Re: QUESTION: CBT v. Training

Subject: Re: QUESTION: CBT v. Training
From: Chris Wilcox <Clwilcox -at- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 08:03:31 -0700


Speaking solely from the standpoint of a former training specialist:
After Ford started mass producing automobiles, we didn't go out and
start shooting all the horses.

Cutting back on live instructors and delivering training via CBT can be
a reasonable option _if_ your audience is ready for it. However, some
people are so used to having an instructor in front of them to help
guide them through the learning that their brain locks when faced with a
CBT (I've seen it happen on more than one occasion). Human interaction
is critical in training for most people because the majority of our
existing workforce did not learn to learn through a computer. They
learned to learn with a real person in front of them. If my company
took the same stance, I would be worried that it would drain more time
for the remaining trainers, because those people who were unable to
grasp the information from the CBT would probably do one of two things:
muddle through without learning it (thus causing more issues for the
trainers to chase down), or park themselves at the trainers' desks until
they got all of the information one on one anyway. There isn't a CBT in
the world for any subject that would exhaust the possible questions
people could ask during it.

CBTs do offer more flexibility in that they can be offered any time and
implemented immediately. As you mentioned, they are a great vehicle for
information transmission, and for those classes that are purely
informational that serve to increase knowledge (something like How
Computers Work), they can be beneficial, but not provide the total
solution. If a company decided to ditch a majority of their training
staff in favor of CBTs, I would be concerned that the human element to
training was being disregarded, IMHO.

At any rate, ensure that the CBTs are developed by instructors who
learned how to create CBTs, and not by multimedia experts who learned
training skills. There can be a marked difference in the quality of
instruction that the two types of developers can offer.


>-----Original Message-----
>From: ELISSA LYNN BEBEE [SMTP:elb600z -at- MAIL -dot- ODU -dot- EDU]
>Sent: Monday, March 16, 1998 4:06 PM
>Subject: QUESTION: CBT v. Training
>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.

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