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Although multimedia or interactive video seemed revolutionary in the early and mid-1980s, its application to individualized instruction followed clearly defined evolutionary paths. Forms of individualized instruction leading up to multimedia instruction are described, and a review of the integration of individualized instruction into a standard education curriculum is included. Discussed is a jointly defined effort between IBM and the California State University at Fullerton that demonstrated: (1) the benefits of a parallel course-development and course-implementation approach, (2) the superiority of multimedia over traditional instruction in the subject area tested, and (3) very low-cost development of quality multimedia courses. A projection by IBM for its own internal education program indicates that by the year 2000 not only will individualized instruction become fully integrated into IBM's education curriculum, but it will become the dominant approach, encompassing within it many aspects of traditional instruction. The continuing integration of individualized instruction with other technologies and advances in digital full-motion capabilities can help make multimedia instruction not only independent of time and place, but more engrossing and enjoyable as well.
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