Multi-media instructional systems in adult education, with special reference to information retrieval from textbooks
Squires, Geoffrey T.C.
The purpose of this study is to analyse the concept of information in instructional systems for adults, outlining the implications of this analysis for the design and use of textbooks as information stores, and formulating hypotheses for further, experimental research. A context fcr this analysis is provided by a preliminary examination of the systems approach in adult education, which is seen as an attempt to provide a framework for educational innovations which may stem from the introduction of new media. The new media of radio and television are used both as media of mass communication and as teaching devices in formal education. A review of opinions expressed by adult educators suggests that assumptions about the first of these uses have influenced the second. However, research has shown that in both mass communication and formal instruction, factors other than the medium are important. It is argued that approaches to course development based solely on the notion of utilizing the new media are likely to underestimate important factors relating to the instructional setting, the message or content, and the audience. It is further argued that the new media cannot always be thought of as aids to the teacher or tutor, since in some cases they act as independent teaching agents. However, a problem-based approach, which considers the allocation of all resources, human and material, in the light of the needs of each teaching situation, provides a framework for the use of the new media.