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Transfer of Learning Moving from classroom training to job performance.

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Presentation on theme: "Transfer of Learning Moving from classroom training to job performance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transfer of Learning Moving from classroom training to job performance

2 Presentation Overview This presentation is designed for: Supervisors Administrators Field Program Specialists Training coordinators

3 Presentation Overview The purpose of this presentation is to help managers enhance their ability to: promote staff members’ readiness to learn create and sustain a constructive learning environment in their work unit use transfer of learning strategies to promote staff members’ job performance

4 Presentation Overview This presentation includes the following topics: Transfer of learning definition Key players in the transfer of learning process and their roles Supervisory responses that promote transfer of learning Strategies to promote transfer of learning

5 Transfer of Learning "That almost magical link between classroom performance and something which is supposed to happen in the real world" - J. M. Swinney.

6 What is Transfer of Learning? Transfer of learning is the application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired in a training setting to the job. This encompasses what happens in agencies, before, during and after staff attend training to either support or undermine the likelihood that what is learned will actually be applied and result in improved job performance. With practice on the job, the level of an individual’s skill will increase beyond the level demonstrated at the end of training.

7 Organizations expend a large amount of staff time and money on formal training programs every year. In order to maximize the investment in training, everyone involved in the training process and the entire organization needs to be concerned about the transfer issue.

8 As a supervisor/manager you play a major role in helping to promote the transfer of learning. Your responses to the trainee and your attitude about the training can either help or hurt this process.

9 Supervisory Responses In order for transfer of learning to be successful, supervisors must assume an "encouraging" and a "requiring” response to staff development activities. Encouraging response: Discuss the training course with the case manager before he/she goes to the class Attempt to create a readiness to learn Encourage the case manager to apply learning upon returning to the job Requiring response: Know what the staff member learned Design activities to promote transfer Provide coaching and feedback Assess achievement

10 Taking a “preventing,” “discouraging” or even “neutral” position to professional development activities results in barriers to the transfer of learning process. Preventing response: “I know what you learned in training, but we don’t do it like that.” Discouraging response: “That’s good information, but it’s not realistic.” Neutral response: “Whatever makes you happy as long as you get your work done."

11 Training Partnership The three primary players in the transfer of learning effort are the trainees, the trainer, and management. This is referred to as the training partnership. Management includes direct supervisors, administrators, Field Program Specialists, and Training Coordinators. Trainers includes curriculum designers, subject matter experts, and the instructor who actually delivers the training.

12 Each of the primary partners has a specific role to play and actions to take, or not take, before, during, and after training occurs. These actions will affect the likelihood that transfer will occur. In fact, as a result of research, we can rank the significance of each combination of role player and time period on a scale of 1 to 9.

13 Transfer of Learning Matrix BeforeDuringAfter Supervisor/ Management ??? Trainer/ Curriculum Developer ??? Trainee ??? Which combination of role player and time period do you think is the most significant in promoting learning transfer? (Take a minute to think about this before going to the next slide). 1 = most significant/powerful in promoting transfer 9= least significant/powerful in promoting transfer

14 BeforeDuringAfter Supervisor/ Management Trainer/Curriculum Developer Trainee 9 6 3 8 4 5 1 2 7 The most powerful factor in promoting the transfer of learning is what the supervisor does BEFORE the training even occurs. Notice that the supervisor/management occupies two of the top three positions in the matrix.

15 Transfer of Learning Strategies So, what are some things that management (supervisors, administrators, Field Program Specialists, and Training Coordinators) can do to promote transfer of learning? Let’s look at strategies for before, during, and after training.

16 Management Actions BEFORE Training Make a plan with case managers to cover caseloads while they are in training. Explain that you do not expect them to take phone calls or answer Email during the training day. Meet with staff members before they go to class. Discuss what the course is about, why it’s important, and your expectations of them as learners. Send the message that you believe in their ability to learn and to improve their practice. Encourage case managers to go to training with specific cases in mind. This will allow staff to actively apply what they are learning to the identified case. Send co-workers to training together. Inform them they will be required to jointly report on the training when they return. Consider having them work collaboratively to improve their performance in the areas explored in training.

17 Management Actions DURING Training Establish and follow a policy that no interruptions will be allowed during training sessions. This includes interruptions from you too! Holding training sessions away from the worksite, when possible, will help to support this policy. Communicate your support for the training program. How do you send this message? Attend the training session with your staff and actively participate in the class; express your support for the use of new knowledge and skills; be a good model and demonstrate the desired new behaviors. Monitor attendance and attention to training. If you can’t attend training sessions with your staff, try dropping in for brief periods of time. Make arrangements to share this task with other supervisors who also have staff attending the training. This can help to alert trainees that their supervisors support and value the potential learning.

18 Management Actions AFTER Training Meet with staff after training to debrief. Discuss any barriers to transfer that need to be addressed, explore possibilities for use of the training material, and convey your support for their efforts to learn and apply new skills on the job. Provide opportunities for staff to apply the skills they learned. This includes giving them the time and space they need and providing positive reinforcement when they are successful. Consider pairing a newly trained staff member with an experienced staff member who clearly demonstrates the desired skills. This person can serve as a peer coach who can provide guidance, model good practice, and provide immediate correction, if needed. Support and require the use of job aids. Instead of staff putting their participant guides and other job aids on a shelf or in a drawer after training, imagine how performance could be improved if they actually used this material on the job. If job aids were not provided in training, encourage employees to create their own and share with each other.

19 Just For Fun Just for fun, let’s take a little quiz about transfer of learning to wrap up this presentation.

20 True or False? Transfer of Learning is primarily an issue of concern when people are learning technical skills. What do you think – true or false? Go to the next slide for the correct answer

21 False Transfer of learning is relevant to all kinds of knowledge and skills. Learning is important-- but performance is the ultimate goal

22 True or False? Whether adults transfer their learning is their business, not the agency’s business What do you think – true or false? Go to the next slide for the correct answer

23 Mostly False It’s true that we can’t force people to use new learning, but what is the point of organization- sponsored development, if the organization can’t expect to receive a return on its training investment? We can’t force, but we can motivate and create the proper environment….and we can hold people accountable for their performance.

24 True or False? If participants are happy or satisfied at the end of a training course, it usually means that they will use the skills that they’ve learned. Go to the next slide for the correct answer What do you think – true or false?

25 False Research indicates there is no significant relationship between: - perceptions of enjoyment of a training and performance - perceptions of the instructor’s effectiveness and performance - perceptions of the amount learned and performance We have to be deliberate and strategic about transfer of learning and not assume that a “good” training will automatically result in improved performance. It’s not just the learning of new skills that produces better outcomes, it is the transfer of that learning into more effective and efficient performance that ensures success.

26 References and Recommended Readings Broad, M.L. & Newstrom, J.W. (1992). Transfer of training: Action-packed strategies to ensure high payoff from training investments. New York: Addison-Wesley. Caffarella, R.S. (2002). Planning programs for adult learners: A practical guide for educators, trainers, and staff developers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Zenger, J., Folkman, J., & Sherwin, R. (2005, Jan.). The promise of phase 3. T+D Magazine, 30-34. Gregoire, T.K., Propp, J. & Poertner, J. (1998). The supervisor's role in the transfer of training. Administration in Social Work (22), 1-18. Websites:

27 Training Request Interested in having a “live” presentation on transfer of learning? We can provide a short training session for supervisors and administrators at your location. Contact: Amy Mobley

28 A Closing Word We hope you found this brief overview of transfer of learning helpful. For more strategies, check out the Professional Excellence Resource Library on the Education and Training Services website. Here you will find tools for supervisors related to specific Professional Excellence courses. This will be updated periodically as new courses and aids are developed. DFCS/menuitem.8237042e9dbda3aa50c8798dd03036a 0/?vgnextoid=9d8e375cbf34d110VgnVCM100000bf010 10aRCRD&vgnextchannel=58b629c8facb0110VgnVCM 100000bf01010aRCRD

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