What is Web-Based Training?

Web-based training (WBT) is an innovative approach to distance learning in which computer-based training (CBT) is transformed by the technologies and methodologies of the World Wide Web, the Internet, and intranets. Web-based training presents live content, as fresh as the moment and modified at will, in a structure allowing self-directed, self-paced instruction in any topic. WBT is media-rich training fully capable of evaluation, adaptation, and remediation, all independent of computer platform.

Web-based training is an ideal vehicle for delivering training to individuals anywhere in the world at any time. Advances in computer network technology and improvements in bandwidth will usher in capabilities for unlimited multimedia access. Web browsers that support 3-D virtual reality, animation, interactions, chat and conferencing, and real-time audio and video will offer unparalleled training opportunities. With the tools at hand today, we can craft highly effective WBT to meet the training needs of a diverse population. Web-based performance support systems (WBPSS) further help today's busy workers perform their jobs by integrating WBT, information systems, and job aids into unified systems available on demand.

The current focus of WBT development is on learning how to use the available tools and organize content into well-crafted teaching systems. Training designers are still struggling with issues of user interface design and programming for high levels of interaction. Unfortunately, there are few examples of good WBT design visible on the public Internet. As instructional designers and training analysts learn how to write and produce WBT, and as training vendors come to realize the overwhelming advantages of this delivery method, expect an explosion in training offerings available over the public Internet and private intranets.

 

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