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Music Bibliographic Instruction on Microcomputers: Part I: Robert Michael Fling

Core classes for freshmen and sophomore music majors typically have 200 or more students, and herd behavior invariably brings them in to do their library assignments in large groups, all to use the same few volumes at once. Consequently, when in 1983 the School of Music placed four Apple:f-microcomputers in a newly remodeled room adjacent to the reference area of the library, the music librarians were ripe to experiment with something new in the way of bibliographic instruction. It seemed that microcomputer-assisted instruction could offer several advantages: students could be involved in an interactive learning experience, with immediate feedback about correct and incorrect responses; they could control the sequence and pacing of the lessons; and each student could reserve a computer in advance for a convenient time. There were disadvantages, too: there would be limited contact between students and' librarians; students would be working at screens rather than turning the pages of real encyclopedias and indexes; and finally, there seemed to be no appropriate existing software. We would have to design and program such a system ourselves.