advances in technology-based training





Bradford S. Bell and Steve W.

J. Kozlowski

Chapter Topics

Environmental factors pushing companies to adopt technologybased training

Different technology-based training applications available in the marketplace

Chapter Topics Continued

Costs and benefits of technologybased training

Factors that influence technologybased training

Guidelines on the effective use of technology to deliver training and meeting human capital development needs

Environmental Factors Influencing

Technology-Based Training


Economic pressures

Work/Life Issues


Training costs can be prohibitive for highly decentralized organizations

Centralized classroom training is not an efficient means of delivering timely training to a global workforce

Technology is more responsive to training needs in this environment

Economic Pressures

Organizations must rely on workplace learning and continuous improvement to remain successful

Companies face tremendous economic pressures to cut costs and increase shareholder value

Economic Pressures Continued

Significant upfront costs

Helps organizations reduce variable costs associated with the classroom

Cost savings in other areas, such as program updating and employees’ time off the job

Work/Life Issues

Employees increasingly desire flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting

Technology-based training can address the logistical problems of the flexible and telecommuting workforce

Technological Advances

Recent advances in computing power and connectivity

Greater bandwidth increases the multimedia capabilities of technology-based training

Technological Advances Cont.

Today’s high-end technologies can increasingly approximate conventional, instructor-led classroom training

Media that support these advanced technologies have become more cost-efficient, reliable, and accessible

Training Technologies

CD-ROM, DVD, and Interactive Video systems

Web-based training

Electronic performance support systems

(EPSS) and intelligent tutoring systems

Distributed interactive simulation (DIS), game-based training environments, and distributed mission training (DMT)

Benefits of Training Technology

Cost Reduction

Reduction in Training Time

Pedagogical Capabilities

Diversity and Accessibility

Other Benefits

Cost Reduction

Technology-based training can deliver a training program for lower cost than more traditional training methods

Reduces or eliminates many of the variable costs associated with the classroom

The up-front costs associated with technology-based training are significant

Reduction in Training Time

Technology-based training often leads to a reduction in the time that individuals spend in training

Less time off the job and greater employee productivity

Employees can learn precisely what they need to know

Pedagogical Capabilities

Highly personalized learning experience

Competency assessments can provide trainees with personalized feedback that is immediate

Training technology can give employees an opportunity to practice using their skills and knowledge in realistic situations

Diversity and Accessibility

Online learning can level social barriers

Increased access to individuals who otherwise may be unable to attend training or classes

Other Benefits

Makes it possible to deliver a consistent message companywide to all trainees or employees

Technology-based training can help create an environment in which learners have more responsibility for their personal success

Costs and Challenges of Training


Learner Choices

Social Environment and Collaboration

Learner Choices

Trainees exit training prior to achieving mastery of the subject

Trainees continue too long and become inefficient

Unwillingness to participate in online courses

Social Environment and


Minimal interactivity and communication capabilities

Does not provide employees with opportunities to socialize and network with their colleagues

Factors Affecting Effectiveness

Training content

Trainee characteristics

Training Content

Content may repeat classroom information (not effective)

Content may be heavily cognitive ignoring other types of training

Content may be a mix of classroom and technology (more flexible)

Trainee Characteristics

Cognitive ability

Goal orientation of the trainee

Prior achievement and knowledge


Openness to new experiences


Leverage the Unique Instructional

Capabilities of Technology

Adopt a Learner-Centered


Create a Supportive Learning



Technology-based training offers the potential to revolutionize training effectiveness

Companies that realize this potential will be better positioned to leverage their human capital for sustained competitive advantage