The development of a model for computer simulation of a counseling center Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9c67wr451

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  • The study resulted from a desire and interest to include computer simulation techniques in the design of educational practices. The purposes of the study were (1) to develop a computer model which would simulate the service functions of a counseling center by tracing students through the center and (2) to experiment with the model in various situations to demonstrate how computer simulation may be utilized in making decisions concerning the center. The service functions of the counseling center were defined in terms of the types of conferences available to students. The data base for the study was obtained by tracing 2, 127 students through a high school counseling center. The model (COMSIM) was a dynamic, stochastic model. The operating characteristics for the model were: 1. Arrival times are distributed according to a Poisson distribution 2. Conference times are exponentially distributed. COMSIM was constructed as a general simulation vehicle to permit its utilization in various situations regarding the service functions of a counselor center. The computer program was written in FORTRAN because of the compatability of this language to available computing facilities. A Chi-square Goodness of Fit test was used to test the validity of operating characteristics of the model and to test for significance between the simulated output and the data base. Results of the test proved that at least 99.5 percent of the time the Poisson and the exponential distributions would be valid operating characteristics for the model. The tests also indicated that at least 97.5 percent of the time the output of COMSIM would be a "good fit" in comparison to the data base. It was concluded that COMSIM presented a reasonable approximation of the real system. The model was utilized to simulate six educational situations involving the service functions of a counseling center. As various situations were presented, the input to COMSIM was changed and each situation was simulated by the computer model. Imposing new conditions on the model provided an estimate of the magnitude of the changes that would result if such conditions were imposed on the counseling center being studied. This study illustrated that valid models of educational systems can be developed by stochastic processes and that computer simulation can be used as a technique to aid decision-making in the field of education. Recommendations were made in the study for additional research and for refinement of the model.
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