an essay by
Delano P Wegener, Ph.D.
There are development tools which permit development of CBT courseware without special skills. In fact, this feature is a major marketing tool for those development tools. Consequently, lots of CBT courseware is developed by persons with no special skills.
Developing good CBT courseware is more than using current technology. Value added to instruction by technology is dependent on how, and to what purpose, it is implemented. Technology by itself does not improve instruction, it is merely another means of delivering good instruction.
It is just as difficult to develop a CBT course as it is to develop that same course in any other form of instruction. The amount of effort and skills devoted to developing a course of instruction, whether CBT or any other form, generally determines the educational quality of that instruction.
For the remainder of this essay it is assumed that the desire is to develop CBT courseware of the highest quality in all respects, but especially high in educational value. Keep in mind that deleting a skill lowers the quality of the finished product but it also lowers the cost of development. It is almost always the case that a compromise must be made; some quality is sacrificed in order to lower the cost and still end up with an acceptable product.
It is also assumed that the desired CBT courseware will include CAI (six modes), CMI (three modes), and CSLR (four modes).
Finally it is also assumed that the desired courseware will be based on established concepts from cognitive science.
It is easiest to think of a team approach for developing CBT courseware, with each team member being responsible for a particular skill. In practice, some individuals will have several of the required skills, but rarely will a single individual possess all of the required skills. In the following list each team member represents a distinct skill. The skills represented here are the most crucial for developing high quality CBT courseware.