ERIC Number: ED220048
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Simulators, Myth, and Ritual in Higher Education. AIR Forum 1982 Paper.
Masland, Andrew T.
The importance of myth and ritual in understanding the use of computer simulators in higher education is considered. Myths are commonly held beliefs that maintain social solidarity and reduce ambiguity; rituals serve a similar function, but they involve actions in addition to words. Examples of common myths and rituals are used to illustrate the concepts, and widely used cost simulation models are briefly reviewed. Cost simulation models, also known as resource requirement models, are one of the most widespread applications of computer simulators. These models calculate the resources an institution will require for a desired level of activity. An Induced Course Load Matrix (ICLM) is the foundation of most resource simulation models. Two cost simulators are the Comprehensive Analytical Model for Planning in the University Sphere (CAMPUS) and the Resource Requirements Prediction Model (RRPM). A final type of computer simulator, the trend projection model, is a more recent development. TRADES is the first model to explicitly incorporate trends in its forecast routines. An easily adaptable simulator based on TRADES is a model building system, EDUCOM's Financial Planning Model (EFPM). Technical issues pertinent to the evaluation of the simulators are addressed, as are organizational issues. Among the myths surrounding the simulators are the following: a comprehensive decision system can be built; better systems will lead to better decisions; and vendor-supplied management systems will meet institutional needs. Myths about managerial activities, planning that becomes a ritual without resulting in action, and the concept of a community of scholars who reach decisions by discussion and consensus are also addressed. A bibliography is appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Attitudes, College Administration, College Planning, Computer Oriented Programs, Cost Estimates, Decision Making, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Management Information Systems, Models, Needs Assessment, Policy Formation, Prediction, Problem Solving, Resource Allocation, Simulation, Systems Approach, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (22nd, Denver, CO, May 16-19, 1982).