Computer Aided Learning: The way of the Future?

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Computer Aided Learning: The way of the Future?

As you look around at classrooms these days you may notice a trend. Computers are becoming more and more frequent each year. Teachers are using the latest technology to run power point presentations, streaming videos, and simulations that were never possible before. It ha becomes the new hallmark of teaching, allowing teachers to do more then ever thought possible. Companies have jumped on the bandwagon, selling aid to teachers and students. You can buy software for just about anything now a days. I know I had software for the SAT and ACT test that help considerably. But when do we have too much of a good thing?

This is the debate that companies are going through, as well. Companies now have the choice of using normal human training or Computer-based training (CBT). Both have their advantages.

Computer-based Training uses computer programs to teach without aid of a human instructor. Thus, you can get more people "efficiently" trained when they join the company, rather then waiting for the next training session. The premise of CBT, as stated by R. Scott Lawson in "Computer based training: is the next wave?", is an effective training medium. He goes on to say

"Since the trainee directs his/her own progress through the material and actively participates by responding to prompts and questions, s/he pays greater attention to the subject matter." (Lawson sec.1 par.3)

Also in this article Mr. Lawson describes the process of a CBT. The CBT gives a Pre-test. This test judge how much the trainee already knows on the subject matter. This pre-test helps the program customize itself for the trainee. Also test are taken to periodically to test the progress of the trainee. Another advantage of CBT is the bookmark feature. This allows you to stop and start the training at any time and get back to it later. Also you can customize your CBT program with company specific information, videos, and objectives. (Lawson sec. 2)

The hopes of CBT are that the trainees retain the knowledge better then if taught by a human. In the article "Computer training vs. human instruction," by Holly Ann Suzik, Roger C. Schank was quoted as saying, "By and large, [human teachers] stand up in front of you and yak at you. And every body falls asleep. The sense that live humans are better teachers is a nice myth, because we don’t want to change.

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