Computer-ondersteund talenonderwijs
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In computer-aided learning (CAL) usage in higher education, five stages can be identified: (1) complete unfamiliarity, (2) orientation, (3) introductory, (4) regular, and (5) integrated usage. Many faculties now find themselves somewhere between stages 3 and 4, which is characterised by sorting out or establishing policies, creating budgets, finding a coordinator and developing an implementation scheme or protocol. For help at implementing CAL during stage 4 we use the metaphor, "hitting the bull's-eye", to identify four important impact points.The first is to clearly recognize the critical success factors that normally accompany effective CAL usage. In total we identify 11 factors that can be divided into three hierarchical levels: the strategic, the organisational, and the operational levels of an educational institute. On the basis of an investigation, those responsible can uncover in which part(s) of an organisation conditions are most favourable for successful implementation.The next step would be to place the target, e.g. project type most likely to succeed, in the most appropriate environment. An inquiry can be held among all teaching staff involved in the curriculum that has been identified as most propitious. Questions to be included in the inquiry should address themselves to a portion of a teacher's course and should be rated on six criteria: (1) the basic teaching objective(s), (2) desirability/need for improving education, (3) teaching staff cooperation, (4) stability of learning materials, (5) target group size, and (6) the cost of training. The higher a particular course component scores on these criteria, the more likely it is to become chosen for a CAL solution.The third step is to follow the experience of the master; those who have already made successful usage of CAL. Twenty-one successful applications of CAL have been collected in a book titled, 'The merits of CAL' (De kwaliteiten van computerondersteund onderwijs, Mirande, 1994). Therein it appears that in higher education, CAL is successful in five different ways: (1) removing deficiencies, (2) increasing practice opportunities, (3) substitution for group work, (4) renewal of lab work, and (5) efficient testing and test preparation.The fourth point is to continue trying until the shot has hit the bull's-eye. This can be seen as a form of quality control or fine tuning of a product with special attention to didactic and content needs in the program under development.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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