FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:   || 2 |

«DOCUMENT RESUME IR 013 405 ED 298 937 AUTHOR Balajthy, Ernest TITLE Recent Trends in Minicomputer-Based Integrated Learning Systems for Reading and ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --


IR 013 405

ED 298 937

AUTHOR Balajthy, Ernest

TITLE Recent Trends in Minicomputer-Based Integrated

Learning Systems for Reading and Language Arts


Mar 88


27p.; Paper presented at the Rutgers UniverSIty


Spring Reading Conference (New Brunswick, NJ, March


Book/Product Reviews (072) -- Reports - Descrirtive


(141) -- Speeches/Conference Papers (150) EDRS PRICE MF01/PCO2 Plus Postage.

Compensatory Education; *Computer Assisted


Instruction; *Courseware; Elementary Secondary Education; *Language Arts; *Minicomputers; *Reading Instruction; Teacher Attitudes *Integrated Learning Systems



This paper discusses minicomputer-based ILSs (integrated learning systems), i.e., computer-based systems of hardware and software. An example of a minicomputer-based system in a school district (a composite of several actual districts) considers hardware, staffing, scheduling, reactions, problems, and training for a subskill-oriented reading program for compensatory education students. Specific ILS software packages are then described: (1) the PLATO/NICAT System 300 for primary reading, reading comprehension, writing, language arts (with language arts skills, spelling, and sentence combining componenti), English as a Second Language, and other academic subjects; (2) the Computer Curriculum Corporation's MICROHOST system for mathematics, reading, language arts, and computer literacy from grade 1 through adult; (3) Houghton Mifflin's Dolphin Curriculum, which is designed to supplement teacher-directed instruction with computer-assisted instructon in reading and language arts skills; and (4) DEGEM Systems' TOAM Computer Aided Instruction System for mathematics-and multiple choice drill instruction. The appendix lists publisher, former names, systems software, instructional components, and hardware configurations for each system. (8 references) (MES) ***************MX*************************************XXXXXXXXXX****** Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made X from the original document.



Office o Educabonal Research and Improvement


CENTER (ERIC) This document has been reproduced as received from

–  –  –

Paper presented at the Rutgers University Spring Reading Conference, March, 1988, New Brunswick, New Jersey The research described in this paper was supported in part by the Geneseo Foundation, Geneseo, New York.

–  –  –

An integrated learning system is a computer-based instructional system of hardware and software. It differs from the typical classroom microcomputer primarily in that its component workstations are terminals connected to a central computer or memory storage device. Instructional software is supplied by the publisher. Integrated learning systems offer some important advantages over microcomputers, though there are serious disadvantages as well. ILS's are called by a variety of different labels, such. as profeional learning systems.

ILS instructional software is typically traditional Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI), a combination of tutorial presentations and drill and practice exercises. Most of the software is targeted to the teaching of basic skills such as mathematics and reading, and it includes a comprehensive management system for tracking student progress. In recent years, some vendors have recognized the increased interest in using computers as tools and have developed word processing and database software for their systems.

–  –  –

some specified amount of time each day for practicing the targeted basic skill, perhaps 15 minutes or so. Many school systems find ILS's-particularly appropriate for supplying underachieving students with additional drill and practice work (Reinhold, 1986). ILS software has typically been developed specifically for the ILS system and is not available commercially for use on ordinary classroom microcomputers.

The present paper deals with minicomputer-based ILS's.

These usually follow in the path of traditional CAI in using a minicoor=ter as a central device to which so-called "dumb" terminals are connected as student workstations. Minicomputers have much greater memory capabilities than microcomputers. They can deal with many students at one time. A dumb terminal has little memory storage of its own. Unlike the situation with microcomputers, the program remains in the central minicomputer.

The terminal simply presents a monitor display derived from the software program in the central minicomputer and allows students to input information to the minicomputer by way of a keyboard.

–  –  –

The computing power of the minicomputer is far greater than a standard microcomputer, allowing for increased flexibility, complexity of programming, and extensive management and recardkeeping. The minicomputer is typically connected to a hard disk storage device that allows it to access a wide variety of iprograms instantly and to store large amounts of student records.

The operating system allows "multi-tasking"--that is, different students can have access to different parts of the software at the same time. Some students might be working on letter recognition, others on comprehension development, and still others on, arithmetic drills. All are working at their own workstatiOns, that in turn are simultaneoUsly accessing the central minicomputer.

Some systems, such as Computer Curriculum Corporation and PLATO have recently begun to use self-functioning microcomputers as terminals. These workstations are ordinarily directly connected to the minicomputer, but they can be disconnected -for independently operated software on diskettes.

Different systems have differing capabilities in terms of number of terminals acceptable, ranging from 5 to over 100. When evaluating systems, schools that foresee the possibility of someday approaching the maximum number of terminals acceptable% should carefully check response speed under those conditions.

Overloading a minicomputer system with too many workstations will result in dramatically slower responses to student input from the computer.

Many of the systems include utility software in addition to the instructional programs. Most have an authoring program that allows teachers and schools to construct their own CAI software.

The WICAT System 300 series, for instance, also has administrative software, a spreadsheet calculatar, and a word processor.


–  –  –

in the Schools The Ridge School District to compositc of several actual districts) has developed a highly subskill-oriented reading program for its compensatory education students. All students are administered a series of locally developed paper and pencil criterion-referenced tests. Each school's reading specialist uses the test results to assign subskill tutorials and practice exercises to be completed during morning reading periods. All compensatory students receive 30 ainutes of reading lab instruction per day, in addition to their regular classroom reading period.

Each school's reading laboratory is equipped with about five Apple II-series microcomputers and five terminals that access an ILS minicomputer. Two aides provide for most of the supervision and instruction on the basis of the specialist's assignments.

The reading specialist's duties are primarily consultative, as she must also supervise classroom teachers in their implementation of the school's developmental reading program.

Children in the reading lab are typically assigned two to three 15-minute sessions using the microcomputers each week. In addition, they complete three 15-minute ILS lessons per week.

Each CBI session is geared toward development of a specific skill identified as a weakness by the district's criterion-referenced testing.

The Ridge district's response to the use of CBI is enthusiastic. Reading scores have "noticeably improved." The

–  –  –

is viewed as a crucial component of the reading program. The ILS lesson pretests are used, as well. If a child passes the ILS1 pretest, he or she does not need to complete the related skill lesson.

Despite the overall positive reaction, teachers do have some complaints, many of which identify characteristic problems with

–  –  –

the lesson posttest, he or she is simply recyCled back into the same lesson. Ridge teachers typically move such students on to workbook or microcomputer drills on the same subskill rather than subjecting them to another run through a lesson that had failed to teach them the first time.

In addition, student attention span is limited due to the unvarying format of the ILS lessons. The district reports have had at one time assigned students to 30-minute Dolphin sessions.

Students were unable to maintain attention for that length of time, however. The teachers report that educational microcomputer games are most motivational. The ILS comes in second, and workbook-based exercises third.

A. minimum of teacher training is necessary to use the ms, less than is required for use of the microcomputers. Supervision responsibilities appear to be minimal, as well. Children seem well able to function independently.

The district office reports that classroom teachers can consult the ILS management system for feedback on student progress. Few or in teachers take time to do this, however. The

–  –  –

information to the classroom teachers.

WICAT System 300 The WICAT System 300 is a minicomputer-based ILS, accepting up to 30 student workstations. The system has audio capability that is particularly useful with beginning readers, and it can use Apple II-series or IBM-PC microcomputers as workstations.

These allow students to work with both the System 300 software and standard diskette-based programs. Schools can also choose to use WICAT's own workstation equipment that features touchsensitive screens. System 300 includes software for primary reading, reading comprehension, writing, language arts (with language arts skills, spelling, and sentence combining components), English as a Second Language, and other academic subjects.

The Primary Reading curriculum is based on 13 types of activities (see Figure 1). These 13 types of activities are used to form 1010 activities in 285 lessons. 40 lessons are at the kindergarten level, 75 at the first grade, 90 at the second grade, and.80 at the third grade. Each. activity takes several minutes to complete, and consists of a short tutorial followed by a practice exercise.

The Reading Comprehension curriculum is composed of 565 lessons, each of which is presented as a newspaper article or story. For each lesson, students work on one of four types of activities. In one activity, a portion of the story it displayed and students are presented a question about it. In another activity, students must remove irrelevant sentences from a passage. The third type of activity involves interpretation of graphs, tables, Or maps. The final type of activity involves an evaluation of an editorial, in which students must answer questions as to the author's point of view and evaluate the acceptability of the arguments used in the 'editorial.

Douglas and Bryant (1985) reported on use of the system in a Texas school system. Teachers and students seemed pleased with results of the lessons, that averaged 20 minutes per day.

Reading gains of 9% in the third grade and 6% in the fifth grade were reported, but these statistics were not based on comparison with a control group, So they are of dubious validity.

Computer Curriculum Corporation Patrick Suppes, director of the pioneering Stanford University CAI project in mathematics (see Chapter 5 of Balajthy, 1988--"An Overview of Research on Computers in Reading"), founded Computer Curriculum Corporation (CCC) in 1967. The corporation's MICROHOST system, based on the Stanford software, is the most financially successful system on the market today (Bork, 1985).

While other companies may dispute this assertion-, there is no doubt but that CCC brings a wealth of experience to computerbased instruction.

,MICROHOST is based on a central minicomputer using the wellknown UNIX operating system for increased flexibility. Atari ST 8

–  –  –

the MICROHOST system. MICROHOST can also use the IBM-PC and Apple II-series as workstations, but software is limited for these models. MICROHOST provides a Speech System for voice synthesis of some lessons. Up to 128 workstations can be run on the system, though the system speed slows considerably if that number are being used at the same time.

The.MICROHOST curriculum includes mathematics, reading, language arts, and computer literacy, from grade 1 through adult.

Figure 2 illustrates the teacher report function. The Gains Report indicates the reading comprehension gain over the student's prior twenty sessions, as well as the total gain for the academic year and the student's present grade equivalent standing. The Gains Report indicates exact measures, up to onehundredth of a grade level, though these distinctions cannot be accepted as valid. Reading performance cannot be measured so accurately.

Computer Curriculum Corporation's Audio Reading component is designed for grades 1 and 2. The system provides two years of daily 12-minute sessions on letter identification, phonics, sight words, meaning vocabolaey and sentence and passage comprehension. A digitized voice synthesizer gives instructions, poses problems, and offers feedback. In the phonics lessons, for example, the synthesizer reads a word or word part on the monitor screen and asks students to repeat it. The students then type a letter or word to fit the pattern.

–  –  –

Pages:   || 2 |

Similar works:


«WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS Story Circles—Personal Mandala Creation and Exploration In this workshop, Cassia will guide you through creating your own sacred circular art piece. This mandala exploration blends art making and sacred geometry in a stunning way allowing you to identify and process personal stories through creative expression. Art meets mindfulness as pen meets paper. Creative Exploring on Canvas Explore the 4 key concepts, creativity, community, collaboration, connection through...»

«THE INFLUENCE OF CONTEXTUAL FACTORS ON REVISION STRATEGIES: THE CASE OF FOUR MALAYSIAN NATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH IN A MAINSTREAM E.S.L. CLASSROOM Vijay Kumar Mallan A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand July 2005 Dedicated to Margaret, Vinoth and Vinesh i ABSTRACT This case study explored the revision strategies of four Malaysian native speakers of English when they composed aloud while writing an argumentative essay. Think...»

«Introduction: The Transformative Work of Michael A. Signer FRANKLIN T. HARKINS The essays collected in this volume are dedicated to Michael A. Signer by a select group of his colleagues, students, and friends. Their collective purpose is to honor him, on the occasion of his thirty-fifth anniversary of teaching, as a scholar and teacher of Judaism, Christianity, and Jewish-Christian relations in antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modernity. As Professor of Jewish History at Hebrew Union College –...»

«OECD Innovative Learning Environment Project Universe Case Austria Goethe-Gymnasium This academic secondary school uses different self-developed forms of assessment to document student progress and to monitor educational quality, including cooperation with a school in St. Petersburg for external evaluation, (repeated) screenings of the students’ reading skills, repeated questionnaires for first-year students to document their transfer from primary to secondary school, and surveys for...»

«DOCUMENT RESUME ED 271 538 UD 024 997 AUTHOR Connelly, F. Michael; Clandinin, D. Jean The Role of Teachers' Personal Practical Knowledge in TITLE Effecting Board Policy. Volume IV: Teachers' Personal Practical Knowledge and Race Relations. Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto.INSTITUTION SPONS AGENCY National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario). PUB DATE 84 410-80-0688-K1; NIE-G-81-0021 GRANT 62p.; For...»

«Margaret R. Basom & Diane M. Yerkes Educational Leadership and Administration A School-University Partnership in Administrator Preparation: Learnings and Subsequent Questions Margaret R. Basom San Diego State University & Diane M. Yerkes University of San Diego Abstract: School university partnerships have become important in the reform efforts to develop the next generation of school leaders. This study examines one university’s approach of working with several school districts as partners...»

«Teachers College, Columbia University Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 2 The Forum A Multi-Layered Framework of Framing Rebekah J. Johnson Teachers College, Columbia University Professor Leslie M. Beebe has always been an unfailing source of encouragement, a wealth of knowledge and insight, and a wonderful critic. She has taught me much about pragmatics and sociolinguistics, the foundations of my current interests in the social construction of meaning in...»

«Ana min al yahud I'm one of the Jews By Almog Behar 1. At that time, my tongue twisted around and with the arrival of the month of Tammuz the Arabic accent got stuck in my mouth, deep down in my throat. Just like that, as I was walking down the street, the Arabic accent of Grandfather Anwar of blessed memory came back to me and no matter how hard I tried to extricate it from myself and throw it away in one of the public trash cans I could not do it. I tried and tried to soften the glottal...»

«The Rule of the Community of Solitude Article I Of Identity (1) We are to be known formally as the “Community of Solitude, Camaldolese, abbreviated as CoS Cam. (2) In adopting this identity, we recognize that we are a Community, comprised of several members; we are devoted to seeking Solitude in our individual and common life; and we seek to emulate the spirit of St Romuald, founder of the Camaldolese Benedictines. (3) Our purpose is to provide to our members a guided experience in...»

«Targeting and Tailoring an Intervention for Adolescents with Overweight: Some Ethical Concerns Kirsti Riiser Institute of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway; Department of Coaching and Psychology, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway Knut Løndal Department of Primary and Secondary Teacher Education, Faculty of Education and International Studies, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway...»

«The Privilege of Teaching I would like to begin by firstly clarifying that it is my most esteemed and heartfelt privilege to be a teacher. It is an honour to be entrusted with this distinct task of being part of educating the future generations of Canadian children to help them reach their full potential and open up new avenues and universes for them to explore. As a parent I know full well that I entrust my most precious treasure to others for the majority of their waking day and gladly and...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.