CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

A Comparison of Internet Training Programs with Traditional Classroom Instruction for Local Government Employees

Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Maxine S. Cohen

Committee Member

S. Rollins Guild

Committee Member

George K. Fornshell

Abstract

Software training is increasingly becoming more important to local governments and their employees. Many local governments are not using modem technology to fully take advantage of better and lower cost methods of doing business. Local governments operate from taxpayer funds and are always highly scrutinized on the spending of those funds. Thus, having the latest computers or the latest software has not been high on the priority lists for many local governments around the nation. Local governments can no longer ignore the technology available, and they are beginning to take advantage of these technologies to improve efficiency and production. This study will focus on how technology can be utilized to improve software training for local government employees. The traditional ways of acquiring software training by sending employees off to various training schools has become expensive and inefficient.

In this study, an experiment will be conducted on two different training methods, traditional classroom instruction and computer based training (CBT) via an Intranet Training Program. The experiment and testing will be conducted in Hillsborough County, located in the West-Central part of the state of Florida, using local government employees (N=40). In the testing phase of the experiment, twenty subjects were given tests on specific timetables, seven days and thirty days, after completing several traditional classroom software courses. Also, a second group of twenty subjects were given tests at seven days and thirty days after completing several computer -based training courses via the company's intranet. The two types of training methods were evaluated for employee/student performance and retention of material learned.

Based on the findings of the research, the study concluded that Intranet Training Programs significantly improve the ability of a local government employee to learn software programs more effectively than through traditional classroom instruction. The study also found that starting an Intranet Training Program and maintaining its operation was more cost effective to a local government organization than to continually send employees to local training schools.

Finally, local government employees that were trained via an Intranet Training Program, were found to have learned the course at a faster pace than those that attended traditional classroom lecture, and maintained achieved higher level of knowledge retention.

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