Re: QUESTION: CBT v. Training

Subject: Re: QUESTION: CBT v. Training
From: Ned Allison <ned_a -at- NS -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 08:13:31 -0600

At 06:05 PM 3/16/98 -0500, you wrote:
>My department has recently taken a major hit as far as our trainers are
>concerned. The company believes that we can replace the trainers with well
>written and intuitively developed CBTs. I tend to agree with my company
>that CBTs offer more than a trainer because they can present the same
>material as a trainer would but for much less money. What are some
>thoughts out there on Computer Based Training versus training in the
>flesh. Are we just fooling ourselves or is CBT the next wave of effective
>information transmission.


Beware of apples to oranges comparisons. Most CBT is procedural in nature,
and most of life is conceptual in nature, at least for problem solving.
CBT has advantages in being done on one's own schedule, and easily
repeated. It is good for backgrounding and refresher training, and in
updating skills to new or slightly differing fields. It can't look into a
trainee's eyes in get feedback as to whether the really got it, it can't
endlessly revise the explanation method, mode or wording, and it doesn't
easily change to meet changing needs.

I have never recommended to any client an either or situation. I have
recommended CBT as a pre-training tool, a refresh tool, a supplemental
tool, and in all these roles it is very good, if you can find the
conceptual approach in your needed course material. For most major
training though, I recommend a train the trainer approach, to bring the
knowledge in house, or a training schedule on site or off site. Another
great way in getting knowledge transfer though that should be considered is
the idea of bringing in an expert as a consultant and partnering that
expert with 2 in house people making the knowledge transfer a part of the

If you want to get more into specifics I can potentially further explain
the various benefits and pitfalls involved.

I personally am an information systems consultant, and a credentialed
community college instructor in the State of California.

I hope that this is helpful.

Ned Allison

See you down the electron stream...-<=>- Ned

Ned Allison Principal Associate
Independent Computer Network<>Information Processing Technology Integrators
1731 Howe Avenue, M/S # 362 <> VoiceMail and FAX = (916)429-7202
Sacramento, CA 95825-2209 <> Internet E-Mail = ned_a -at- ns -dot- net

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