Computer-Based Training: Useful or Useless? Essay

2355 Words 10 Pages
Computer-Based Training: Useful or Useless?

"The times they are a’changin’" sang Bob Dylan at one of his more profound moments. Oftentimes, it is human nature to resist change no matter what the situation in which the change is taking place. However, change is a fact of life and at a time of boundless innovations in the field of technology, the Information Age, if you will, it is futile to resist it. Unfortunately, that resistance is exactly what is causing many people to see only the disadvantages of computer-based training (CBT), regardless of the enormous amount of benefits the implementation of computer-based training could bring to their companies, their employees, and ultimately, to the bottom line (profit). In an attempt to
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Components of Effective Computer-Based Training:

First of all, as with any sound instructional system, it is important to establish

(1) learning objectives. Without knowledge of desired outcomes of the instruction, the program will likely be unfocused, confusing to end-users, and quite possibly, useless (Janicak, 1999). "Another factor contributing to a well-designed system is (2) the ease with which a trainee is able to navigate through the module" (Dhanjal & Calis, 1999). If it is difficult for an end-user to navigate through a CBT program, the chances of him/her learning anything from the program are slight. Therefore, "…screens should be simple, yet informative. Tool bars and text size should be standardized, and color schemes aesthetically pleasing. Sound files should be used only where necessary for impact, (and) actions should require the trainee to use a mouse in order to move from screen to screen" (Janicak, 1999). In addition, (3) "learning effectiveness is clearly an important aspect of any learning program. To accomplish this, trainees are evaluated through preliminary and post-learning tests" (Dhanjal & Calis, 1999). In other words, effective CBT programs include tests, which are used to measure a learner’s mastery of the material. The incorporation of (4) multimedia, including "…graphics, sound, video, and animation" should also be a consideration when designing CBT