One of the most common training is computer-based training because technology is becoming more available and easier to use. Similarly, traditional training practices cannot be replaced entirely using technological solutions because the aspect of human interaction is still important. However, looking at the training technologies and what they can offer and how they can supplement the current programs or develop new ones is very important (Gibson, Angelis, & McNab, 2014). Training technologies range from the simplest programs (text-only and CD-ROM programs) to the most complex programs (multimedia and virtual reality programs).
i. Text-Only Programs
In text-only format, this simple training program offers self-paced training, individualized training and offers interactive features. These programs use simple formats to effectively present complicated concepts and information in a comprehensible manner.
These types of programs offer trainers a variety of off-the-shelf programs for training employees and cover a broad range of topics on workplace issues that are available on CD-ROM. Training consultants can also create programs to fit the specific needs as specified by the leadership of an individual departments or a particular organization.
These are complex training programs that provide stimulating graphics, animation, audio, and even video available in DVD format. Multimedia is challenging and provocative which makes it more stimulating to the minds of adults (Gibson, Angelis, & McNab, 2014). Although costly compared to CR-ROM and Text-only programs, it is worth the cost.
iv. Virtual reality
These programs are three-dimensional as well as interactive, helping achieve the training objectives. Most of these types of training programs are available in the form of a simulation. It is effective hands-on experience training that carries no actual performance risks, for example, flight simulators. This type of training in form of simulation has been used for a long time to successfully train military and airline pilots in decisive flying skills and to prepare pilots for any emergency situations that can arise in either a safe or a turbulent environment
Advantages of computer-based training (CBT) Programs
CBT programs are often be customized. They also help employees to develop as well as practice new essential skills. CBT programs help a lot in refresher training and can be used in self-directed learning (Gibson, Angelis, & McNab, 2014). Lastly, some of the CBT programs may be cost-effective especially where a program and equipment can be shared by several employees.
CBT programs are also flexible as trainees can learn at a time which is convenient for them and at their own pace. These training programs are available all through for employees to use them for learning. Regardless of the shift that an employee is assigned to work, training using the CBT programs is always available.
Some CBT training programs are very interactive. These programs require trainees to respond to questions, provide choices as well as experience different consequences depending on the choices they make. This kind of interaction results in better comprehension as well as retention. Additionally, the CBT training programs are uniform and this brings about the possibilities that the training will be standardized (Gibson, Angelis, & McNab, 2014). The programs are also measurable.
Using computers for training makes it possible to effectively track what the entire group of employees has experienced and learned right from the computer-based programs. Lastly, most of the programs provide post-tests to help determine if the employee has understood what has been taught in training (Gibson, Angelis, & McNab, 2014). Trainers obtain statistics from the scores and use them to evaluate the training.
Gibson, W. A., Angelis, D., & McNab, R. M. (2014). Implications of Using Computer-Based Training on System Readiness and Operating & Support Costs.
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