Term of Award

Summer 1995

Degree Name

Master of Technology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Industrial Technology

Committee Chair

Keith F. Hickman

Committee Member 1

Joe A. Hahn

Committee Member 2

Charles H. Perry, Jr.


Continuous technological advancements have faced industry with a growing demand for training programs. These technological advancements have also increased the number of training options open to companies. One training option that is increasingly being considered as an alternative to conventional classroom instruction is computer-based training or CBT (Maul & Spotts, 1993). Computer-based training is a 25-year old technology that has made great strides with the introduction of advanced, English-language systems, increased program capacities, computer speed, graphics, and the dramatic increase in the number of microcomputers in use (Ganger, 1994). One branch of CBT that is currently used in many industries is computer simulation (Bone, 1992). Bone also says that computer simulation has helped these companies to remain competitive by helping "new and experienced workers learn or brush up on skills that translate into increased skill and safety" (p. 32 ).

Computer-based training has several advantages over traditional classroom instruction. Some of these advantages are concerned with time such as a reduction in learning time, the computer-based training program is available to the students at their convenience, and the training program is self-paced. Other advantages are a result of the trainee working in a simulated computer environment. These advantages include factors such as a reduction in exposure to hazardous work areas, reduction of potential harm to the equipment by inexperienced operators, and objective monitoring and assessment of the trainees' performance and progress by the simulation.

Computer simulation is one area of CBT and with the arrival of more powerful microcomputers, an increasing number of industries are developing and designing realistic computer-based simulations for training purposes (Blumstein & Boyer, 1991). Also as Goodyear (1991) stated, computer-based simulations have found a "secure niche" in education and examples of its use can be found "in most curriculum areas and suited to most age levels" (p. 99).

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