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BEST AND WORST TRAINING EXPERIENCES ESSAY

BEST AND WORST TRAINING EXPERIENCES ESSAY

 

Most of us have had to participate in some type of training on our jobs, such as new employee orientation, lunch-and-learn workshops, Employee Assistance Program training, technical skill training, employee benefits update meetings, or management development workshops.  Some of us have experienced on-the-job training.  Others have participated in professional development workshops or skills-based continuing education classes.  Think about the best and worst training experiences you have had.

 

YOUR ASSIGNMENT

 

Write an 8-10 page essay (not including cover and reference pages) analyzing both your best and worst training experiences as an employee.  Be specific in discussing what made the experiences good or bad.  Weeks 4 to 8 cover learning theories, the design of training, training evaluation, transfer of training, and training methods.

 

Your essay should include brief descriptions of the training experiences:

 

The major focus of your paper is your analysis, which is worth 65% of the grade for this assignment.  Your analysis should include:

http://www.astd.org/Certification/Competency-Model

 

The information above should be included in your paper but you are free to organize your essay in whatever way makes sense to you.  You may use the first person (“I attended a program” or “the trainer told us”) in discussing your experiences.  Support your analysis with citations from the readings from this class or other HR courses, and additional resources posted in our classroom.  Make sure you define all key terms and cite the source(s) of your definition.  Since this is not primarily a research paper, no specific number of references is required.  However, you must cite your sources.

 

Use APA format for all citations, quotations, and references.  References should be listed on a separate page as required by APA style.  Your paper should be double spaced with one inch margins and a font size of at least 11 points; do not include any spaces between paragraphs or sections.

 

 

Week 4- Learning Theories:

The ‘Teaching Guide for GSIs’ article on Learning Theories gives us an overview of most of the major learning theories that trainers use in designing training.  For a more comprehensive explanation of the theory, please review the article.

Below are some examples of how learning theories impact the development of training.

Behaviorist Theory assumes that the learner is passive and their behavior can be shaped through positive or negative reinforcement in the training.  In this type of training, the trainer identifies the benefits of the training to the individual.  Some of these benefits might include increased work competency and efficiency, safety, or rewards like promotion or salary increases.  During the training, the trainer focuses on reinforcing positive behaviors through memorization and testing assignments.  Assignment feedback that both focuses on and reinforces the behavior is an integral part of this theory.

Cognitivist Theory, or human information processing theory, assumes that new information can be transformed in a particular way during training which will enable trainees to store it in their memory.  Trainers use the learner’s experience as a basis for the construction of new knowledge.  During training, the trainer connects the new material to the trainee’s experience and conducts discussions and review exercises where the trainee has an opportunity to explain the new material in relationship to what the trainee already knows.

Social Learning Theory (SLT).  Another influential theory in adult as well as childhood education is social learning theory.  This theory assumes that behavior is learned from the environment through observation.  Hence, trainers should use or serve as positive models in the classroom to help people learn.  Many trainers use ‘behavior modeling’ in the classroom.  Behavior modeling includes a) showing the trainee how to do something, b) allowing the trainee to ask questions, c) letting the trainee do it, d) and giving the trainee feedback.  This process can be used in several types of training from on-the-job (OJT) training to leadership training.  In OJT training, the trainer can model the behavior in a one-on-one situation.  In leadership training, the trainee can watch a positive scenario on a video and then ‘role play’ it in small groups – –  and receive feedback.

Adult Learning Theory.  In the readings this week is an article about Malcom Knowles.  Knowles spent a lifetime studying how adults learn.  He was convinced that adults learned differently than children.  He saw adults as more self-directed, more experienced, more problem oriented, and more application oriented than children.  As a professor and researcher at Boston University and North Carolina State between 1959 and 1979, Knowles wrote about a difference between what he referred to as pedagogy, or the practice of teaching children, and andragogy, or the practice of teaching adults.  The distinction Knowles was trying to make is that adults needed a more learner-centered approach to learning.  Having a more learner centered approach to learning could change the roles of the teacher and the student.  The teacher could become more of a participative facilitator of learning rather than a lecturer.  (https://www.td.org/Publications/Newsletters/Links/2009/11/The-Fundamentals-of-Adult-Learning .

 

Week -8 Introduction to E-Learning 

E-learning (EL) has evolved as an alternative to face-to-face classroom learning.  EL uses the computer to deliver content to trainees at remote locations.  It can be delivered thru local area networks (LAN) or the internet/intranet to mobile devices like cell phones, tablets, or laptop computers.  EL learning uses many traditional methods like presentations (lecture, discussions), hands-on (simulations, case studies, business games, behavior modeling with skill practice), and team work training.  EL learning is not limited by time or location.  Trainees can access it at any time or anywhere.   Trainers use a variety of concepts and tools from the technology field in the delivery of this training.  Here are some of the more popular concepts and tools.

Synchronous, Asynchronous, and Blended Learning

The mode of delivering the training can be synchronous (information relay happens at same time) or asynchronous (information relay has a time lag).  Examples of synchronous learning are chat rooms, online conferences or webinars that use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) like WebEx or SKYPE.  Many VOIPs have a recording feature to help trainees review material that they might have missed during the original conference.  Examples of asynchronous learning include online discussions and emails. Also, training can be delivered in a ‘blended’ mode which means a portion of the training is delivered via the face-to-face classroom and a portion of the training is delivered virtually using a computer.

LMS (Learning Management System) 

The LMS is a software application that trainers use to manage the training process.  It is both an administrative and a training development and delivery tool.  It helps trainers not only track and report training but also deliver the training virtually.  The LMS handles all aspects of the training process.  The LMS can help a manager track the development of their employees.  It enables trainees to view c
ourse catalogues, register for courses, and track their progress in completing development activities.  It keeps records of everything from course completions and grades on assignments to course evaluations.  Organizations often use the tool for compliance training reporting.   Finally, the LMS can be integrated with the other HR systems such as the Performance Management system to link to compensation or succession planning.

Advantages and Disadvantages of EL 

Some of the advantages of EL include:

Some of the Disadvantages of EL include:

Leveraging Technology 

If you review the ATD Competency Model that we have been discussing this semester, you will see that ‘Technology Literacy’ is a Foundational Competency.  In addition, it is part of three ‘Areas of Expertise’ — Instructional Design, Training Delivery, and Learning Technology.  Integrating effective formal and informal technology into TD is an important skill for training professionals to master.

In your readings for this week, there is an article that focuses on social media and its role in learning.  Social media is more than a marketing tool.  It can be a powerful tool that many learners, especially millennials, use to learn.  There are many examples of how social learning tools enhance learning.  People ask for information on blogs.  They ‘Google’ information from internet sites.  They join sites like LinkedIn to get career information and network.  They watch TED Talks (http://www.ted.com/).  They take free short courses from the Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/), and they sign up for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered by universities (https://www.mooc-list.com/).

Virtual reality (VR) is another technology tool that trainers use to simulate the environment.  In the VR simulated environment, the scenario appears real to the trainee’s senses because the devices attached to the computer relay information to the trainee.  This allows the trainee a hands on experience in the environment.  Examples of this type of technology can be found in flight simulators, video games, ‘Second Life Virtual World,’ robotic surgical training for doctors, and many hazardous waste disposal training programs.  Virtual reality allows the trainee a hands-on training experience in a safe environment where they can learn without the consequences of catastrophic mistakes. 

 

Week -5  Introduction to Training Design, Development, and Facilitation

After the training needs analysis (TNA) is completed, the trainer begins the design and development of the training.  The first step in training design and development is creating objectives for the training.  We learned that the TNA focuses on performance gaps related to the person, the tasks, or the organization.  The training objectives should address the expectations in those three areas.

After the objectives have been confirmed with line management, the trainer designs the training.  Many trainers use an instructional design model.  One such model is the Gagne-Briggs nine events of instruction model.  We will focus on this model as we go through the training process.

After the training has been designed and developed, the training is implemented.  Selecting a trainer that understands adult education and how to facilitate a meeting is important to the success of the training program.

Learning Objectives: 

In the readings this week, you will read about the role of learning objectives in course design.  Trainers use objectives to guide the development of course content and assessments. The course objectives help both the trainer and manager understand:

Once the trainer and manager agree on the objectives, the trainer will move forward with the development of the program.  However, the content of the program is driven by the objectives.

 

Training Design/Development Model: 

During the first four weeks of the course, we have been discussing the mind-set that a trainer must have going into the design and development of the actual training.  The trainer must understand:

Like ADDIE, another Training Design model that is used in the development of the training is the Gagne-Briggs Nine Events model.  You will find a description of the model in your required readings.  The nine events are:

The nine steps give trainers a systematic way to focus on course development and implementation.

 

Other Training Development Considerations: 

As part of the design and delivery of the training, other factors besides the content of the training need to be considered.  They include:

We will discuss budget in more depth when we discuss outsourcing later in the course.  Even if outsourcing is an option, the organization should have an idea of the cost associated with developing training internally.

Training Facilitation: 

The facilitator is a key figure in the implementation of training.  The facilitator’s role is to guide the participant’s on their learning journey and help them achieve the objectives of the course.  The facilitator must:

 

 

Week -7   Introduction to Traditional Training Methodologies

This week our focus will be on the various training methodologies or modes that trainers use to implement training programs.  The training method is driven by several requirements including the type of training, the audience, the budget, content, timeframe, and/or the objectives.  For example, onboarding training might be done on-site using lectures and discussions to allow new employees the opportunity to network with people from the other departments,  whereas customer service training might be done on-the-job using scenarios, behavior modeling, and role plays that mimic the work environment.  While we understand that a lot of training is moving to a blended format, this week we will focus more on traditional training methods.  Next week we will focus on e-learning and the use of technology.

Types of Traditional Training

The video for this week classifies traditional training methods into three categories – presentation, hands-on, and group.  The presentation method is an instructor-led method where the instructor presents verbal or written information while the trainee listens passively.  The hands-on method is more interactive and requires the trainee to be actively involved in the learning.  In group training methods, trainers use experiential exercises to help groups improve their processes and effectiveness.  Let’s look at some examples of the three classifications of traditional training methods.

Presentation Methods 

Lecture: The lecture is the most predominant presentation method.  This method involves a trainer presenting information to an audience of trainees.  It is an inexpensive way to share information with large groups efficiently.  The trainees sit and listen while the instructor speaks.  This type of instructor-led presentation sometimes includes an audio-visual component.

Lecture with Discussion: This adaptation of the lecture mode adds a discussion to the lecture.  In this mode, the trainer asks a question or seeks input from the trainee about a topic related to the training content.  It is a two-way communication mode because the trainee is actively engaged in the content.

Lecture with Demonstration and Discussion:  This adaptation of the lecture mode integrates a demonstration into the lecture and discussion.  In this mode the trainer (lecturer) shows the trainee how to do something or how something works.  The demonstration can be how to do something as in behavior modelin
g or how something works like using a piece of equipment.  The trainee performs the task after watching the demonstration and is given feedback by the instructor.  This approach provides for individual and group discussion along with feedback from the instructor.

Hands-on Methods 

On-the-Job (OJT):  This method occurs mostly at the job site and focuses on the trainee learning the job.  The trainee observes a subject matter expert performing the job and then tries to emulate the expert’s behavior.  The trainee is usually given feedback on his or her performance.  The OJT method can be used in many situations including newly hired employees, transferred or promoted employees, or cross training employees.   There are several types of OJT.  They include coaching, mentoring, job rotation, and apprenticeships.

Coaching is usually a one-on-one method where an individual coach works with a trainee to improve a skill, competency, or behavior.   Coaches are used in organizations for a variety of situations from helping senior leaders with their management skills to helping individual contributors with presentation skills.  Coaches usually go through a certification process that accredits their learning and gives them a professional credential.  Mentoring is a form of internal organizational coaching where a more senior employee provides guidance on how the organization operates and career skills to a junior employee.

Job Rotation is a systematic OJT technique where organizations rotate employees through several jobs within the organization as a way to help them learn the knowledge and skills required to perform different jobs in the organization.  It enhances the career of the employee and provides the organization with a cadre of multi-skilled employees.

Apprenticeships trace their origins back to the Middle Ages when skilled trades people passed their knowledge on to others over a period of time.  Most apprenticeships today occur in skilled trades like cooking, electrical work, or auto repair.  Apprentice programs usually require a set number of classroom hours along with OJT experience.  

Simulation: The simulation is a training method where trainees are presented with a real-world situation that mimics their work environment.  The simulation method could focus on equipment like flight simulators or interpersonal skills like role playing, behavior modeling, case studies, or in-basket exercises.  At the conclusion of the simulation the trainees are given feedback on their performance.  

Business Games are simulations that attempt to replicate an organization or an industry.  For example, many universities use a simulation called ‘The BSG’ or Business Strategy Game (www.bsg-online.com).  In The BSG, teams of students manage an international shoe company and make decisions that impact the bottom line.  Other types of games, such as Jeopardy or Family Feud, can be used to review information presented in the training.

In the Role Play simulation, an individual or group is given a scenario related to their work and the course content.  They act-out the situation and are given feedback by the group or the trainer.  This type of simulation allows trainees to practice a skill in a safe environment where they can make mistakes and not suffer consequences.

Behavior Modeling is often associated with simulation and role playing because after the trainee observes a video or demonstration of the model behavior they practice it in a role play.

Case Study:  The case study method is usually a written or video portrayal that describes how an organization dealt with a problem, issue, or difficult situation.  Trainees are required to analyze the actions taken and suggest other ways to solve the problem.   

Group Methods 

Team Building Training is a type of group training that focus on individuals who work together as a team.   The focus of this type of training is to help the team members become more effective and efficient in their operations.  The training includes topics like setting team norms, dealing with conflict in the team, running effective meetings, and problem solving.  

Adventure Learning (AL) is a type of group training where trainees engage in activities, games, and/or competitions usually of a physical nature outside the workplace.  The purpose of this experiential learning is to help the trainees develop skills in leadership, problem solving, decision-making, team work, and interpersonal communication.   Activities like wall climbing, navigating rope courses, drum circles, and cooking competitions are often part of an AL training program.

Action Learning is a type of group training method where a team or work group is given an actual work problem to solve.  The group gathers data, identifies problems, proposes solutions, and presents them to leadership for implementation.

 

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