Computer-Based Training in Higher Learning  'Literature Review' chapter

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :

The instructor does sit with the student when he or she is training with the devices the FAA approves for the educational computer training. Sometimes a separate computer is used during this process, but the teacher is able to monitor and control the student's flight as well as plan out every detail for him or her at that particular time (United States Gernal Accounting Office, 1999).

For those that are educators, they too have noticed trends with computer-based training. The convenience of learning on the Web has stretched all the possible barriers that occur locally and globally. When it comes to distance learning, the Internet is used to deliver material to the learner, such as Word documents or PowerPoints. However, in other online environments, this is provided through hypertext, which allows the learner more opportunities to explore the information provided as well as to have much interactivity (Khalifa & Lam, 2002).


One needs to discuss computer-based training. A variety of articles are available for a person to pick up and learn from in regards to e-learning currently. This field is growing, and the standards are in development as well as for others to agree on the various issues involved. A number of areas are worth considering when it comes to putting together a training program for those in an organizational setting. This begins with having a strategy in place. However, eight steps are crucial to have it run smoothly. These include linking the computer goals to that of the business. Management has to support the idea of it. A person will have to work with the IT department in order to develop and understanding of the baseline in regards to the technology that is provided in the workplace. This also does mean having standards established to make this possible. Through these methods, a plan is developed to handle the change necessary. Specifications are needed in order to determine what one needs to do with the computers for the training. The individuals involved have to figure out how to measure any results from their training program, and then a plan is needed for it to get rolled out for all employees in the company (Poe, 2007).

Over the years, training that is computer-based has strayed from its beginnings. This is because of the economic gains that come from it, which has cost the strategic aspect that goes with it. "Computer-based training has developed into quick-to-sell IT-only content libraries, bland Web course designs, and unfocused, minimally tailored solutions" (Poe, 2007, p.3). An investment in the technology is crucial as a means in which to have experience, so that the content is provided for the student (Poe, 2007).

The navy has found a way in which to convert their traditional classrooms to that of computer-based. This was done in order to make it cost-effective as well as provide a means of learning anytime and place. However, many preivous sstudies have questioned whether or not CBT reduces the instructional quality. The factors that impact this is that of inadequate metrics and how learning is transferred (Bowman, Crawford, & Mehay, 2009).

For the most part, students prefer face-to-face learning to mediated instruction, with "blended solutions" (a combination of the two) as a second choice. The parameters of effective CBT, as identified in the literature, were not present consistently in the SWOS-

at-Sea training. For example, interactivity, collaboration, and a supportive learning community are related to higher satisfaction and achievement, but interviews with SWOs

showed that they did not find the CBT engaging, interactive, or interesting. "Death by PowerPoint" was a common complaint (Bowman, Crawford, & Mehay, 2009).

Many organizations do depend on the OJT for their training in order to have the skills for their job. This does give them a reduction in costs, and the opportunity to transfer what was taught from one dimension to another. Much is in disagreement on what is considered effective (Bowman, Crawford, & Mehay, 2009). "In particular, structured (planned and systematic) OJT is preferred to unstructured OJT because it produces consistent training that ensures that training objectives are achieved" (Bowman, Crawford, & Mehay, 2009). What is considered unstructured is that of the SWOS at-Sea training. On many occasions, the students did feel quite frustrated or embarrassed to get put into a position without the necessary skills as well as knowledge to do their job well. Many did not believe that they were valued because of the poor training received; consequently, this was a deciding factor on whether or not they would remain in the Navy (Bowman, Crawford, & Mehay, 2009).

With all the research that is out there on the market, one has to mention current results. "The average affect size comparing Web-based instruction to conventional classroom instruction was .24, which means the 'average' student moved from the 50th to the 59th percentile" (Wisher & Olson, 2003, p. 7). With the small amount of studies that are available, the effect size tends to range from -.4-1.6. Earlier, this was considered much larger (Wisher & Olson, 2003). "In terms of instructional effectiveness, it appears that current practices in Web-based instruction lead to an improvement in learning compared to the classroom" (Wisher & Olson, 2003, p.7). However, when it comes to looking at the central tendency, this tends to fall short in regards to the traditional method. What is needed is to consist of having more research done in order to come up with a plausible conclusion (Wisher & Olson, 2003).


Computer-based technology has shaped the way everyone lives in society today. People are able to use it for training purposes in every industry, especially that of military, higher education and the government. Not enough research is done on the effectivness of this topic because this is considered quite subjective. At least this is from those that have conducted the studies needed to find out how well the computer has helped or hindered employees in the workplace setting (Kulik & Kulik, 1991). "To reach general conclusions reviewers must take into account the results from numerous studies carried out in different places" (Kulik & Kulik, 1991, p.8).

In fact, many evaluators have conducted many studies on whether or not these computer-based trainings actually do work. They can have many benefits that are produced from it. "It would be pointless to judge all CBI programs by a single outcome study as it would be to judge all textbooks, lectures, or films by a single comparison" (Kulik & Kulik, 1991, p.8). According to the reviews, the outcomes is generally positive. This is because the effectiveness is indicated by the teaching, which does manage to save the student much needed time. Furthermore, many of the learners were able to master the material, and that at least 94% favored this procedure (Kulik & Kulik, 1991).

A number of issues are worth mentioning. For example, an individal could risk having sprains and strains from the repetitive use of the computer use, and this could cost his or her employer much because of it (Wilcox, 1989). Not only that, but also the fact that people will have less interaction depending on the type of programs one is using at that time for their training, such as tutorial or self-paced (Williams & Zahed, 1996). These can hinder how much someone is motivated to stick with the program for their educational endeavors. Regardless, people may not finish what was started tu to the lack of interaction with others (Poe, 2007).

The trends show that computer software has taken away from the learning aspect of computer-based training. At least 10% are interested in this particular pedagogy, but the majority prefer the traditional approach (Information Design, Inc., 2004). However, the majority of professions are taking part in this opportunity to train their employees, especially those that are military-based, government, private and public (Bowman, Crawford, & Mehay, 2009). People are interested in learning how to get better at computers, and the necessary skills needed to transfer their knowledge from one location to another within and outside of a given company (Williams & Zahed, 1996).


Bowman, W.R., Crawford, A.M., & Mehay, S. (2009). An assessment of the effectiveness of computer-based training for newly commissioned surface warfare division officers. Naval Postgraduate School, 119.

Information Design, Inc. (2004). Issues in web-based training. 5.

Khalifa, M., & Lam, R. (2002). Web-based learning: Effects on learning process and outcome. IEEE Transactions on Education, 7.

Kulik, C.-L. C., & Kulik, J.A. (1991). Effectiveness of computer-based: An updated analysis. Computers in human behavior, 20.

Poe, K.J. (2007). The effectiveness of computer-based training education in corporate training. Bowie State University, 24.

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