Tag Archives: Hold On

How do you apply 4MAT to Computer Based Training?

We’ve seen great examples of 4MAT applied to synchronous and asynchronous learning by our clients. The major challenge in CBT is simulating the social interaction that is often missing in these programs. In synchronous, there are many features in most platforms ie webex that allow you to create this. I recently attended a sychronous course in which the facilitator asked us to draw an image that represented the concept of “process” to us. She then showed several line drawings on the screen, each labeled with a number. We were then polled to determine which drawing on the screen was closest to the image we drew. This was a clever way of having 1000+ people participate in an image exercise that explored concept.

In asynchronous, think about how you integrate stories, images and simulated dialogue to create the social experience. 

Underneath the content you are teaching is a core concept that is the key to understanding and applying the information learned. For example, what is the concept underlying division? If you were a third grade teacher, you might reply “sharing”. Think about how you animate the concept, before moving into the content. Identifying and animating the concept is the key to building brain-based online learning.

Some examples of content and possible concepts:

Content-“stuff” we have to teach                            Concept-the bigger idea

Leadership                                                    synergy, accountability, empowerment

Conflict Resolution                                       win-win, alignment

How to Cut Hair                                            weight distribution

Effective Presentation Skills                         energy, connection, authenticity 


The key to creating connection in computer-based instruction is animating the concept. Think about how you can pull from the learner their story, their experiences around the concept being explored. I recall seeing a great example of this in an asynchronous program. The content was emergency procedures. In each department of this company, one individual was responsible for the emergency procedure manual.  The desired outcome was to have the learner thoroughly review the emergency procedures manual for their department. The concept chosen was “preparedness”. The designer created a scenario with the learner viewing a typical employee receiving a panicked phone call that water was leaking from the roof. The employee portrayed on screen could not locate their emergency procedure manual. Phone calls escalated and the general panic really came through in the module.

This could even go deeper by having the learner thing about things they do on a daily basis that enhance their safety and well-being—wearing a seatbelt, taking a multivitamin. In an asynchronous environment, we must encourage the  the learner to imagine themselves in an experience. This draws out the connection to the content.

Does anyone have some great examples of ways to connect learners in CBT? We would love to hear what’s working out there.