Effect of computer based training and testing on structured on–the–job training programs
Agbogo, Adakole Michael
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Human capital is the only resource within an organisation that can learn. Developing high levels of competence in employees is one of the most challenging issues in organisations. Off–the–Job training programs either miss the mark or are too far away from the performance setting to have the desired impact on employee competence. Studies have shown that unstructured On–the–Job Training (OJT) leads to increased error rate, lower productivity and decreased training efficiency, compared to structured On–the–Job Training(S–OJT). The proven efficiency and effectiveness of S–OJT make it especially suitable to meet this challenge. Though S–OJT has been around for a while there has not been a proper integration of technology into the process. Every training approach, including S–OJT, is merely a means to an end, not an end in itself. The use of S–OJT helps to develop consistent appropriate levels of employee competence. When employees have these competencies e.g. better knowledge of the production processes, they can increase productivity, complete projects on time, lower defect rates, or achieve other outcomes of importance. These are the outcomes that matter to the organisation and the effectiveness of S–OJT should be judged from this perspective. Researchers have consistently found that one way to improve learners' success is to increase the frequency of exams. Classes meet for a set number of times. An instructor's decision to give more exams typically means that students have less time for learning activities during class meetings. How then can one have the best of both worlds, increasing the number of assessments and at the same time having enough time for learning activities? This can only be accomplished by integrating computer–based assessment into S–OJT programs. Computer–based testing and training can provide flexibility, instant feedback, an individualised assessment and eventually lower costs than traditional written examinations. Computerised results create opportunities for teaching and assessment to be integrated more than ever before and allow for retesting students, measuring growth and linking assessment to instruction. This research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of integrating computer–based testing and training into S–OJT programs using the Air Separation unit of Sasol Synfuels as a case study. The null hypothesis is used to investigate the draw backs of OJT and S–OJT programs. A framework is also developed for the effective integration of CBT into S–OJT programs.
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