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CBT and different learning styles


Until now, designers of computer based training (CBT) have had to work on the basis that their programmes will suit most people's learning preferences most of the time. Tricky. CBT puts out a standardised message, avoiding the vagaries and possible weaknesses of individual instructors. That's the point of it. But how far can it go in adapting to different learning styles?

It seems the breakthrough may be on its way. Since January 1998, a group of six organisations has been carrying out ground-breaking research into a system that adapts the delivery style of CBT material to a user's preferred way of learning.

Spokesman Adrian Snook at VEGA Skillchange - who are developing the training design and courseware components - says they and their colleagues have tried to develop an adaptive learning system that, through the use of Artificial Intelligence, emulates a human tutor. It makes deductions from the user's reactions and then offers prompts in line with its judgement of that user's preferred learning style.

The first result of the research is a ten hour multimedia programme, 'Training in Electrical Systems' on the European CENELEC wwiring regulations. However, the six-member consortium believes that the infrastructure can be applied to many other subject areas.

Take a look at member company Skillchange's website.


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