Computer-based training is any training that uses a computer as the principal source for instructional delivery. With CBT, training is provided through the use of a computer and software, which guides a learner through an instructional program. Most CBT uses one or a combination of the following techniques: Tutorial
The most common of all techniques is the tutorial. It is used to introduce new information that must be taught in a sequential manner. It is useful for teaching factual information, simple discrimination, rules, and simple application of rules.
Drill and Practice
Another commonly used technique is known as drill and practice. It provides opportunities for practice when mastery of a new skill or information is desired. It should be used after initial instruction.
Training games supplement other instruction and are used to provide motivating and engaging opportunities for practice after a skill or new information is taught. Training games capitalize on the competitive interests of learners and add entertainment value to instruction.
The technique of simulation is most often used when practicing a skill in its real context is too costly or dangerous. It provides an opportunity for experimentation, and allows students to test assumptions in a realistic context. Simulations are also used to model real-world situations that are not physically dangerous or costly, in order to build realism and relevance into the training situation.
One of the most challenging techniques used in CBT is problem solving. It helps students develop skills in logic, solving problems, and following directions, and is generally used to augment higher order thinking skills.
Demonstration or presentation is best used to support the introduction of new information. It can also be used as a review tool. Most CBT incorporates one or more of these techniques. A training game, for example, might have some of the elements of drill and practice; a tutorial might use problem-solving questions. If one or more of these techniques is right for meeting your training requirements, CBT may be an appropriate training method for you. CBT has a number of distinct and unique features, including: Immediate Feedback. The immediate feedback most computer-based training provides on trainee progress allows both instructors and trainees to monitor progress and adjust instruction accordingly. This feature is important for all skills, because it ensures that students are actually learning what they need to know. Placement. Placement via on-line testing that matches a trainee with needed training is also built into many CBT systems. By using this feature, you avoid any unnecessary training for an individual. The CBT can accommodate each individual's needs by "branching" to the level of training that is appropriate for that individual. Integration of Text, Graphics, Video, and Sound. If the training is particularly content dense (many new concepts presented close together) or uses a hierarchy of skill acquisition (where current concept mastery is dependent on mastery of earlier concepts), CBT's integration of text, graphics, video, and sound facilitates the learning process. On average, people remember:
20% of what they see,
40% of what they see and hear, and
70% of what they hear, see and do,
So CBT's rich, multi-sensory delivery system can facilitate greater retention of new knowledge. Although PLATO, the first dedicated computer based training system, was built in 1959, CBT did not really come around until the late 80s or early 1990s. The early CBT programs were little more than programmed instruction teaching machines. It was not until the 1990s that their multimedia capabilities were put to full use. It is based on individualized instruction that allows a learner to work through the material at her own pace. It is a natural...