Before 1920 
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ID Models and Maturation

(Time-Shared Interactive Computer Controlled Information Television)

TICCIT (Time-Shared Interactive Computer Controlled Information Television) is another major CAI system developed at the University of Texas and Brigham Young University and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation in 1977 (Kinzer, Sherwood, and Bransford, 1986). This system was designed to teach higher-order concepts using an instructional design system called RULEG. RULEG provides a general statement, or rule, and examples of how the rule is applied. Niemiec and Walberg (1989) stated that this system was innovative because the "instructional tactics were unique to the system and not particular to the authors of programs" (p. 272-273). The audience using the TICCIT system was intended to be adult learners, but another version was later released for elementary schools.

TICCIT or Time-Shared Interactive Computer Controlled Information Television System attempted to test the effectiveness of computer-aided instruction (CAI) against the traditional classroom format. (Saettler, 1990). TICCIT, together with PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operation) received $60 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, and both were formally evaluated by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) (Chambers, 1983).

TICCIT was designed to be the primary, rather than supplemental medium of instruction for 5,000 college students "using minicomputers, color TV, graphics, and the expertise of content specialists and psychologists well-versed in instructional design (Chambers, 1983, p. 11)." According to Saettler (1990), the MITRE Corporation and the University of Texas (now Brigham Young University) initially intended to implement TICCIT into elementary schools in 1969. Other authors state that TICCIT mathematics and English freshman-level courses were eventually launched at two community colleges, Phoenix College in Arizona and Northern Virginia in Alexandria in 1971-72 (Chambers, 1983; Alessi & Trollip, 1991). ETS's evaluation was mixed: Both the TICCIT mathematics and English course students reported "significant achievement" over the traditional classroom formats; however, more students favored lecture classes over TICCIT math courses, and fewer students completed the TICCIT math courses as compared to the standard (Chambers, 1983).

Both the design and the implementation of the TICCIT project had influences upon Instructional Technology. "For the first time, a large scale project emphasized innovative approaches to hardware as well as in-depth consideration of learning theory and instructional strategies in the design of the course materials (Chambers, 11). " The CAI research highlighted factors beyond the instruction materials which influence effectiveness. For example, Chambers concluded that many "students simply did not complete the mathematics CAI course, apparently because the faculty paid little or no attention to their needs." The faculty's minimal interaction may be attributed to fear of technology or inadequate training. Most instructional development plans today analyze the needs of all users, both students and instructors, and try to build in adequate support. Also, TICCIT strongly emphasized the concept of learner control as well as component design theory (Allessi &Trollip, 1991). However, the TICCIT math students did not receive sufficient feedback about their progress, and consequently made poor control decisions about what and when to study, practice, and test. Instructional developers who design a tutorial program such as this must embed some feedback mechanism either into the program itself or through instructor training, and they must also evaluate how much learner control is appropriate given the skill base of the targeted learners.


Allessi, Stephen M. & Trollip, Stanley R. (1991). Computer-Based Instruction: Methods and Development. Englewood Cliffs, NY: Prentice-Hall.

Chambers, Jack A. & Sprecher, Jerry W. (1983). Computer-Assisted Instruction: Its Uses in the Classroom. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Saettler, Paul (1990). The Evolution of American Educational Technology. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.