom acquisition is a problematic inquiry. Harmonizing to a survey conducted by Tjaden and Martin ( 1995 ) , it is of import to acquire way from and interact with an teacher for debuts to subjects and question-answer periods. But some stages of the acquisition procedure could be carried out more expeditiously, at least clip wise, with the assistance of a computing machine plan, whether it be hypermedia, multimedia or simpler tutorials. Many surveies have shown that many pupils retain a penchant for a `mixed economy’ in which the CAL plays a portion alongside more conventional attacks. This is called Blended Learning which is discussed in item in the following subdivision.
A assortment of learning methods exist in this society, ( talks, audiotapes, strictly on-line, a mixture of both online and traditional schoolroom instruction ) and it may be possible that pupil ‘s pick of the best instruction method varies with their personality differences. In such a instance, the instructors should utilize a assortment of methods to provide for the differences between the pupils. This is non easy but it is one of the strong grounds of back uping a mixture of both computer-based and traditional schoolroom teaching.A There is no uncertainty that the physical environment has a surprisingly powerful influence on instruction. But, sometimes, talks are comparatively uneffective to animate involvement in a topic and are comparatively uneffective for personal and societal accommodation ( Bligh, 1998 ) . Therefore, it has given manner to intermix environment in which the big talk theaters are equipped with networked computing machines through which huge scope of digitized information can be accessed. Even online larning environment is merely another physical environment with more complexness and with more usage of engineering. But scholars are non able to accept this environment to the full because apart from doing possible some sorts of activities like one to one communicating with many different people it besides restricts some activities like self-generated spoken conversation.
At its simplest, blended acquisition is the integrating of traditional schoolroom face-to-face learning with on-line computing machine based instruction. At the same clip, there is considerable complexness in its execution with the challenge of virtually illimitable design possibilities and pertinence to so many contexts ( Garrison & A ; Kanuka, 2004 ) . Rosenberg ( 2001 ) emphasizes that people learn more efficaciously when they interact and are involved with other people take parting in similar enterprises. CAL is powerful when both preparation and cognition direction are integrated, but even more powerful when integrated with schoolroom preparation in a ”learning architecture ” ( p. 117 ) . He defines a learning architecture as ”the design, sequencing, and integrating of all electronic and non-electronic constituents of larning to deduce optimal betterment in competency and public presentation ” . Cross ( 2000 ) reports ‘the acquisition procedure interruptions down when untasted by human custodies. CAL is non developing by automaton. ‘
Till now we have discussed about the bing engineerings and its application related to CAL and how they are impacting or altering the procedure of instruction in general. In order to foretell the hereafter of CAL we need to look back at the past with two different position points, viz. technological and educational. Equally far as engineering is concerned, it is far in front of the educational developments in footings of teaching method. Today engineering is speaking in footings of practical Universities and will shortly be ready for deployment but development in educational policy to integrate such engineering is traveling at a snail ‘s gait. There are many establishments that still use computing machines in instruction because they are supposed to make so as per the national course of study. This by no agency is of any aid for the hereafter of CAL and instruction in general. This can be chiefly attributed to the difference of sentiment that still exists between the pedagogues in the usage of CAL.
The writer of this study feels that engineering is at a point where it can present most of the educational demands but the job lies in the educational procedure. Soon CAL is undergoing a passage from the ‘acceptable ‘ province to the ‘accepted ‘ province. In order to be referred as widely accepted and successful in the hereafter, CAL has to be actively incorporated and efficaciously used in the course of study to profit and heighten the overall acquisition procedure.
In February 2004, HEFCE ( Higher Education support Council for England ) commissioned Glenaffric Ltd e-Learning advisers to set about an initial analysis of the responses to audience on the HEFCE ( 2004 ) e-learning scheme and bring forth a drumhead study. This study says: “ There is an overpowering petition for the scheme to stress blended acquisition attacks instead than entirely e-based acquisition, as this remains the most appropriate usage of engineering for larning in campus-based establishments. However, one response urges cautiousness about the premise that the presently stylish term ‘blended larning ‘ will be a long term construct of any value. ” There is still much argument about whether entirely computing machine aided acquisition will replace blended acquisition. Cross ( 2000 ) notes that ‘the thaumaturgy is in the mix ‘ but blended acquisition still has some facets of traditional schoolroom acquisition which is frequently viewed as old fashioned, inactive and expensive to present.
This research and treatment shows that non merely is CAL of benefit to the pupils, but it can be used as a critical beginning of feedback to the lectors if they are willing to accept it. Besides CAL plans can be modified to supply greater aid in the apprehension of peculiar jobs. CAL will decidedly organize an built-in portion of the instruction procedure in the hereafter.
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