CALICO Journal, Vol 1, No 1 (1983)

Waterford School and the WICAT Education Institute: An Alternative Model For CAI and Development Research

Fred O'Neal
Issued Date: 7 Aug 2014

Abstract


Research and development in CAI are severely handicapped by current funding practices and the constraints they impose. There is a need for long-term pilot and prototype sites where data can be collected, products and approaches validated, and where a wide range of variables can be controlled. The short funding cycles generally prevalent result in endless repetitions of the first two or three years of a project's experience, whereas the opportunity to continue after the staff has been trained, after the materials and systems have been developed, tested, and refined, and after the initial mistakes have been made and exploratory research has been concluded has not generally been available. Further, CAI research is often necessarily incomplete in scope, dealing with delivery system, curriculum, or implementation concerns but seldom the combination of all three at one time. And finally, CAI research is of necessity, usually carried out in an environment where very few of the complex variables involved can be controlled.
New models for CAI research and new forums for CAI research and development are needed. This article describes an exciting activity which has many of the characteristics needed to conduct productive CAI research and development for sufficiently long periods of time and under sufficiently controlled conditions to overcome many of the problems of the past.
The Waterford School in Provo, Utah, is described from the perspective of an involved professional with nearly 17 years experience in public school, industrial, and military CAI. Secondly it is described from the perspective of a parent of children engaged in the Waterford experience.

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DOI: 10.1558/cj.v1i1.19-24

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