Web-Based Training: Benefits and Obstacles to Success

Characteristic of education via the World Wide Web as an innovative approach to distance learning. Analysis of components for effective instruction. Study of advantages and disadvantages of asynchronous and synchronous classrooms for web-based training.

Рубрика Педагогика
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Язык английский
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Web-Based Training: Benefits and Obstacles to Success

О. Баширов (г. Кишинёв, Молдова)

We pretended to become smarter when internet first appeared, then we created social networks, and our originally purpose turned into chaos. But still, some of us survived tension and temptation, and made the internet useful, fast, affordable and smart. As a result, today we are talking about efficiency of Web Based Training. Advances in information technology, coupled with the changes in society, have created a new paradigm for the training system. Education and training via the World Wide Web are growing rapidly. This kind of training could be defined as the use of the Internet for the delivery of designed, structured learning experiences. It is an innovative approach to distance learning in which computer-based training (CBT) is transformed by the technologies and methodologies of the World Wide Web, the Internet, and intranets. Web- based training (WBT) presents live content, as fresh as the moment and modified at will, in a structure allowing self-directed, self-paced instruction in any topic. At the same time, it is an ideal vehicle for delivering training to individuals anywhere in the world at any time. Web based training represents a new way of teaching, that today is really patent and up-to-date, however, it is important to realize that information does not mean knowledge. So, for a better quality of learned, the best way to enhance lore, is to have a teacher, a guide that would surely give knowledge, but not only information. Internet, with a competent master can become a weapon not only against stupidity, but also against boredom. Furthermore, computer cannot speak. It would never give you a human answer, and would never express emotions. In learning a foreign language, to note is that the right emphasis can give only a man, robots are not very good at it.

Various kinds of apparatus are applied in acoustic phonetics for analyzing the acoustic structure of speech sounds and prosodic phenomena. Besides the spectrograph, the oscillograph and the electro-acoustic synthesizer there are different computer programs that can be used for the same purpose. Sound Forge is a program developed with input from sound editors, musicians, multimedia designers and various other personnel from sound industries. Hence it can be a useful program for different applications where sound recording is required. English language teachers can use it creatively as well. It can be used to record texts, songs, or just words and try to analyze their spectra on which the acoustic classification of speech sounds is based. More and more computer science majors are encouraged to get involved in different projects aimed to develop a text-to speech synthesizer or a speech recognized as part of the course in computational phonology. D. Jurafsky and J. H. Martin define these areas as follows: «The core task of automatic speech recognition is to take an acoustic waveform as input and produce as output a string of words. Conversely, the core task of text-to-speech synthesis is to take a sequence of text words and produce as output an acoustic waveform.» [3, p.399] However, even with performant devices, human voice cannot be totally/perfectly repeated, there are some languages that are especially capricious, but still beautiful, that electronics cannot admit. Also the sound that we hear from computer is deceptive and not very clear. Some pronouncements seem to be simple, but in reality they are not that easy. That is why a teacher is irreplaceable in learning a foreign language, as well the word order are read are not always right, so, if you are new in a language and do not know what is the words order, do not trust mechanics, it would be better to consult a teacher. Advances in computer network technology and improvements in bandwidth will usher in capabilities for unlimited multimedia access. Web browsers that support 3-D virtual reality, animation, interactions, chat and conferencing, and real-time audio and video will offer unparalleled training opportunities. With the tools at hand today, we can craft highly effective Web Browsers Training to meet the training needs of a diverse population. The current focus of WBT development is on learning how to use the available tools and organize content into well-crafted teaching systems. Training designers are still struggling with issues of user interface design and programming for high levels of interaction. WBT has many aliases such as e-learning, computer-based training (CBT), computer- based Learning (CBL), Internet-based training (IBT) and distance learning. The Internet and multimedia serve as core vehicles for the modern WBT. The most common approach used for computer and Internet- based education is the cognitive approach. Four components are required for effective instruction:

• Information presentation

• Learner Guidance

• Practice with Feedback

• Learning Assessment

The flexibility of time, place, and programs offered via Web training is appealing to learners who are trying to balance school with work and home responsibilities. They can mix modes of instruction, even accumulating college credits and meeting residency requirements for degrees. Given the choice, increasing numbers of learners are taking distance education courses, often congruently with their on-campus coursework. Community residents who wish to engage in lifelong learning are finding many options available to them via the Internet. Online learning communities such as Senior Net make it possible for learners of any age to connect with people in a variety of geographic locations who have the same interests and needs, thus eliminating many of the barriers imposed by physical limitations and age [4, p.29]. Virtual classrooms are of two types:

Asynchronous and synchronous. education training innovative

Asynchronous classrooms allow students and instructors to engage in collaborative learning activities without being online at the same time. They are well suited to develop skills that require analysis, synthesis, and evaluation Asynchronous situations, such as mailing lists and newsgroups, have been found to facilitate teacher-level discussion of issues, opportunities for student contact, and teacher-student interaction, the latter setting soon taking on the characteristics of a virtual classroom. The asynchronous context gives students time to read, understand, and respond, without the pressure of real-time interaction [1, p. 23-24].

Synchronous classrooms are more reflective of the traditional classroom as they allow the instructor and student to be online at the same time brainstorming, questioning, discussing, and debating. E-mail, online forums, bulletin boards, chat rooms, and discussion groups are a few of the tools available to students in these classrooms. But synchronous interaction is also being used, both as a straightforward chat-group and as a virtual world. One chat procedure uses split-screen techniques, in which a message from a student typed onto the bottom half of the screen is seen by any other students involved in the exercise on the top half of their screens, with messages listed in the order in which they are received. [5] While this procedure can take place in a local environment, the Internet widens the options considerably. The educational benefits that we had mentioned before, where the students were native speakers, are enhanced in a foreign-language-teaching context with students participating more evenly, and teachers exercising a less dominant role. Finally, the Web offers an unprecedented array of opportunities for both students and teachers. Whatever complaints there may have been in the past, over the lack of availability of «authentic materials», there must now be a general satisfaction that so much genuine written data is readily available, with spoken data on the horizon. Indeed, the pedagogical problem is now the opposite -to evaluate and grade what is available, so that students are not overwhelmed. Blogging has extended the range of opportunities. Another benefit is that the Web can put learners in contact with up-to-date information about language, especially through the use of online dictionaries, usage guides, and suchlike -though at present these are in limited supply, with problems of access fees and copyright still awaiting solution in many instances. Websites can provide a greater variety of materials, attractively packed, such as newspaper articles, quizzes, exercises, self-assessment tasks, and other forms, as done essays, done homework, that surely don't allow the student to develop themselves, and make them lazy.

In conclusion we must assert that Web-Based Training is here to stay. Companies can train thousands of employees in interactive sessions that allow for consistency of messages and facilitate the exchange of different insights and perspectives as well as sharing knowledge and asking questions. Teachers can use technological capabilities built into the Web to advance their teaching and learning goals and foster construction of meaning. All learners, business, college, and community - can engage in collaboration with many people or groups as a means of enhancing their learning. These advantages, however, can be realized only when Web-based training is of the same quality as the best classroom instruction.


1. Driscoll M. Web-based Training in the Workplace. Adult Learning 10, no. 4, Summer, 1999. - P. 21-25.

2. Heckler S. Web-based Delusions.Training 36, no. 6, June, 1999. - P. 22-24.

3. Jurafsky Daniel, and James H. Martin. Speech and Language Processing: An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Speech Recognition, and Computational Linguistics. 2nd edition. - Prentice- Hall, 2009.

4. Russell M. Online Learning Communities: Implications for Adult Learning. Adult Learning 10, no. 4, Summer, 1999. - P. 28-31.

5. Wonacott M. E. Web-Based Training and Constructivism. In Brief No. 2. Columbus: National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education, die Ohio State University, 2000.

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