an essay by
Delano P Wegener, Ph.D.
Computer Based Training (CBT) can be designed and delivered in just about any style we can imagine. The following description of five styles is not intended to be comprehensive, but merely to indicated some of the possibilities available to anyone contemplating a CBT system. Nor are the descriptions intended to be complete, but simply an indication of what one might expect from each of the styles.
The following list of CBT styles is arranged from the simplest to the most complex. This order also reflects teaching effectiveness, effective use of the medium, and cost of production.
Style 1. A simple "page turning" copy of text:
Style 2. A simple "page turning" copy of text with glossary:
Style 3. A simple "page turning" copy of text with glossary and other hyperlinks:
This form of hyperlink does have some significant teaching value. First, it permits the student to very easily "look up" a previously studied concept when it is referenced in the text. Secondly, these hyperlinks make the text behave much like WWW documents.
The fact that many students are comfortable with the WWW and the fact that many students prefer to learn, and learn best, when information is presented in small packets (sound bites are preferred over complete analysis) makes this a better learning environment for many students. The developer must insure that the student is exposed to enough packets of information to achieve the desired level of comprehension.
This CBT style presents more options for interaction than Styles 1 or 2. The student is therefore a more active participant in the teaching/learning process.
Style 4. Multimedia CBT:
When multimedia is high quality, carefully selected, and carefully created, this CBT style is an extremely useful teaching tool. It is important that all media be carefully chosen for its educational value. Media for the sake of media can become irritating to a student and is then counterproductive.
Some of the factors which make this a very effective teaching tool are:
Style 5. Multimedia CBT implementation of the Mastery Based Learning Model:
A description of the Mastery Based Learning Model is long and somewhat technical. The Mastery Based Learning Model has been well tested and proven. I will provide a description and a discussion of related research upon request.