A Videodisk (or videodisc) is a digital recording (e.g. video or audio) on an optical disk that can be played on a computer or a television set.
This technology has been replaced by DVDs, but there are still working installations in use for training.
2 Formats, standards and features
According to the Wikipedia there were several formats, but the Pioneer Laser Disc was by far the most popular.
- MCA DiscoVision (early name for laserdisc format) (1978)
- Pioneer LaserDisc (1980)
- RCA SelectaVision (1981)
McLean (1985) describes the technical features of the Laser Videodisc as follows:
Videodiscs produced better pictures and colors than VCR tapes and contents could be accessed very rapidly. These features made them attractive to instructional designers.
In an educational context, videodisks were often integrated with a microcomputer. So the typical system configuration was:
- The Videodisc player,
- A video monitor,
- A microcomputer,
- A separate computer screen,
- An interface to connect the computer and the video player.
McLean (1985) describes three levels of videodisk systems:
- A Level 1 videodisc system is a stand-alone videodisc player, which may allow dual audio and random access of still frames, freeze-frames, auto-stop, and chapter search, but has no memory or processing power.
- Level 2 systems use a stand-alone, educational/industrial player allowing disc control through an internal programmable microprocessor.
- Level 3 disc systems add the power of an external computer to a videodisc player by connecting them with an interface device, usually a computer card.
See also Grabowski's (1989) definition of these three levels which is slightly different.
3 Videodisks in education
McLean (1985) described its advantages as follows:
McLearn also describes a list of educational applications that includes:
- computer assisted instruction (CAI) formats as tutorials and drill and practice [not clear to what extent the videodisk is used here]
- Simulating expensive or dangerous procedures
- Simulating human interactions to provide realistic practice in interpersonal situations, such as between sales persons and clients, teachers and students, medical personnel and patients, counselors and their clients, and teachers and parents.
- Teaching standardized procedures that must be performed in a specific way, such as first aid training
- Storing audiovisual databases, such as collections of still photographs or illustrations
- Anchored instruction
- Career counseling programs: see "Knowledge for Youth About Careers (KYAC) is one such interactive, multimedia career program" described by Bradshaw. This was based on attribution change theory and self-efficacy theory.
- DeBloois, Michael L., ed. VideoDisc/Microcomputer Courseware Design. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Educational Technology Publications, 1982. ISBN 0877781834.
- McLean, Lois (1985). Videodiscs in Education. ERIC Digest, ED270103 HTML
- Bradshaw, Richard A. Delivery of Career Counseling Services: Videodisc & Multimedia Career Interventions, ERIC Digest ED414516, HTML
- Grabowski, Barbara L. (1989). Interactive Videodisc: An Emerging Technology for Educators. ERIC Digest ED315064. HTML
- Schneider, Edward W., and Junius L. Brennion. (1980). The Instructional Media Library: VideoDiscs, (Volume 16). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications. ISBN 0877781761. 1981.