A study of computer needs of the graduate student in the Teachers College at Ball State University

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Austin, Hubert, 1928-
Snyder, Jack F.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The major purpose of the study was to provide for a means of meeting the computer needs of the graduate student enrolled in the Teachers College at Ball State University. This purpose resulted in the formulation of the statement of the problem which was to identify the computer needs of the graduate students enrolled in the Teachers College. In order to identify these needs the answers to the following questions were sought: 1. What are the computational needs of the students? 2. Are the needs of the graduate students in the Teachers College different from students in the other Colleges? 3. How comprehensive should the student's knowledge be about computers? 4. What computer courses should the student take? 5. How many courses should be offered? 6. What should be the course content? 7. What are the facilities needed to support the findings of this study? The plan was to review selected computer methods in education which would give credence to the computer course outlines proposed by the study. Three classifications were identified as different uses of computers in the classroom. They are the following: 1. CAL (Computer Assisted Learning)--Direct interface design to facilitate behavioral change. 2. CMI (Computer Managed Instruction)--Management and evaluation of a process designed to facilitate behavioral change. 3. CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction)--Supportive or auxiliary nonadministrative, instructional related activities which facilitate the execution of the course unit learning process. Because each of the above classifications could be subjects for independent study, and because CAL is more closely related to this study, the review of literature dealt mainly with CAL. The rest of the study evolved in the following manner: 1. Investigate the role of the computer in today's society in implementing the related educational goals of the nation and of higher education. 2. Investigate the ways in which selected universities are using the computer to help implement their own educational goals. 3. Investigate in what way the computer can be of use in achieving the educational goals of Ball State University and of the departments of the Teachers College. 4. Write the outlines of selected computer courses to be taught to the graduate students in the University's Teachers College as a function of the findings of points 1-3 above. 1. Every college or university student should be exposed to a basic understanding of the principles of computer-data processing. 2. Every student in the Teachers College of Ball State University should be exposed to the principles of computerdata processing as they relate to education. 3. A presence of adequate computer coursework on the university campus can stimulate faculty, staff, and student activities in research, teaching, and service. 4. Computer expertise learned from structured computer coursework can aid in the implementation of educational goals. 5. Computer courses for practicing or future educators should deal heavily with the role of the computer in teacher-pupil relationship. In this connection the Computer Assisted Learning process dealing with the computer in problem solving, drill and exercise, simulation and games, and tutoring should be stressed. 6. Only a conceptual knowledge of the operation of the computer should be required of the student but more skill should be required with respect to programming. It is also necessary for the user to be able to select and apply certain techniques learned in coursework. 7. In general there appears to be no substitute for a staff or faculty with computer expertise because in some universities this ability has circumvented a shortage of computer hardware. 8. When adequate money and staff is available, computer hardware should be selected to meet the total university needs and not to restrict the availability to, or needs of, the users. 9. A minimum of two languages should be made available to the students of this study with some skills developed in at least one. For overall computational skills FORTRAN is still the most widely used and accepted. In order to teach of the skills of Computer Assisted Learning COURSEWRITER written by IBM is used. 10. An introduction to remote terminal operation of the computer seems desirable, because both industry and educational institutions are rapidly changing to this mode of input/output to the computer. 11. Because the Computer Center of Ball State University supports administrative applications as well as those which are academic in nature, some method of time sharing is highly desirable. 12. Adequate hardware should provide a student option on whether to process a program interactively from a remote terminal or in a batch mode.