Glossary of Training Technology Terms

June 1, 1996
Computer-based training and reference:
CBT allows learning to take place at the desktop, on demand, without the expense and delay of travel.

Testing software:
Provides the means for learners to self-assess their progress or mastery, for instructors to ensure a "level playing field," and for management to measure training effectiveness. Testing software can be provided via generic testing packages, or built into other computer-based training systems.

Electronic performance support tools:
The performance support point of view states that rather than attempting to fill people up with knowledge and skills and then put them to work, companies should instead put them on tasks much sooner and provide the supports that allow them to perform while they develop personal competency. Performance support "tools" are task-focused and modest in scope, but big in impact.

Electronic performance support systems:
Like "tools," only bigger. Performance support systems apply the performance support point of view to major, mainstream business computer systems for customer service, sales, etc. By building coaching and reference support directly into the software application, employees have all the assistance and information they need while doing their jobs. The best systems can actually detect when employees make mistakes and give them immediate feedback and suggestions.

Distance learning:
In addition to satellite broadcast, many other approaches to long-distance learning have emerged recently. Most significant among these is the World Wide Web and its corporate "Intranet" sites.

Interactive direct broadcast television:
There's nothing better than direct broadcast to reach a large, dispersed audience in a short time. But for training purposes, the approach has suffered by not interactively engaging participants. Using a remote-response keypad system of individual keypads and microphones, such as One-Touch, changes all that. Now, when an instructor asks a question, everyone has the opportunity to answer it.

SOURCE: Prepared with the assistance of Stanley E. Malcolm, founder of Performance Vision, Marlborough, Connecticut.

Personnel Journal, June 1996, Vol. 75, No. 6, p. 124.