Features of PLATO, A Computer-Assisted Instruction Learning System, That Promotes Students' Mathematics Achievement: A Literature Review

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Title: Features of PLATO, A Computer-Assisted Instruction Learning System, That Promotes Students' Mathematics Achievement: A Literature Review
Author: Anderson, Mark Busey
Advisors: Lee V. Stff, Committee Chair
Abstract: Many studies and analyses have sought evidence in support of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) programs, in general. PLATO, specifically, has gathered much attention as an alternative educational solution to traditional instruction. This learning system provides student users with a self-directed medium for learning. In addition to quality of content, three program features are important. Self-pacing and self-mastery features are integral parts of the PLATO software. The instructor-as-tutor feature is a resulting effect on the learning environment. First developed over 40 years ago, PLATO has helped produce significant achievement scores and gains in a variety of learning contexts. However, little is known about how the features of self-pacing, self-mastery, and instructor-as-tutor contribute to the success of PLATO. Nor is it known whether PLATO is more effective and efficient that traditional classroom instruction. This paper addresses these concerns. Based on a review of 22 studies, the aforementioned features of PLATO seem to reorient instruction around the student user, who assumes a greater degree of control over their own learning. Teachers become tutors, or guides, to students in a PLATO classroom. However, a limited population of students seems to have benefited from the use of PLATO programs. Hence, questions of equity and access are addressed.
Date: 2003-04-08
Degree: MS
Discipline: Mathematics Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1170


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