Computer based training has a self-explanatory name – it involves instruction courses that are delivered via a computer. CBT is nothing new under the Sun. It has been employed in corporate training for more than a decade. However, it began drawing more attention a couple years back. Owed to new computer based training software, the techniques are no longer faulty, but manage to carry out their purposes in a time efficient and budget friendly way.
What Is Computer Based Training?
CBT is a training program that is not connected to any network, in which the teacher’s role is assumed by the computer. The students learn various concepts and practices by carrying out specific training programs on their computer.
Learning based computer training implies the PC will take over:
- Instructing the students;
- Managing the teaching process;
- Monitoring the learning progress;
- Providing feedback;
- Assessing results.
Computer Based Training Techniques
CBT does not solely rely on a unique method or technique, but rather uses a combination of the following approaches. These techniques are more than often fused together in order to provide the best possible learning experience for the users.
The tutorial is the most frequent technique encountered in Computer Based Training. The purpose of the tutorial is to introduce new concepts and information in a sequential form. The students benefit from using tutorials since it helps them easily assimilate rules, understand simple discrimination, and factual information. At the same time, students get the opportunity to fully grasp when and how they have to implement the rules.
A distinct characteristic of Computer Based Training is drill and practice. Since theoretical learning is not efficient on its own (people remember only 20% of what they see), students highly benefit from the practice techniques that allow them to apply the learned concepts at the end of each chapter or module. Drill and practice provide the opportunity to better set a new skill and is always introduced after a tutorial.
Sequences of theoretical information can fail to keep students engaged and motivated. This is why training games are essential for the development of the courses. The companies that choose to employ games in Computer Based Training have better chances to encourage the students to finish the course, by adding an entertaining value to the lessons.
Probably one of the biggest advantages of Computer Based Training is the simulation technique. This is extremely valuable and frequently employed when practicing a newly acquired skill could be either dangerous or costly. Simulation enables students to test their skill, experiment with their techniques and further learn through trial and error.
The underlying foundations of simulation involve realistic scenarios that compel students to deal with new situations just like they would in the real world. By using relevant and realistic examples, simulations manage to better prepare students for real life events, completely removing the risk of damaging equipment or endangering pricey items.
Computer Based Training stresses logical thinking, which is why problem solving plays a big part in the instruction process. This technique aims to enable students to practice and develop their skills of following instructions and solving issues in a logical manner. The problem-solving method has the added benefit of promoting thinking skills, encouraging taking action to fix problems.
Computer Based Training benefits
Over the years, studies have shown that Computer Based Training is indeed highly beneficial, especially for small and medium-sized companies. The numbers speak volume: CBT reduces costs and is efficient. It does not only accurately deliver information to users, but also offers feedback on their progress.
- Compared to custom made Computer Based Training, off the shelf programs that can be customized to suit the users’ needs are budget friendly.
- Acquiring a CBT, a company practically gains a 24-hour trainer. With the help of a customized Computer Based Training, any given number of trainees can take advantage of the course at the same time, cutting back on time and costs.
- Computer Based Training is the definition of travel-free education. Trainees are not required to commute or relocate in order to acquire new skills, which eliminates travel and accommodation expenses.
- A notable perquisite of Computer Based Training is that it is suited to work with the adult population.
- Computer Based Training ensures the safety of the students. Using technology in education translates not only to having a trainer working around the clock but also to having an impartial, non-judgmental trainer. The computer manages to provide a one-of-a-kind privacy factor that makes users feel at ease and not afraid to make mistakes when answering questions.
- Trainees are actively involved in the training process. The computer will encounter no difficulty in engaging each student. This, in its turn, increases student satisfaction and promotes quicker learning.
- Not all students have the same learning pace. Computer Based Training will match the users’ rhythm – slower paced people can go through the sessions at their leisure while advanced users can skip information they are already familiar with.
- The trainee does not have to force their schedule to make time for CBT or for a traditional classroom. Computer Based Training will accommodate users by being available anytime (complying with a hectic schedule) and anywhere (on the go or at home).
- CBT offers instant feedback on students’ progress. Additionally, the training program does not have to be handed out to all users or employees at once. This way, the most important jobs are covered.
- The management system offers live tracking of users’ location and progress.
- Online tests can determine the trainee’s level in order to provide an appropriate training match.
- Trainings are consistent since the presented information is always up to date and of high quality.
- The different working environments can be standardized under the implementation of the same Computer Based Training.
Choosing Computer Based Training
While Computer Based Training comes with a plethora of advantages, companies that are seeking to implement it should keep in mind that it could never fully replace quality training professionals. CBT works wonderfully for delivering the bulk of the information or training, however, fine tuning should be left to instructors.
- Computer Based Training should be preceded by a one on-one-or group introduction. This aims to reinforce support for the Computer Based Training and emphasizes the significance of acquiring new skills or further developing existing ones.
- Each Computer Based Training has to come with a deadline for users. Learners need to perceive and understand the sense of urgency, which is best illustrated via a deadline. Allotting employees six months to complete a training will only result in sending the message that the specific CBT is likely useless or irrelevant. Strict deadlines should be avoided as well. However, a reasonable time frame to complete the training will motivate learners to go through the module at their leisure, still meeting the final deadline.
- Provide the learners a chance for a final review once the Computer Based Training is complete. The group or one-on-one meeting’s objective should be to go over the key points of the course, answer any inquiries and see how the employees will put what they have learned into practice.
- Offer employees the chance to use the newly acquired skills in their daily activities. A Computer Based Training that provided information which cannot be used in a short period of time following its completion could be seen as irrelevant. Employers should also provide learners with follow-up meetings in which they can talk over their progress and training efficiency.
- Learners might want to be able to revisit the Computer Based Training, which is why the course should be available after completion.
Computer Based Training represents an exciting alternative for the traditional classroom training that can be tedious or inefficient for students who have different learning paces. However, Computer Based Training can have impressive results provided it is correctly implemented and the courses meet the requirements of the organization. The following prerequisites should be taken into consideration prior to investing in CBT.
1. Can the training successfully convey abstract concepts in a simple and clear manner?
When selecting a Computer Based Training, employers should take into account that not all learners are at the same level. This is why the courses should be clearly structured and easy to understand for a large variety of students. Complicated notions need to be reinforced with the aid of a variety of teaching techniques. Students will remember 40% of what they see and hear, and 70% of what they see, hear and do.
2. Will the developer release new materials that will offer learners future training?
Computer Based Training represents an investment that can bring sundry benefits to a company over the course of several years. However, an important aspect that should be taken into consideration is the release of new titles by the developer that will further help employees and employers alike. Additional training options are essential for a smooth process of implementing new concepts and new data. Small and mid-sized companies should choose developers that boast an extensive suite of products, which will be able to keep up with future requirements of the company and of the employees.