Re: CBT v Training Redirect -Reply

Subject: Re: CBT v Training Redirect -Reply
From: David Hailey <FAHAILEY -at- WPO -dot- HASS -dot- USU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 15:36:01 -0700


CBT does have a place in training. However, as a tech writer who also
teaches at the college level, I can assure you that CBT will never
replace humans in the classroom. In *good* classes, instructors don't
just stand there and lecture--they teach in a hands-on environment and
offer real-life experiences that can't be duplicated by a software

Kimberly Freistuhler

I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree. CBT might not completely replace all
teachers, but there are lots of good classes where the instructor does stand
there and lecture. Not all classes involve hands-on interaction in real life
environments. Many subjects lend themselves to CBT rather than f2f

I have seen tests where good CBT gave the students every bit as much
instruction as award-winning teachers. In our most recent project, the
teacher of record had won teacher-of-the-year for two consecutive years for an
engineering department and once for the college. She was teaching her
favorite topic. On a comparative test, we could find no statistical
difference between the scores of her students and the scores of students
studying in the CBT environment--and the CBT environment was rapid prototyped
(somewhat incomplete).

At USU, between the technical writing program and instructional technology, we
have run dozens (if not scores) of tests on digital instruction. That the
teacher is replaceable in many situations is not an opinion, it's a
demonstrated fact. The key is to select the right topics and build the right
instructional environments.

Ah, but there's the rub, building the right instructional environment ain't
cheap and it ain't easy.


David Hailey
Assistant Professor
Professional Writing
Digital Media
Utah State University

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