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1.4 Using technology for training

One of the most vibrant debates among instructional designers concerns the use of technology for training. As students from this course, you will already have a sense of some of the advantages and disadvantages of technology-based training, such as distance learning, and if you are or have been an OU student you are likely to have come across computer simulations, webinars and certainly online discussion forums (synchronous and asynchronous). It used to be assumed that technology-based training would be cheaper than face-to-face methods. However, both empirical and anecdotal evidence suggest that any savings associated with reduced travel costs and facilitator time are normally offset by increased spending on IT equipment and support (Kraiger, 2003).

One technology-based approach that is attracting a lot of attention among theorists, practitioners and in the media is MOOCs (massive open online courses). MOOCs are designed for unlimited participation and open access via the web, and are built around the principle of sharing knowledge and resources.

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