Web-based training (WBT) refers to on-line learning delivered over the
World Wide Web (WWW) via the public Internet or a private, corporate
intranet. Although on-line learning is not actually new—it has been
around since the 1960s—it is the Internet’s user-friendly interface, coupled
with improved technology, that has brought the Web into the mainstream
of current culture.
WBT is one specific delivery method within the larger category of
computer-based training (CBT). Like WBT, the term CBT has evolved
along with technological advancements. Originally, CBT encompassed
any training delivered via a computer, but that did not mean much, and
CBT did not initially develop into the broad category it was intended to
become because there were few practical ways to deliver CBT. In practice,
corporations relied almost solely on CD-ROM because of its ability to
store large, media-rich files, and the term CBT became almost synonymous
with training delivered via CD-ROM.
Therefore, you will hear industry professionals refer to technologydelivered
training as “e-learning.” WBT is one of the most popular forms
of e-learning. WBT includes both synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
Synchronous WBT includes real-time interactions between instructors
and students in virtual classrooms, chat rooms, or on-line
videoconferences. Asynchronous WBT includes the use of on-line lessons
that students can use anytime and anywhere. The most effective WBT
combines both synchronous and asynchronous elements.