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The Computer Managed Instruction standard

by dray last modified 2007-04-08 09:03

The Computer Managed Instruction standard is a multi-part standard.

This standard covers

  • Describing what is in a course.
  • Organizing and sequencing individual lessons (sessions or assignableunits) in a single course.
  • Launching or starting assignable units with course management software (CMI software).
  • Communicating information between software managing a group of lessons(i.e. CMI system) and the lessons themselves.
  • Describing objectives in a course and relating them to lessons andgroups of lessons.
  • Reporting student performance information, and relating performanceto objectives.

This standard does not cover

  • Curriculum design
  • Contents of individual lessons
  • Behavior of a lesson or structure of a lesson
  • Analysis of student performance data

Today Computer Based Training (CBT) is being written by a diverse number of parties using very diverse tools or authoring systems. Many of the CBT lessons being developed can complement and work well with other lessons developed in different locations with different tools by different people. There is a need to allow these complementary lessons to be brought together and used in a single course. However, this cannot be done without defining a standard set of CMI (Computer Managed Instruction) functions and a matching set of CBT functions.

Additionally, there are reasons for courses to be moved from one environment - one CMI system - to another.

  • Need to save money by purchasing a single CMI system instead of one for each course to be administered.
  • Low cost of administering a single CMI system instead of many.

Consequently there is a need to standardize the description, listing of contents, and sequencing of the lessons in a course.

And finally, there is a need to analyze student performance data accumulated in a lesson. A standard means of describing a student's performance can enable the analysis of diverse lessons, authored by different persons with different systems.

For the above reasons, the purpose of this standard is to:

  • Allow different lessons to work with different CMI systems
  • Allow courses to move from one CMI system to another with minimal effort (Course interchange/interoperability)
  • Allow modification/expansion of a course by any instructor with his/her preferred CMI tools
  • Enable easier analysis of student data from different lessons.
Copyright 2004-2007, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource. dray. (2005, March 20). The Computer Managed Instruction standard. Retrieved October 24, 2008, from IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons License