Computer-based instruction has been used for several years especially in independent study and distance learning. It builds on the history of programmed instruction. It may be in form of tutorials, simulation situations, or drill and practice.

It may be embedded in any computer application, such as Word 1997 & 2000, Excel 1997 & 2000, and many graphics packages. Intelligent computer-assisted instruction (ICAI) adapts to individual learning needs by forming a model based on the student’s progress in the CAI program.

To use any CAI (including web-based), the student must first obtain a general knowledge of how to work the hardware and software. Students need to learn to navigate the mouse by practicing or “playing” games on the computer to develop skill with the peripheral device.

To avoid “techno-stress,” students should not try to learn everything about the computer all at once. Whereas PI conducts interactive question and answer prompts, CAI and web-based instruction can ask open ended questions with the intent being to challenge the student further as well as use the knowledge to create deeper learning. To create deeper learning, students must:


1. Understand the material and see how the concepts fit together.

2. Combine the information in their own minds.

3. Apply the information in a useful way.

4. Receive feedback.


5. Act on the feedback.