Computer/Tablet-Aided Instruction (CAI)
Step 1. Identifying the Target of Instruction
- Refer to Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to identify the learner’s goals.
- Discuss goals with IFSP/IEP team members, including family and learner.
- Select and operationalize an observable and measurable goal as a target of instruction.
Step 2. Collecting Baseline Data
- Collect baseline data appropriate for the targeted skill.
- Collect data on at least three occasions to establish an accurate baseline for the targeted skill.
Step 3. Identifying Technology Support
- Identify technology support personnel in the school/program building.
- Identify technology support personnel within the district.
- Review district policies concerning the use of computer technology.
Step 4. Identifying Available Computers for Use
- Gather information about general computer specifications.
- Check schedules for computer availability for classroom, media centers, or libraries.
- Develop a schedule for the learner’s use of available computers and share with others.
Step 5. Identifying Appropriate Software
- Check available software on existing accessible computers.
- Ask school/program staff about their use of software.
- Ask learners and their families about preferred software.
- Inquire about appropriate software from vendors and retail stores, if necessary.
- Examine preview options and return policies prior to purchase.
Step 6. Selecting and Installing Software
- Select software that:
- explicitly teaches the target skills or behavior,
- is age-appropriate,
- is compatible with the computer(s) identified in Step 4, and
- is user-friendly.
- Install software and make it accessible for learners.
Step 7. Learning Software
- Try out the program before introducing it to the learner.
- Select a starting point that is a good match with the learner’s interests and abilities.
Step 8. Completing a Task Analysis of Steps for Using Software
- Complete an analysis of the steps for accessing the designated software within CAI, and provide it to the learner.
- Create a troubleshooting guide for the computer software and provide it to the learner.
Step 9. Teaching Software to Others Who Support the Learner
- Introduce the software to those who work with the learner at school and at home.
- Link the use of the software to the targeted skill.
- Provide support persons with the task analysis for computer use.
- Provide support persons with sufficient time to try out the program themselves and ask questions.
Step 10. Teaching the Learner Basic Computer Skills, if Necessary
- Provide opportunities for the learner to practice basic computer skills.
- If necessary, identify artificial reinforcers to pair with computer use to promote learner engagement and to teach basic computer skills.
Step 11. Introducing the Learner to Software
- Explain to the learner how the program will help him/her learn and practice the targeted skills.
- Model the task analysis for accessing the program.
- Demonstrate basic program functions, if necessary.
- Give the learner time to interact with the program while providing feedback and assistance.
Step 12. Providing Learner with Multiple Opportunities to Use Computer
- Schedule regular times for the learner to use the CAI.
- Identify other opportunities at school and at home for the learner to use the computer and program during free time.
Step 13. Providing Ongoing Support to Learner
Provide the learner with access to staff members for assistance and to answer questions during CAI time.
Step 14. Collecting Data on Acquisition of Target Skill
- Collect data on the target skill in a format similar to baseline data collection.
- Use these data to make instructional decisions regarding the targeted skill or behavior.