Web-Based Training

What Does Web-Based Training Mean?

Web-based training (WBT) is an internet browser-based learning which is also available on local intranet. WBT technologies include streaming audio/video, webinars, forums and instant messaging.


WBT is applied by organizations varying in industry and genre, including the military, elementary/secondary schools, colleges, universities and law enforcement. However, this should not be confused with E-Learning 2.0.

WBT has many aliases such as e-learning, Internet-based training (IBT) and distance learning.

Techopedia Explains Web-Based Training

In the 1960s, WBT was introduced by Stanford University instructors experimenting with computer-based elementary math and reading classes. By the early 1990s, college instructors delivered lectures, tutorials and learning assessment projects via email. By the mid-1990s, computer projectors started appearing on computer classroom ceilings as technology-based course development continued throughout U.S. colleges and universities.

The Internet and multimedia serve as core vehicles for the modern WBT. Popular WBT sectors include education, consulting, content management, technology, services and customer service.

In the U.S., WBT is offered in K-12, university and graduate school settings in traditional classrooms, homes or other locations. Public cyber schools offer synchronous and asynchronous classes depending on the availability of the Internet connection. Public cyber students must fulfill regular work submission requirements online, and the teachers teaching in these institutions must be certified with a relevant certification. Furthermore, the advantages of such schools include customized scheduling, broad course selections and individualized training opportunities.

A 2009 Ambient Sight Research reported that 44 percent of post-secondary students are enrolled in online offered courses.

Projections for 2014 shows that this number will rise to 81 percent.

About half of the colleges and universities offer online classes as this kind of distance education decreases learning costs.

WBT however, is expected to rise in use to such an extent that even leading research universities are willing to offer online doctoral programs.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.