• Computer Managed Instructional Systems

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    • What is the basic purpose of CMI?

    The purpose of CMI is to diagnose student learning needs and prescribe instructional activities appropriate for the needs assessed. This assessment can come from tests on different levels of instruction which show where the student is lacking. The instructor can then choose appropriate objectives, modules, lessons, and courses in the curriculum for the student to study (Park, Electronic Version, 2003).

    The student has the option of proving mastery of the objectives through module tests that can be taken immediately, or after completing the instructional activities. The student is also involved in deciding which modules to pursue in which order. The pace at which to complete the modules is up to the student since the activities are mostly instructor-free.

    An example of a possible CMI system design is the Plato Learning Management System (PLM) which is shown in the graphic below. Each student will have a slightly different design as it is geared toward the individual.


    Example of CMI

    The instructor develops the curriculum in stages consisting of objectives, modules, lessons, and courses.

    There are one or more instructional objectives within each module. When the student meets those objectives, the module is completed.

    One or more modules compose a lesson, one or more lessons compose a course, and one or more courses compose the entire curriculum. How many objectives, modules, lessons and courses are involved depends on the student’s objectives and the instructor’s decision on the appropriate materials to meet the student’s goals.

    A student’s performance is typically evaluated by tests, and then instructional prescriptions developed from the results. If a student does not reach the appropriate score on a test of mastery, then learning activities can be assigned to help the student reach mastery. When the student completes the activities, he or she may be tested again. A student must master one module before moving on to the next.

    A student may also have the option to test out of a module altogether by proving mastery on a test and/or additional summary tests on the lesson level, course level, and curriculum level. The test-evaluation-prescription process, indicative of CMI, continues until the student demonstrates the mastery of all objectives.

    • The Benefits and Limitations of CMI

    With the flexibility of CMI systems, the instructor can choose appropriate objectives and activities in the curriculum based on a specific student’s needs. If it is conducive to the subject, the student can also decide in which order to meet the objectives. The sequence of modules is flexible. The student can also study and progress at his or her own pace as the CMI system is basically instructor-free.

    The limitation of this type of system is the need for a central computer system that would allow the instructor to identify and control the student’s activities in different locations at different times. With the expansion of cable modems and DSL, this limitation is steadily becoming a non-issue, except in remote areas.

    As technology increases, more and more individuals will have the benefit of a CMI system as an option for training. Since it is a system that is geared more toward a student’s abilities than other standard educational systems, it can prove to be a more beneficial type of training.

    • Author

    Nancy Sheet, San Diego State University

    • 标签:
    • appropriate
    • student
    • module
    • instructional
    • students
    • modules
    • mastery
    • computer
    • instructor
    • systems
    • managed
    • activities
    • objectives
    • cmi
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