1.2. WHAT DOES WBT CHANGE?

WBT is part of the biggest change in the way our species conducts training since the invention of the chalkboard or perhaps the alphabet. The development of computers and electronic communications media has removed barriers of space and time. We can obtain and deliver knowledge anytime anywhere.

According to Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, the verb to know used to mean, "having information stored in one's memory. It now means the process of having access to information and knowing how to use it" [7].

WBT does not change how humans learn, but it does change how we can teach them. People learn with WBT pretty much as they have for 50,000 years. But what WBT does change is the economics and capabilities of delivering training. WBT makes it easier and less expensive to produce certain kinds of learning experiences for people at a distance.

The fundamental responsibility of the instructor does not change. Instructors still create an experience that causes someone else to learn. That experience may be a presentation, or it may be a simulation, a game, a field trip, an assigned reading, or a team project.

In WBT, the responsibility to provoke effective learning experiences may be divided. Producing effective WBT is a large job requiring several different skills: instructional design, writing, visual design, programming, and group leadership. The day when one person can comfortably perform all these necessary activities is still a ways off. Till then, the joint ...

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