The term computer‐assisted instruction, or CAI, may apply to all instructional uses of the computer. More specifically, CAI means using the computer as an instructional tool: to present new information to the user, test a user's knowledge of information previously presented, or allow her or him to discover new concepts. No instructor need be present, since the user interacts directly with the computer. All necessary directions are included within the lesson. The user is allowed to control the process by pressing keys to advance or review, all at his or her own pace. The lesson may require the user to answer questions periodically, and will react appropriately to the user's responses. Animation and graphics may be used to add visual interest and aid in the understanding of difficult concepts. Various modes of instruction and innovative design strategies help make CAI lessons stimulating for the user. Lessons may be done at any time, and the instructor may be spared many hours of time‐consuming or repetitious instruction.
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