Human Resource Development: The New Trainer's Guide

By Edward E. Scannell; Les Donaldson | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 8
Computer-Assisted Training

"I'm always ready to learn, although I don't always like
being taught
."

—WINSTON CHURCHILL

Oh God! What's next? I have to keep learning just to keep up with myself. It has been estimated that 60 percent of the new jobs created in America require advanced technical skills; computer proficiency is just the beginning. It is clear that as computers permeate nearly every aspect of our lives, they are transforming the ways in which we work, teach, and learn. A government-sponsored project, Computers for Learning, is placing thousands of computers in classrooms across the nation to teach our children to use computers and contribute to our rapidly expanding economy. Virtually every school in the country reports some use of computers in the classroom. Similarly, organizations of all shapes and sizes are investing in computer-assisted training programs to enhance the skills of their employees and remain competitive. In this chapter, we explore the many facets of computer-assisted training, show you how to build some computer-based lesson plans, and offer a list of teaching-related resources on the World Wide Web.


The Many Values of Computer-Assisted Training

The first use of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) probably evolved from programmed instruction modules, which provided training questions with fill-in-the-answer blanks, followed by the answers. Eventually, this system was advanced to "immediate-answer feedback," permitting the trainee to know in real time whether or not his or her answer was correct. This type of immediate response enhances the learning process by preventing the trainee from internalizing wrong or inappropriate answers while reinforcing positive learning patterns.

Other terms used in the field include computer-based instruction (CBI), computer‐ based training (CBT), and computer-mediated learning (CML). Examples of how these programs have been used in training may be found at www.computers.fed.gov. Other terms you may encounter include "programming aid" (a visual or text-based

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