Computer based instruction
RFC 313

Document Type RFC - Unknown (March 1972; No errata)
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Network Working Group                                     Tom O'Sullivan
Request for Comments: 313                                       Raytheon
NIC: 9343                                                  March 6, 1972
(CBI: 1)

                       COMPUTER BASED INSTRUCTION

   Current development of Computer Based Instruction (CBI) systems seem
   to be directed toward two types of system:

      1.)  Small to medium scale, dedicated, stand alone systems (such
      as the IBM 1130, 1500, 1800 complexes) or medium scale systems
      with dedicated network implications (such as TICKET), and

      2.)  Large, centralized, dedicated systems with dedicated network
      implications (such as PLATO).

   Some attention has been given to the application of the resources of
   a General Purpose Computer Network to CBI (e.g., the EDUCOM efforts),
   however the full implication of the use of such resources do not
   generally seem to be understood by either the CBI development centers
   (at academic institutions or at the Armed Forces training or
   development centers), where most of the current activity takes place,
   or at ARPA Network Nodes, where most of the resources reside.

   This Request For Comment has two purposes  To:

      1.)  Solicit comments from the Network Working Group, and others,
      on how selected classes of (and what specific) resources of a
      General Purpose Network might be applied to the field of Computer
      Based Instruction and

      2.)  Initiate a dialog between interested parties on the problems
      of Computer Based Instruction, not limited to, but including, the
      uses of General Purpose Computer Network resources.

   The attached paper discusses some of the applications of the
   resources of a large General Purpose Network to computer Based
   Instruction systems.  Response and discussion are encouraged through
   the NIC system.

O'Sullivan                                                      [Page 1]
RFC 313                Computer Based Instruction             March 1972

                        COMPUTER BASED INSTRUCTION


   A high level of Computer Based Instruction (CBI) activity exists both
   in the academic and armed service communities, with the promise of a
   substantial amount of early development of instruction courses and
   instructional management facilities.  The major functional areas of
   interest can be described as follows:

      1.)  Design and Development
      2.)  Field Tests
      3.)  Distribution and Operational Use
      4.)  Evaluation and Modification

   Specific computer support requirements are function of the philosophy
   and reflected strategy of implementation for each of the functional
   areas of interest.  Design and development activities may focus on
   overall curriculum development or on specific training or educational
   goals involving a specific course.  The focus of attention will have
   an effect on the support requirements, e.g., the type and size of
   data base, specialized processing capabilities, etc.  Support
   requirements for Field Tests will be a function of whether they are
   to be performed at a central location, or are geographically
   distributed, particularly with respect to data collection procedures,
   computer support and terminal clusters, and communications.
   Solutions to the problems of the distribution and operational use of
   CBI systems and programs will be a function of the extent to which
   the training activity is proliferated (i.e., geographically or
   organizationally distributed).  Both the level of activity, and the
   solution to problems, in the area of Evaluation and Modification will
   depend on the goals of the instructional process, the extent of
   dynamic change in the technology or specific application involved,
   and the degree to which the course(s) developed meet the needs for
   which they were intended.

   The above discussion has a heavy emphasis on Computer Aided
   Instruction (CAI) component of CBI, where the computer is directly
   used in the instructional process for lesson presentation, test,
   drill and practice, etc.  Another component of CBI, Computer Managed
   Instruction (CMI), uses the computer as a management tool to guide
   the instructional process.  CMI may be used in conjunction with CAI,
   or as an aid in guiding instructional processes of a more traditional
   nature.  CMI, in addition to providing assistance in student
   selection, scheduling, and followup on past course performance, may
   provide guidance to instructors in the form of diagnostics of student

O'Sullivan                                                      [Page 2]
RFC 313                Computer Based Instruction             March 1972

   weaknesses, prescriptions for strengthening student understanding,
   and guidance in the redirection of students.  In addition, CMI can
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