The market has referred to it by many names: e-learning, virtual training, internet-based learning (IBT), or distance learning. No matter how you’ve heard of it, web-based training (WBT) is a recognizable form of learning in the tech world.
Web-based training is a form of online instruction that companies use to deliver on-demand training to internal employees, clients, and business partners anywhere in the world. WBT can make use of virtual instructor-led training, self-paced instruction, or a combination of both through a blended learning environment.
You’ll often see organizations of various industries taking advantage of web-based training systems, including military, colleges, and businesses. These courses usually involve audio streaming, video conferencing, live webcasts, peer discussions, and even interactive elements through virtual IT lab environments.
The Benefits of WBT
The corporate world has embraced virtual training labs for several reasons. Thanks to the power of the cloud, web-based training is far more convenient, accessible, and cost-efficient than its physical counterpart.
- It does not require instructors or participants to travel for a class since everything is available online.
- It can incorporate many types of media, from interactive quizzes to PowerPoint presentations.
- It still allows students to contact each other for discussion or instructors for clarification during lessons.
- It’s flexible, allowing companies to apply updates to existing content quickly.
- It’s scalable, so additional participants, classes, and instructors can easily be added.
Most of the market has accepted that online instruction is the future of corporate training, so modern businesses should look to adopting this new technology as often as possible.
Virtual Training Best Practices
To receive the full benefit of WBT, consider these tips before implementing your own web-based training program:
- Include hyperlinks to critical information in the lesson.
- Deploy live presentations with extensive use of images and videos. Humans are naturally visual learners, after all.
- Implement interactive components to your lessons through virtual environments.
- Keep records of class materials and allow students to access them at any time.
- Have staff members ready to answer questions outside of regular class time.
There’s no single formula for the ideal online training system. Let your company experiment with its options to see what works best for your employees, partners, and clients.
Web-Based vs. Cloud-Based
The terms “web-based” and “cloud-based” are usually interchangeable, but there’s a minor difference that’s worth understanding.
In a cloud-based class, your service provider owns the servers where the data for the course exists. Users access the training through a private login. Under this subscription model, the vendor handles overhead costs, such as security, maintenance, equipment, and more.
In a web-based class, the materials could be stored on your provider’s servers, but that’s not always the case. If you choose to host the content on your own local servers, the cost of implementation may be lower if you already have existing infrastructure to support it. Users might access classroom materials through local Intranet.
Learning Management Systems: A Web-Based Training Platform
Adopting a learning management system (LMS) is likely the most significant investment into web-based training software that your company will ever make. An LMS allows you to administer, track, report, and deliver online training programs more effectively.
A LMS serves as a central point where all of your training resources are housed. Your IT teams can create specialized lessons that highlight new features, test ideas, and provide hands-on training without the need for a student to be on site.
LMSs pair perfectly with web-based training systems because it allows your organization to transition essential training programs into the cloud, reducing costs, improving scalability, and the effectiveness of the training programs you deliver.