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The Internet will sound the death-knell of classroom-based IT training courses. By the year 2002 it will all be over and all such courses will be Web-based, according to the research giant IDC. In its report Online vs. On-site: To What Extent Can Live Instruction Be Replaced?, IDC says the Web-based training market is growing at an annual rate of more than 50 per cent. The traditional classroom approach will peak next year, the report says, and then tail off. Sheila McGovern, IDC senior research analyst said: "There are many benefits to Web-based training over traditional methods. Perhaps the greatest advantage is that Web-based training provides the rapid distribution of timely information." The report also says that using the Web allows for a uniformity of training standards that is hard to achieve in the classroom. Many existing training providers are expected to benefit from the growth in Web-based training, although those who lag behind in the early stages of the market’s development run the risk of being left behind. But it’s not all bad news for those who prefer their teachers to be of flesh and blood. "While the Web-based training market is still in the early stages of development, its future looks very strong, but it is unlikely to replace human instruction," McGovern said. ®

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