HR technology is changing at such a rapid pace, that it’s a challenge to stay on top of it all. What, for example, is computer-based training (CBT) and how is it different from in-person training and web-based training? We’re going to use this space to break it all down. If you work in Human Resources Management (HRM) or are part of an L&D team, this blog post is for you.
What is Computer-Based Training?
Computer-based training, also known as eLearning, is training delivered via computer instead of in a traditional instructor-led, classroom environment. It is widely considered to be more cost-effective, convenient, and flexible than in-person training. In the early days of CBT, in order to use the software, you had to be tethered to a desktop computer. But web-based training platforms, which enable anywhere, anytime access, are gaining in popularity throughout corporate America. Nowadays, CBT tends to be delivered over the web via online training portals, such as a learning management system (LMS).
Computer-Based Training in HRM
CBT is used by corporate HRM teams to onboard and train new sales reps, simplify compliance, and provide training around new product rollouts.
By 2024, the eLearning market in the U.S. is expected to grow by up to $22 billion, said research firm Technavio in its latest report. The shift to mobile-based learning, or mLearning, which has enabled trainers to deliver CBT courses and content to remotely based employees, is in large part spurring the growth. “The cost-effectiveness of e-learning solutions will further boost market growth during the forecast period,” said an analyst fromTechnavio.
There are several advantages of computer-based training over more traditional training methods. Here are a few key ones to consider:
The costs associated with in-person training can be significant, including instructor fees, teaching materials, travel, and coordination time. CBT, by contrast, is conducted in-house, saving both time and money. With a computer-based training system, an unlimited number of learners can be accommodated without incurring additional costs.
Face-to-face learning still has its time and place, but generally speaking, participants absorb and retain more information via eLearning, because it is considerably more stimulating and engaging.
CBT represents a shift toward employee-centered training that puts the employee in the driver’s seat. Increased learner autonomy and control can increase employee engagement and knowledge retention.
More recent iterations of CBT emphasize immersive technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and gamification, which can be accessed via smartphones – allowing employees to be untethered to their desktop computers.
Convenience and Flexibility
Classroom-based corporate training can be slow, time-intensive, and less effective. Modern learners expect training to be easy to access, fast, and convenient. CBT allows learners to train at their own pace via customized learning paths, and then receive timely, valuable feedback. The need for training flexibility and convenience has always been a priority, but in the wake of COVID-19, it is more pronounced than ever.
Reporting and Analytics
To deliver optimized training programs, L&D teams need access to real-time data. Modern computer-based training software, such as an LMS, is being used by a growing number of companies to simplify paperwork, track and assess individual and group training progress, ensure quality control, and evaluate and validate program effectiveness.
An ongoing concern of HR is that in-person training is often delivered inconsistently. Instructors are not robots; the pedagogical approach and content may differ significantly from trainer to trainer. This makes it difficult to standardize the delivery of in-person training and to ensure quality across the board. Computer-based training, by contrast, is easy to standardize, ensuring that all employees interact with the same learning material.
Elements of Success
Let’s get practical now and look at computer-based training methods. What are the ingredients for a successful CBT program? Here are three important ones:
The key to learning a new skill is, of course, practice, practice, practice. To ensure comprehension and retention, repetition is essential. Your CBT program should include drill and practice exercises, which help employees to review and refresh what they just learned, so it is more likely to take hold. Incorporate problem-solving exercises to sharpen employees’ linear and critical thinking skills.
How-to tutorials are usually instructor-led sessions that leverage digital and multimedia technology to create a more engaging experience. They are often followed by quizzes to assess and reinforce employees’ comprehension of the material.
A particularly useful feature of computer-based training is the ability to design simulated training scenarios, which allow employees to step into and experience a real-world situation, virtually. Adding games or gamified elements to the training environment can significantly enhance engagement and memory. The hospitality and restaurant industries, among others, are known for effectively using simulations as part of their recruitment strategy.
CBT vs. WBT
While CBT is still a popular approach, web-based training (WBT) is the next – and increasingly popular – evolution of training. WBT is delivered and administered through an online learning portal like an LMS and powered by browser-based software as a service (SaaS) technology. This means employees can receive immersive, media-rich content via their favorite digital device, whenever and wherever they choose, without being tethered to a desktop computer.
Though WBT is an evolution of CBT, it’s worth noting they have significant differences. CBT courses are accessed offline, for example, meaning users don’t have to contend with connectivity problems, bandwidth limits, and online distractions. Another difference is that CBT courses don’t allow for blended learning or collaboration. Because it’s deployed on-premise, traditional computer-based training software can only be accessed by authorized users.
Maximize Your CBT with World Manager
Moving forward, take care in bringing together a cross-section of in-house experts to drive your CBT program, and take equal care in selecting the best computer-based training software for your needs.
Get to know the World Manager LMS. This robust, easy-to-use training portal is the ideal delivery system for your CBT program. Book a demo to learn how the World Manager LMS can supercharge your company’s employee training. Contact Us today!