Re: CBT vs. Training - my thoughts

Subject: Re: CBT vs. Training - my thoughts
From: Bill Burns <BillDB -at- ILE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 14:55:57 -0700

Scott Gray commented:

> *snip*
> > 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.
> Ridiculous statement. Stand-up training is the
> worst way to learn anything, particularly any kind of training that takes
> place on a computer.
Although I don't agree with the first assertion (stand-up training is always
better), I agree even less with the second (it's the worst). It's an obvious
overgeneralization. Provide some facts to support the idea that nonskilled
people who learn to use complex production equipment learn better if they
don't have stand-up training, or even better, that they can learn how to
perform fine motor activities by watching CBT, then I'll consider it.

> Think about something you are good at. Did you learn it all from
> listening to someone tell you what to do? You probably took their
> suggestions yes, but then you went off and taught yourself, coming back
> and getting feedback every once and while from someone. All said and done
> we teach OURSELVES.
You're playing semantic games here with the term "teach." You're talking
about "learning," which can only take place internally. Teaching IS the
process of giving suggestions, demonstrating, providing feedback, and
explaining concepts. That all takes place between two points of
communication, whether it's a CBT and user or an instructor and student.
Could CBT (at this point in its development) provide spontaneous feedback?
Learn to change tack when a user doesn't understand? Know by the user's
nonverbal reactions that he or she is confused and respond in a way that
helps alleviate the confusion?

You note that CBT with a facilitator in a lab is the best method of
training. Isn't this, in abstract, the same as a stand-up training session
with opportunities for hands-on training? How is the latter "the worst way
to learn?"

Not every subject lends itself to CBT. Not all people learn best on
computers. If we're going to discern the value of CBT, let's be realistic
about its limitations.

> Bill Burns
> Senior Technical Writer/Technology Consultant
> ILE Communications
> billdb -at- ile -dot- com

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