Computer-Based Training courses use computers to deliver both instruction and testing. Use CBT to train people on how to use computers instead of classroom lectures or seminars. CBT courses for computer training usually include examples, demonstrations and simulations. CBTs allow students to practice on the computer system without worrying about breaking something. Students usually can take courses as many times as they want at their convenience and their own pace. CBTs also can serve as a refresher course for students who forget how to accomplish a computer task. Making your own CBT software to provide computer training courses typically involves using authoring software or writing your own programming code.
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Analyse your training needs. Conduct an audience and task analysis to determine what computer tasks your students need to complete. Identify any prerequisite skills and knowledge students should have before beginning your course so you can list that information on your CBT introductory screen.
Design your CBT instruction. Create a course outline and learning objectives. CBT courses typically include several lessons, each consisting of text, graphics and practice exercises. Provide details on how to move from screen to screen, get help on taking the course, access the course menu and exit from the course. Include a pretest to allow students to test their knowledge about course content (for example, computer application usage skills) before they begin. Include a post-test to allow students to assess their skills after taking the CBT.
Develop your content, including demonstrations and simulations. Using recording software, capture computer screens and provide multimedia (audio, video and image) instruction. Create job aids that students can print to review computer task procedures later.
Create your CBT software file using an authoring system or writing your own programming code. Authoring systems such as Lectora, Articulate and Adobe Captivate provide functions that non-programmers can use to generate their own CBT software. Use a general-purpose programming language such as C++ to create your own CBT software. Download templates from the Standard Template Library (see References) to perform functions such as displaying text and graphics, allowing student navigation and judging student input.
Test your CBT software to ensure it functions properly under all supported conditions. Ask a group of students to try out the CBT software, ask for their feedback and incorporate any changes into your CBT course.
Distribute your CBT to students. For example, package your software on CD-ROM or DVD and mail it to students. Students load the software on their computers and take the training at their own pace.
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