ERIC Number: ED206823
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Sep-14
Reference Count: N/A
An Evaluation of Computerized Instruction for Institutionalized Adult Students, Addicts and Alcoholics.
West, Malcolm R.
A program of computer-assisted instruction (CAI), using the Radio Shack TRS-80, was tried at Eagleville (Pennsylvania) Hospital and Training Center for adult alcoholics and drug abusers. Most of the students using the program had extremely low reading levels and little success with schools; a majority had been in trouble with the law. It was hoped that CAI would engage the students in meaningful learning, free teachers for more individualized help for students, and set up an atmosphere of success in education for the students. A process evaluation of the program showed that some of these objectives had been met; however, there were problems in some areas. In general, most of the students reported that they enjoyed the use of the computers, and that they were learning from the experience. Teachers said about half the students appeared to be benefitting. Although it could not be documented, it appeared likely that the success students had experienced in their limited exposure to the CAI could carry over in future training endeavors. Problems encountered in implementing the program included software that was inappropriate for age level of the students, or had too many programming errors; equipment malfunctions and inadequacy of the cassette player/recorder selected; and security problems that caused the computers to be installed in three different locations and increased the teachers' work load. As a result of the process evaluation, it was concluded that the minicomputers provide a very useful adjunct to the educational program at Eagleville, but that they are not being used to their full potential. Recommendations were made for hardware and software changes, a better environment, and staffing possibilities. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Pennsylvania Research Coordinating Unit for Vocational Education, Harrisburg.
Authoring Institution: Eagleville Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, PA.