Computer Based Training (CBT) or Computer Assisted Instruction or Tutorials refers to the process of learning not taught in the traditional classroom manner. Here, computers with special software applications teach the student.
The advantage of this system of learning is that the student can learn at his own speed. This means quick learners can go ahead without worrying about taking average students with him, or waiting until they understand the concepts of each lesson. Similarly, slow learners can also work at their own pace without feeling nervous or ashamed at their pace of learning.
A student can learn anything from this kind of learning-languages, maths, history, computer-related programs, corporate training, customer support and project management, to name a few. However, it has the capacity of adapting itself to any subject across all disciplines and can be done in any language of the world. This form of learning has its roots in the aviation industry which gave it "wings". In the 1980s, it was introduced for pilot training programs in order to reduce pilot training costs and avoid the problem of safety in on-site training.
A few years later, the power of CBT was seen by educational institutes and the corporate market where text-based instructional manuals served as lessons to teach students how to complete particular lessons. However, at that time, CBT could not make a grand entry into the market as it did not have the support of computers, which were in the growth stage itself, making it difficult to make an entry into the classroom. Without appropriate technological support such as full multimedia, which included audio and video, it was difficult to take this concept forward, though bursting with potential.
With the advent of new technology, the quality of CBT courses also improved and by the late 90's, CBT had all the necessary components-video, streaming audio and topics from different industries and subjects.
Universities all over the world now saw merit in this method and chose it over traditional classroom teaching. Students who couldn't attend classroom sessions could now take online classes comprising video lectures and practice exams. While students explored this novel idea, the employed got a second chance to upgrade their skills and have a better career. Besides, students with learning disabilities also took online courses at their own pace.
But for the rest of the student community, CBT courses have made it possible to study anything at any age anywhere.