Re: CBT vs. Training - my thoughts

Subject: Re: CBT vs. Training - my thoughts
From: David Girardot <dmgirard -at- CORNETLTD -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 11:30:37 -0500

Elissa said:
> 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?

If you are convinced that one particular training technology is better than
another, there's a link you should visit, to the No Significant Difference
pages. Research spanning fifty years showed again and again NSD between
different training technologies. I expect Web-Based Training to work the
same.

http://media.hku.hk/cmr/edtech/NSD/phenom1.html

I saw Margaret Driscoll speak about WBT at a recent TEMPO meeting. She made
some very good points.

- WBT is not necessarily cheaper, better, or faster
- WBT is not for every type of learner
- WBT is a means rather than an end

I think that WBT has it's place, but like any other media good instructional
design, more so than any other factor, seems to make the most difference. A
lot of folks are putting notes online and calling it WBT. Others are
sending powerpoint presentations, coupled with online chat and a conference
call and calling that online training. It's only as good as the designers,
and going with WBT is not going to make the material less sensitive to bad
design.

Driscoll used an anecdote to bring up another interesting point about hidden
costs of something like WBT. Believe it or not, companies are thinking
"Hey, why waste all that time and money in the classroom. Our sales people
will have laptops tied into our Web-Based Training on the intranet. Instead
of being out of the field for four days they can learn the stuff a few hours
at a time everynight." How many sales people do you know who like the idea
of sitting in front of the computer for a "few hours" taking WBT after
already putting in time at the office. Not too many I think. Also, if you
decide on such a policy, consider that your workforce might include
non-exempt employees to whom you'll have to pay overtime.

I particularly don't buy the "cheaper" description. There are serious up
front costs. The only way you recoup that is by re-using. Unfortunately,
in today's fast-paced world it can be hard not to have your hotshot CBT be
out of date in a few months. As a result, I think that many companies skimp
on design.

-- David





>
> My thoughts,
>
> Stand-up training is always better.
> That's my opinion. But I am a realist. Companies are going to "follow
> the money," and CBTs are much cheaper than stand-up.
>
> A well-written CBT is effective.
> But the operative phrase is "well written." Companies need to
> understand that, while a bad trainer can usually communicate a little
> knowledge at the very least, a bad CBT doesn't communicate anything at
> all.
>
> What is a well-written CBT?
> I don't really have the answer to that, sorry. But I know that I have
> taken some excellent ones (and some bad ones, too). I am currently
> researching what an author must do to write a "good" CBT. If I ever
> figure it out, I'll let you know.
>
> Ron Rhodes
>
> PS
> I just re-subscribed to this list so I haven't followed any recent
> threads. I'll bet lots of great comments already exist on this in the
> archives.
>
>
>
>




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