ERIC Number: ED314832
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Literature Review on the Soft Technologies of Learning. BRIDGES Research Report Series, No. 2.
Thiagarajan, Sivasailam; Pasigna, Aida L.
In developing countries, educational systems are beset by a lack of textbooks and other instructional materials, overcrowded classrooms, poorly qualified teachers, high attrition and illiteracy rates, and disparities between urban and rural schools. Traditional solutions do not respond to the expanding demand for primary education in these nations. Learning technologies, categorized by a systematic instructional development process and validated instructional design principles, offer cost-effective alternatives. A literature review on the soft technologies of learning indicated that: (1) while textbooks remain the most prevalent type of instructional material in developing nations, modularized materials, programmed learning materials, and workbooks are gaining in popularity; (2) different types of tutoring enhance the quality of education, but only small-group methods are cost effective; (3) productive soft technology use may require teacher role changes; and (4) conventional school organization structure in developing countries does not facilitate effective use of soft learning technologies. Within the data limitations, this report recommends that soft technologies should be used extensively in conjunction with educational reforms in developing nations, that programmed teaching should be used to compensate for the lack of qualified teachers, and that different tutoring methods should be implemented to augment conventional teaching approaches. (139 references) (KM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Agency for International Development (IDCA), Washington, DC. Bureau of Science and Technology.
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Inst. for International Development.; Institute for International Research, Inc., McLean, VA.
Note: The Basic Research and Implementation in Developing Education Systems Project (BRIDGES) is directed by the Harvard Institute for International Development and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.