Electronic learning or e-learning is an umbrella term for learning enhanced by the use of computers. To make this happen efficiently, there are many technologies in use, such as CBT and WBT.
Computer Based Training (CBT)
CBT is a new-age way of learning. It is a form of education in which a student learns by using special training programs while on a computer. This system worked well in the pre-Internet days, but with the explosive use of the Internet, the scope of CBTs is forced to expand. It has several advantages over traditional classroom learning methods and over self-taught books.
Advantages of CBT:
- The learner can think, respond and give feedback on the subject.
- It offers a stimulating environment where the learner can learn at his own pace.
- A learner can take the course at his convenience without any expense of time or travel.
- By being accessible to the widest audience at multi-locations, it is cost-effective for the learner.
- It can be custom-designed for specific industries, and can also be conveniently used by the physically challenged.
- CBTs also save organizations instructor costs, costs of arranging training and travel and learners travel costs and time.
- Busy IT professionals can get their certifications without the hassle of travelling to a classroom.
- Through CBTs, employees can keep abreast with ever changing technology.
- CBT technology also breaks down complex software into bite sized modules for easy and quick understanding.
Web Based Training (WBT)
This is a subset of CBTs in which the material is made accessible on the Internet by applying Web technologies. Typically, it has text and graphics, animation, audio and video, and needs additional bandwidth and software to work optimally. WBT is also referred to as “online courses” and “Web-based instruction”.
It presents the latest content of any topic that can be modified and is set in a framework of self-directed and self-paced instruction. It can also be evaluated and adapted, without a computer platform.
Advantages of WBT:
- Training to users is very easily delivered
- WBTs can be either in the form of individual or group training
- Multi-platform capabilities are possible, such as Windows, Mac, UNIX, PDA, phone, among others
- Content can be easily updated
- Finished product has a quicker turnaround
- Requires minimal technical support
- Billing options comprise user ID, number of accesses, date/time of access
- Access can be controlled
- Can be linked with other training systems
- The Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) can multitask