Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



The purpose of this paper is to estimate the costs and cost feasibility of utilizing computer-assisted instruction (CAI) for compensatory education. Cost data were collected from an experiment on the effectiveness of CA1 that had been established in Los Angeles and sponsored by the National Institute of Education. Based upon the resource ingredients approach to measuring costs, it was found that up to three daily lo-minute sessions of drill and practice could be provided for each disadvantaged child within the 1977- 1978 allocation of funds from Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. If the computer system were shared between two schools, the higher costs would permit only two daily sessions. Costs were also estimated for a more advanced CA1 system, and somewhat surprisingly the costs were in the same range. This finding reflects the very heavy costs of “software” that do not seem to decline with more advanced technologies. Also, it is possible that the latter technology will be found to be more effective at the same cost level. However, because comparative effectiveness data between the CA1 approach and other instructional strategies are not readily available, such cost-effectiveness comparisons will have to be deferred until some future date.


educational technology



Date Posted: 30 January 2022