Clive Holloway introduces the programme from M.I.T., Boston. He talks to Ira Goldstein about Artificial Intelligence Computer Aided Instruction describing the disciplines on which it impinges and some of the problems it presents. He then explains how a computer coach, which would respond to the pupil's performance, would be constructed. It would need three programs, those of tutor, expert in the task to be performed and finally a psychological component. Clive and Ira Goldstein play the computer game Wompus which is programmed to interact in this fashion. Clive talks about the work being done at Bolt, Beranek and Newman, a research firm, into automated teaching. John Seely Brown, of Bolt, Beranek and Newman discusses with Clive the problems involved in developing an automated tutor. He introduces another computer game ?How the West was won?. Dick Burton explains the game to Clive, we see him playing it and the computer reacting to his performance. Seely Brown talks about the problem of making the tutoring strategy interesting and challenging. Clive explains the need for computer researchers to understand how humans learn and human teachers teach. He talks to Allan Collins about his work with causal models of teaching and possible future developments in automated tuition.
Being taught by a computer may seem to emanate from the realms of science fiction but in Boston, USA, experiments in this field are well under way. Two computer programs are shown which teach children arithmetic through the aid of computer board games. These programs are able to monitor the results of the games and detect basic arithmetic errors that children make, yet which could remain undetected in a conventional classroom situation. We talk in the programme to the people building these programs about the implications of these developments for teaching in the future.