Computer-Based Training

Computer-based training (CBT), also called computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is a type of education in which the student learns by executing special training programs on a computer. CBT is especially effective for training people to use computer applications because the CBT program can be integrated with the applications so that students can practice using the application as they learn.

The first general-purpose system for computer based learning was the PLATO System developed at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.The Plato system evolved with the involvement of Control Data who created the first authoring software used to create learning content. The authoring software was called Plato. The Science Research Council then wrote the first CAI system of Math for K-6. Wicat Systems then created WISE as their authoring tool using Pascal and developed English and Math curriculum for K-6. The very first complete CAI classroom for K-6 students was set up at the Waterford Elementary School in Utah using the Wicat system. The first public CAI classroom with its own layout and design was implemented with the Wicat System by Baal Systems (later known as Virtual Systems) in Singapore as a joint operation between Wicat and Baal. It is from this design that all the computer learning centers globally evolved which were forerunners of e-learning.

Historically, CBTs growth has been hampered by the enormous resources required: human resources to create a CBT program, and hardware resources needed to run it. However, the increase in PC computing power, and especially the growing prevalence of computers equipped with CD-ROMs, is making CBT a more viable option for corporations and individuals alike. Many PC applications now come with some modest form of CBT, often called a tutorial.[citation needed]

Organizations such as SkillSoft, Thomson NETg and are leading innovators in the design and development of CBT in the commercial world.