What is a WBT?
Web-based training (WBT) is an innovative approach to distant learning for delivering training to individuals anywhere in the world at any time. WBTs allow for self-directed, self-paced, and media-rich instruction and evaluation independent of the platform used.
WBTs aim to meet the varied training needs of diverse audience having different knowledge levels. Based on the type of content covered and the level of audience that is targeted, WBTs are generally categorized as basic, intermediate, and advanced.
The main feature of WBTs is that they support high level of interactivity by simulating the context environment and providing students with hands-on exercises to test their learning. Audo / video aids and other tools like animations, chat, and conferencing included in WBTs make them an interesting and effective learning experience.
Difference between WBTs and CBTs
Computer-based training (CBT) is another approach to deliver training. The major difference between CBTs and WBTs is that CBTs are delivered on CDs or DVDs. The WBTs are delivered via the Internet or the intranet of the company.
When creating WBTs, you need to consider several design issues. For example, you need to optimize the graphics using JPEG, GIF, or PNG file formats, optimize animation using vector graphics, and use streaming audio and video. Additionally, WBTs should be designed to take care of the security issues, user registration, and payment for registration and purchase.
Irrespective of whether you are developing a CBT or WBT, you need to follow the same design principles for both. For example, you follow the same approach in CBTs and WBTs to develop content, design interface, include interactivity and animations, and include evaluation techniques, feedback generation, and progress tracking features.
However, WBTs definitely have some advantages over CBTs. WBTs are easy to deliver and update on the Intranet/intranet and can run on multiple platforms like Windows, UNIX, MAC, or even wireless devices. Access to WBTs can be controlled by User ID or number of accesses. Additionally, WBTs can be used for both group training and individual training, provide multitasking capability, and require comparatively less technical support than CBTs.
The major disadvantage of WBTs over CBTs is that the speed and performance of WBTs is affected by bandwidth limitations. Limited bandwidth may result in slower loading of the WBT and affects the performance of graphics, video, and sound. However, with the increasing use of broadband Internet options, such as DSL, limited bandwidth is no longer a performance hurdle. Another disadvantage of WBTs is that the WBT provider needs a dedicated resource, such as a Web Administrator or a technical person to take care of the server access, WBT usage, and user billing needs.
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