ERIC Number: ED285542
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Queuing Theory: An Alternative Approach to Educational Research.
Huyvaert, Sarah H.
Queuing theory is examined in this paper in order to determine if the theory could be applied in educational settings. It is defined as a form of operations research that uses mathematical formulas and/or computer simulation to study wait and congestion in a system and, through the study of these visible phenomena, to discover malfunctions within the system that are otherwise transparent. Basic assumptions of the theory and structures and characteristics of queuing systems are outlined, and areas of application other than education are listed. The literature dealing with time-on-task, teacher burnout, student grouping, and classroom discipline is reviewed to demonstrate that queues are prevalent in educational systems. The methods used in the systematic study of queues--mathematical analysis and computer simulation--are also discussed. The following conclusions are drawn: (1) the basic assumptions of queuing theory can be met in educational systems; (2) education experiences the types of problems typically analyzed through the theory; (3) wait and congestion exist in education and contribute to other more serious problems in the field; and (4) the tools and techniques of queuing analysis are appropriate for educational research. Areas for further research are suggested, and 23 references are listed. (NES)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AECT Research and Theory Division Meeting; Queuing Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (Atlanta, GA, February 26-March 1, 1987). For the complete proceedings, see IR 012 723.