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The Learning Environment Dr. Steve Training & Development INP6325.

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1 The Learning Environment Dr. Steve Training & Development INP6325

2 The Learning Environment The learning environment includes: Trainee Readiness Learning Principles Transfer

3 Trainee Readiness Trainee Readiness - Trainees won’t learn if they don’t want to (motivation) or can’t (prerequisite KSAs) Prerequisites Trainability Test - Assess trainees aptitude prior to training Provides realistic expectations of necessary job KSAs Assesses trainees’ functional level (baseline) Used to assess training effectiveness Motivation Trainees must believe assessment of their current state is accurate Ensure self-efficacy and internal locus of control Ensure relevance of training outcomes Trainee must value improved performance

4 Design of Training Environments Theories of Learning and Motivation – to create a supportive learning environment Trainees believe they can successfully complete training and that the training will be useful for improving job performance Not every approach is suitable for every situation Trainee Readiness

5 Trainee Readiness Theories of Learning and Motivation Social Learning Theory – The cognitive representations of future outcomes generate the motivation for future behavior. Self-efficacy – whether you believe you will succeed affects your behavior Modeling – Learn through watching others Relevance of SLT to training: Training should develop cognitive, social, & behavioral competencies through modeling Training should improve confidence and self-efficacy Training should improve motivation through establishing goals

6 Trainee Readiness Theories of Learning and Motivation Social Learning Theory Applications Trainees should experience some level of early success to improve self-efficacy, but also learn to overcome failures Trainees should observe successful models Trainees should receive encouragement to exert effort Examples Role playing to train assertiveness, ethics, com skills, etc Use of video to show good examples

7 Trainee Readiness Theories of Learning and Motivation Goal Setting – goals serve to motivate trainee to exert effort in order to attain goal Goals: Should be specific and challenging Must be matched to trainee skill level Use intermediate goals to observe progress Must include feedback Must be accepted by trainee Make trainee part of goal setting to increase commitment Examples Athletic training, simulation, gaming, psychomotor

8 Trainee Readiness Theories of Learning and Motivation Do your best Specific hard goal From Latham & Baldes (1975), “The Practical Significance of Locke’s Theory of Goal Setting,” Journal of Applied Psychology, 60, p.123 Goal Setting Empirical Results

9 Trainee Readiness Theories of Learning and Motivation Expectancy Theory (VIE) – trainees will exert effort if they believe they can succeed and they value the outcome Assumes: Effort  Performance  Reward  Goal Expectancy – belief that performance is related to effort Instrumentality – belief that performance will be rewarded Valence – the degree that reward is valued Application: training should ensure high levels of each Example: skills training for piece meal jobs where improving output will lead to higher compensation

10 Reinforcement Theory – Based on “Law of Effect” that if consequences of a behavior are good, the likelihood of repeating that behavior is increased. S D : R - - Sr + S D - Discriminative stimulus – sets stage for R R – Response – behavior Sr + - Reinforcing stimulus – money, praise, recognition, day off, etc. Application: Shape behavior to reduce tardiness and absences, increase productivity, etc. Example: Every time worker arrives on time during the week has name put in lottery for Friday drawing Trainee Readiness Theories of Learning and Motivation

11 Principles for using Reinforcement: Should be given immediately after response (KOR or feedback) Reinforce every correct response, UNTIL the behavior is learned When behavior is learned switch to intermittent schedules of reinforcement This will increase resistance to extinction Punishment should not be included in training Often wrong behavior is punished such as trying Punishment suppresses behavior, doesn’t eliminate it Leads to negative emotional side effects

12 Trainee Readiness Theories of Learning and Motivation Variable Ratio Fixed Ratio Variable Interval Fixed Interval Time (Minutes) Cumulative Responses Schedules of Reinforcement

13 Need Theories – Training only motivating if it meets the needs of trainees Find out what motivates trainees Ex: If nAch allow early success, If nAff allow teamwork MaslowMcClelland nAch nPow nAff Trainee Readiness Theories of Learning and Motivation Physiological Safety Social Esteem SA

14 Equity Theory -A social comparison theory that asks, “Is the ratio of what you receive from your job as compared to what you put in the same proportion as that of other workers?” Is (Input / Outcome) self = (Input / Outcome) other? Inputs – education level, intelligence, experience, effort, skill, expertise Outcomes – pay, benefits, status, recognition, working conditions Training as an input (“I have training in this area”) or training as an outcome (“I was promised this training”) Trainee Readiness Theories of Learning and Motivation

15 Learning Principles Learning principles gained from psychological study, such as feedback, distribution of practice, meaningfulness of content, etc. are insufficient for designing effective training (Gagne, 1962). Must: Identify individual components of task Develop instruction for each component Sequence instruction optimally

16 Gagne’s Instructional Theory – Different categories of things to be learned require different learning conditions. Five Categories 1. Intellectual Skills (procedural knowledge) How to rules 2. Verbal Information (declarative knowledge) What 3. Cognitive Strategies Knowing when and how to use procedural or declarative knowledge 4. Motor Skills Muscle activity, sports, driving, etc. 5. Attitudes Preferences Learning Principles

17 ACT* Model of Learning – three stage model of progression from novice to expertise 1. Declarative Learning – facts, book knowledge Performance is slow and choppy, relies on verbal memory 2. Knowledge Compilation – apply rules to the declarative knowledge Performance is deliberate, learner is occupied w/following rules 3. Procedural Knowledge – knowing how Smooth performance, frees up cognitive resources to do other things Learning Principles

18 Fleishman’s Task Taxonomy – particular KSAs necessary to conduct a task may change throughout the course of the task Reaction time: speed required to respond to stimulus Ex: Assembly-line work Multi-limb coordination: coordinated movement of several limbs in the operation of a control Driving a manual transmission truck Gross body equilibrium: control of balance w/non-visual cues gymnast Learning Principles

19 Massed vs. Distributive Practice Distributive practice better because 1. Learner avoids fatigue (not practicing wrong behavior) 2. Gives learner chance to consolidate information 3. Better recall likely if learned under variety of settings Application Cramming for a test may benefit immediate response, but hinders retention. Distributive study allows information to be consolidated and built upon Practicing free throws or pitching while fatigued means practicing bad mechanics Learning Principles

20 Organizers – Cues that allow learner to take advantage of existing knowledge Advanced Organizers – prior to training to prepare trainee Comparative Organizers – later in training to help clarify distinctions Organizers 1. Focus attention on important components of information 2. Organize incoming information 3. Show relationship between new and existing information Application Providing initial outline of what is to come Learning Principles

21 Whole vs. Part task learning Whole – practice task as a single unit Application – use w/ high inter-relationship among parts Ex: learning to ride a bicycle (steering, balance, pedaling must be learned at same time) Part – learn individual components of task separately, then join together later (segmentation) 1. Identify task components that are NOT interdependent 2. Identify most important components 3. De-emphasize certain components Application – use w/ low inter-relationship among components, or when tapping different types of memory Ex: learning to build cabinets (cutting, joining, finishing learned and mastered separately) Learning Principles

22 Guided Training - (training wheels) – prevents learner from making catastrophic errors Avoids confusion in learning complex tasks Don’t eliminate errors altogether (they’re learning material), but keep from making errors that impair learning Learning Principles

23 Overlearning - practice above & beyond that necessary for errorless performance Increases resistance to extinction (improves retention) Increases the ease of “re-learning” Decreases reaction time May lead to automaticity Application Motor skill training Learning Principles Performance Practice Trials Overlearning 

24 Above Real-Time Training - practice trials that are faster than would be experienced on the job Difficulty of practice assumed to make actual task seem easier. Like swinging a weighted baseball bat in warm-ups then switching to standard bat in the game Equivocal results in the research Violates other principles for enhancing transfer (“train as you fight”) Learning Principles

25 Mental Models – how people mentally represent the task they are performing Represent & organize info by interconnected chunks (schema) Experts organize schemata into larger, more meaningful/ easy to access chunks. Novices may no see all relevant connections Use mnemonic devices to help novices organize and retrieve info Learning Principles

26 Feedback – knowledge of results (KOR) Provides Information: allows learner to adjust response Motivation: provides goal to decrease diff between actual and ideal performance Reinforcement: praise or self-satisfaction in being right Practice by itself is not training – must include feedback Practice w/out feedback may teach wrong skills Learning Principles

27 Feedback Applications Must be perceived accurately (negative feedback may be seen as personal attack) Belief in accuracy of feedback Too much feedback may lead to external LOC Negative feedback often delayed Individual differences in acceptance of feedback Learning Principles

28 Schmidt & Bjork (1992) challenge the basic tenets of feedback – focus on maximizing training performance may be harmful in long run Increased task variability in practice leads to worse training performance, but improved generalizability Transfer and retention (behavior criteria) may be better indicators of training effectiveness than skill acquisition (learning criteria) Immediate feedback better, but Infrequent feedback improves retention (intermittent schedule of reinforcement) Too frequent feedback becomes integrated part of task making it artificial and preventing normal cognitive processing May use guided training to wean trainee off of feedback Delayed feedback aids in generalizing to other stimulus events Learning Principles

29 Transfer Transfer of Training – how well learning in one environment, enhances performance in another. Positive Transfer – learning training task improves performance on actual task Negative Transfer – learning training task decreases performance on actual task  caused when one learns different response to same or similar stimulus.  old response competes with new response for same stimulus.  must unlearn old response  ex: when switching from Lotus 1-2-3 to Excel software, the spreadsheets look the same, but require different commands for creating formulas and specifying cell ranges.

30 Transfer Transfer paradigms Task StimuliResponseTransferComments Same Hi PositivePractice on actual equipment Different NonePoorly designed training DifferentSamePositiveMost common. Learn necessary response in safe controlled environment SameDifferentNegativeLotus to Excel

31 Transfer Maximize transfer by: Increase similarity of training stimulus and response to actual task’s stimulus and response (High Fidelity) Caution: Highest fidelity not necessarily the best approach Trainees may have difficulty on actual task due to its complexity, making training more complex just makes it harder to learn Organizational Climate must be conducive to transfer Supportive of using new skills Reward appropriate behavior, encourage trainees to stick with it despite initial errors Spell out expectations before training begins Identify potential obstacles & possible strategies for overcoming

32 Instructional Guidelines  Use Advance Organizers: At beginning of training, the material/media should clearly inform the trainee of the learning objectives  Provide Knowledge of Results: During practice provide students with immediate knowledge of results about correct and incorrect answers  Develop Mental Models: Emphasize distinctive features which can be remembered in the form of mental pictures instead of abstract words  e.g. diagrams, pictures, charts, acronyms  Segment Training: Break down the overall learning task into manageable steps or unit when any of the following conditions exist:  lower ability students, complex material, & overall task composed of small parts  Part-task / Whole-task Training: Provide learner practice on specific components of the task for: a) simple task-practice in entirety, & b) complex task-practice in parts and then in entirety

33 Trainer Qualities of a good trainer Well organized/prepared Outlines what is expected Designs the sequence of learning materials Emphasizes conceptual understanding Lectures are well organized Answers questions clearly Uses examples Sets difficult, but attainable goals Demonstrates usefulness of material Uses visual aids effectively Enthusiastic

34 Checklist for instructor preparedness Publicized program Informed all about time and place Arranged details of meeting room Checked physical requirements for session (seating, AV) Prepared necessary materials (handouts, slides, etc.) Made sure equipment is working with backup (overhead) Established training session objective Studied the lesson plan (points, questions, examples) Trainer

35 Training Recommendations 1. Instruction should be consistent with cognitive, physical, and psychomotor processes of mastery 2. Learner should be induced to practice behavior or recall information (Active Learning) 3. Feedback should be accurate, credible, timely, and constructive 4. Training should increase self-efficacy and valence 5. Training methods should fit trainees aptitude and prior KSAs

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