Re: CBT vs. Stand up (long, but different)

Subject: Re: CBT vs. Stand up (long, but different)
From: Scott Gray <scotty -at- CM -dot- MATH -dot- UIUC -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 19:05:03 -0600

What? Our schools are terrible. RE: The resent report that says that the
united states is the WORST in mathematics amoung some 27 or so tested

Our schools are under the impression that if someone does what he/she
is told to do that they have learned something.

I think I am paraphrasing your argument here:

"There are some people who learn better sitting on their ass and watching
someone else".

No Way. The different types of learners argument has always been a
copout when it comes to learning things like mathematics. They say:

"if we can only minimize the amount that a student has to think but
still have them perform a set of particular tasks then we have been

Learning should involve much more than the ability to perform tasks.
They should be also able to create tasks to perform.


> There were lots of good arguments for and against CBTs, as well
> traditional classroom training. But, IMHO, Barb Ostapina came closest to
> making the most important point of all: people learn differently.
> Period. Classroom instruction does NOT reach everyone, and hands-on
> doesn't help everyone; some people can intuitively draw conclusions, but
> other people need the cause-and-effect relationship explained rather
> than demonstrated. Why were some kids in school lousy in history but
> great at chemistry lab? Hint: they were probably hands-on learners. Why
> do some people run screaming from the room when you try to show them how
> to send e-mail? Hint: they're NOT intuitive or visual learners.

> The question, then, is can CBT be put together to teach in ALL the
> learning styles?
> I remember reading a book that says there are seven different learning
> styles, with most people having a primary and a secondary style.
> Classroom training, like traditional grammar school education, is geared
> toward verbal (audio and visual) learners. Lecture and readings, take
> notes. That's fine, since a big majority of people learn that way
> (something like 75%, I seem to remember). Classroom training
> supplemented with books works best for this segment. The other styles of
> learners will be left out in the cold by using this method alone.
> However, the computer industry has a higher than average proportion of
> people who AREN'T the traditional verbal learners. Many are intuitive,
> or tactile (like me), etc. As a rule, these folks learn better by DOING,
> TOUCHING, and PLAYING with something. Furthermore, computer training
> almost certainly requires some level of hands-on learning, whether you
> like it or not.
> My point: traditional classroom training is geared for the majority of
> the population, so it's considered "successful" (even thought it doesn't
> really reach the other 25%). CBTs aren't. CBTs tend to vary greatly
> based on who wrote them. The information may be right, and thorough, but
> if it is strictly verbal, for me, I won't get anything out of it. I need
> to click buttons and learn by breaking.
> Now, if CBTs could be tailored for ALL the different types of learners,
> (as classroom training OUGHT to be), I think they would be hugely
> successful. For example, the tactile learner, when faced with new
> software, tends to click buttons and watch to see what happens. The
> manual remains untouched, and if the system crashes, he just boots back
> up. The visual learner, OTOH, enjoys those animated examples that
> simulate the mouse moving for him, and learns by watching lots of full
> examples. These folks have learned best by looking over someone's
> shoulder. The intuitive learner is esily confused and frustrated by
> inconsistent results, etc. etc. Maybe the audio learner would have
> trouble with CBT. It isn't the *words* they listen for, it's the
> inflection, gestures, facial expressions, speech cadences, etc. that
> they get the most out of. Other than full video CBTs, these folks might
> suffer from CBT.
> In my experience with training, when I was teaching a class full of
> people with natural computer skills, my role was limited to introducing
> the concept, outlining the steps, then standing by to answer questions
> as the students played. There weren't many questions about the software.
> For non-"computer people" a more traditional approach worked better, and
> hands-on work took a LOT of hand-holding. I think that for these folks,
> the CBTs of the past have been sorely inadequate.
> Like we all know, tech writers must Know Thy Audience, which generally
> means know your audience's technical proficiencies. Trainers. OTOH, need
> to know the technical levels of their students, AS WELL AS be able to
> recognize and adapt to the different learning styles. My question is,
> can CBT really do all of that?
> Kimberly
> Atlanta GA
> ______________________________________________________
> Get Your Private, Free Email at

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