Unique Characteristics of Computer-Assisted Instruction

There are numerous unique features of CAI which make it an exciting field.

One of the most useful is its adaptability for distance learning. Before the dominance of microcomputers, distance learning was mostly accomplished through PI or the US mail system supplemented by telephone contact. On the contrary, CAI provides regular and timely interaction with the instructor and current feedback.

Students can repeat tutorials as often as needed and work at their own pace. CAI also can be used with greater numbers of students than a traditional classroom would hold. CAI and web-based instruction have opened avenues of access to individuals with disabilities that were not possible before.

Intelligent computer-assisted instruction (ICAI) is programmed so that the CAI adapts to the student's individual needs. It acquires information about the student's current knowledge of a subject and his/her goals in learning the subject and then creates a user profile based on this knowledge. It can then adjust itself to the individual student.

Web-based instruction is unique in that students and/or instructors can communicate with each other anywhere in the world within seconds via the Internet. Feedback from the instructor can be obtained immediately.