Re: CBT v Training Redirect (Long)

Subject: Re: CBT v Training Redirect (Long)
From: Brenda Ruetschi <Bruetschi -at- ALPHA88 -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 11:20:22 -0500

*Snip from the Original*
Is it *impossible* to build a CBT that can replace stand-up

*Snip from most recent*
I think that within the next ten years (my own speculation of
course) most everybody will be "comfortable" with computers, enough to
embrace technology in a way we have never seen.

*Exposition on my theory of learning*

I agree that increased comfort with computers will raise the
ability of the general populace to learn via computers. I also believe that
the generation now in elementary and junior high school will almost all be
comfortable with computers. However, there is still a problem with CBTs -
they are static.

A CBT cannot answer a natural language query outside of its
realm of expertise. It cannot intuitively make cross-topic connections, nor
can it adjust its method of delivery to compensate for audience specific
inquiries, specialties, or deficiencies. It can be programmed or written to
attempt these actions, but there are limitations to what even the most
experienced and forward thinking curriculum development specialist,
technical communicator, and programming team can predict.

A CBT is a great training tool and will continue to be one -
especially since the technology is constantly and consistently improving.
However, I believe that CBTs are best suited for task-specific learning.
Mathematics, laboratory sciences, and factual content can be adequately
addressed in CBTs. Looking back at my time in college, there are a number of
professors I would have loved to replace with a CBT that would remain
focused, stay on topic, and concentrate on what the course was supposed to
teach. However, for the most part, the in-class discussion, the challenge of
expressing and defending ideas based in political, legal and economic fact
and perception prepared me for my job.

So - in answer to the original query - can CBTs *ever*
replace instructor-led training - the answer is not completely. Can I run
math drills, learn to read, and memorize the steps to adding a user to
secure group in NT server using CBTs? Absolutely. Can I learn to learn,
connect distinct topics and analyze the hidden meanings, distill the truth
from a biased news report without human interaction - doubt it.

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