Friday, 9 March 2018

Computer Assisted Learning(CAL)

Today, traditional education methods are rapidly being replaced with digital education, e-school, and distance learning systems. Heightened by enhanced visualization and data diffusion technologies, it is now extremely simple to develop computer software programs that display and analyse graphics data for human interpretation. This has become an integral part of education and is often used to develop and make interactive presentations in subjects that are challenging for students to understand without proper illustration.
As per the above mentioned content, we simply define computer assisted learning as the tutoring, learning, and interacting process enabled through the use of computers. The main edge/benefit that CAL has over education methods is interaction. Computers can stimulate and provoke the active interest of students during the learning process at various levels. For example, on one level, it facilitates the interest of students in the learning measureable or the content being taught (for example a DVD tutorial on how to handle spreading fire). Above all, computers can help to provide a better communication between the students and the teacher or among the students themselves and moderated by the faculty. The concept of human interaction with computers has been introduced to household gadgets in the late 1980s. However, this only initiated to appear in the last decade due to bellicose mobile technology revolution and Internet that endorses economical and reliable communication across the world.
Computer assisted learning (CAL) is also known as computer assisted instruction (CAI). By playing and using materials stored on DVDs, mobile phones, and other web-based resources, learning becomes more attractive and vibrant, and offers the students entertaining avenues to vitrine their listening and learning skills. It boosts the students’ confidence in solving the tasks they are assigned and therefore improves the quality of what they have learnt.
Computer Assisted Learning Assessment Tools
Multiple Choice Questions: Mainly used for computer based tests, this type of workout is used to evaluate a student’s understanding of things they have been taught. It is used for CBTs.
Fill-in the Gap: Also used for CBTs, the student is required to type text in gaps/spaces where few words are missing. The student has to provide appropriate words to solve the exercise. The test can be easily done within a few minutes and can be written with inexpensive software such as Hot Potato.
Find the Answers: In this test, the student(s) are given questions and they have to look for the answer on their own in e-libraries or using the Internet. The answers are then submitted to the faculty in various possible submission formats.
Scrabble/Crossword Puzzles: Crossword puzzles are mainly used in computer assisted language learning or at the initial education level. They can be created from the vocabulary that students have just been learning and the game can be played during leisure hours.
Online Interactive Chat: Group chats can be an excellent example of good learning boulevard for students and teachers to share ideas online through writing or speaking. It is quite simple to set up a group chat server using a social media software. However, it can sometimes be challenging to moderate and it can become lacklustre if there are less users online in the chat room. When run with tasks and suitable groups of students (age groups, interests, etc.) chats can result into exciting communication, especially when after post chat jobs are issued at the end to the instructor.
Drills: Real life scenario drills can be computer simulated to prepare the students for on-field challenges. Drills can be conducted using software programs specially designed for the purpose. Computer simulated drills can be at higher-end to organize, particularly when special equipment is required and also require advanced level of computer skill.
WebQuest: A WebQuest is a task where the students are required to provide answers to questions on concerns mostly found on the web. WebQuest is meant to improve the student’s skill on using/analysing mentioned information rather than looking for it. In this case, the teacher will provide the students with the needed internet links to the exercise.
Adventure Games: These games are like where students are given some computerized simulated conditions with which students have to deal and pass. The student has to be fast in understanding the game and revert the result in form of text, by manipulating the game’s controls, or by clicking on certain options. At the end of the game, the program generates the feedback report on the basis of student’s performance.
Listening Exercises: In such exercises, computer had replaced the tape recorders where computer is connected to a sound system. Students are required to listen to an audio carefully played on computer. Podcasts, audio CD/DVD, audio streams, etc., are few examples for this exercise which ultimately enhances the listening capability of students. It can be followed immediately with multiple choice exercises if the students have grasped the content.

Ms. Garima Mehra
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science

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