Computer Based Training: Everything You Need to Know
Even before Covid-19 turned the way we work upside down, the move was being made towards computer based training in business and education across the United States. Computer Based Training, or CBT, is a way of teaching that centers around the use of digital technology in lieu of in-person instruction; frequently involves a Learning Management System (LMS), and can be done remotely.
Computer Based Training vs Web Based Training
Is there a difference between computer based training and web based training? Nope, they’re basically the same thing. The two terms are referring to instruction that relies on digital technology and distance learning instead of an in-person presentation or a classroom setting. In some cases, when a person or organization refers to “web based training” they may actually mean “browser based training.”
A training program that is designed to work in a web browser like Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari is different from a piece of software that needs to be downloaded onto a hard drive in order to be used, and it offers some advantages. The main one is that a browser based training system doesn’t need any downloads; which means it can likely be used on a phone or tablet. The disadvantage is that a browser based training typically requires an active and strong internet connection, and transmitting data over the internet opens up the potential for disruption, either through network failure on behalf of the internet service provider (ISP) or the misbehavior of hackers.
Is Computer Based Training Different Than a Learning Management System?
Computer based training doesn’t have to be done using a Learning Management System (LMS), but it is often better when an LMS is in use. In general, an LMS offers a lot of value when it comes to training. A high-quality LMS gives access to multimodal learning methods and frequently offers a better user experience than a hastily assembled bundle of documents or a recorded presenter reading through a company handbook. To learn more about why an LMS could benefit your computer based training, check out our article on the subject.
What Are The Benefits of Computer Based Training?
The benefits of computer based training are the following: a distributed system, lower costs, time agnostic training, and ease of access.
Distributed System & Ease of Access
First off, a CBT system doesn’t need to get everybody into the same room in order to function. Because basically everyone has access to a computer in today’s age, all your team members can use CBT to train, and you don’t need to juggle different schedules, different availabilities of teachers, and coordinate the availability of a location to pack everyone in to. Since it’s happening remotely through a computer.
Using computer based training is much cheaper because it tends to be evergreen. Create a training module once and it is reusable for as long as the content it teaches stays true and relevant; and retraining is as easy as writing a new document or recording a new video and uploading it into the LMS. As long as you avoid the common mistakes companies using CBT systems sometimes stumble with, you’ll be saving money hand over fist.
Time Agnostic Training
You don’t have to schedule 35 people plus a teacher to all be available at the same time when using computer based training; because it lives online (either on a hard drive or a browser) it can be accessed whenever and wherever. This means your team can do the training when they have the time; making it more flexible and adaptable to their lives.
Who is Computer Based Training Good For?
Computer based training is excellent for businesses and organizations with widely distributed teams (geographically and availability wise) and it is useful for groups that need to train a large and diverse group universally and quickly. Especially with groups of volunteers, being able to send a download link to everyone and giving them a deadline to take the training by, and leaving it at that, is an exceptionally efficient system.
CBT is also good for groups with a regularly training roster of people; whether temp agencies, volunteer organizations or employers with a high turnover rate. Since there’s no need to constantly schedule a teacher or a manager to come in and train (since the training is digital and accessible anytime) keeping a well trained staff is easy.
Popular Computer Based Training Software Applications
If you want to use computer based training in your organization, the most efficient way to implement it is to start using an LMS. An LMS has everything you need to teach and they typically offer functionality that’s useful for larger organizations, like grading, individual feedback and the like. Here are a few great options.
AOM is an LMS that is endlessly customizable and built from the ground up with whatever your organization needs most in mind. It has a free trial, tons of options for different trainings from corporate retraining to employee onboarding, and it has a super up-front pricing schedule without any hidden costs or fees.
Lessonly’s stated mission is to help teams practice, learn, and do better work. They offer a free trial and are aimed more for businesses. You can check out some of the reviews they’ve gotten to see if they sound right for your organization.
Talent LMS is a cloud-based computer training software. It integrates with programs like Zoom to allow teams to meet and train together virtually, and it sports a try-before-you-buy system so you can get your feet wet before diving in.