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Chapter 4 Learning: Theories and Program Design

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1 Chapter 4 Learning: Theories and Program Design
McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2010 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 What is Learning? What is Learned?
Learning - a relatively permanent change in human capabilities that is not a result of growth processes. These capabilities are related to specific learning outcomes.

3 Table 4.1 – Learning Outcomes

4 Social Learning Theory Information Processing Theory
Learning Theories Reinforcement Theory Social Learning Theory Goal Theories Need Theories Expectancy Theory Adult Learning Theory Information Processing Theory

5 Learning Theories (cont.)
Reinforcement theory - emphasizes that people are motivated to perform or avoid certain behaviors because of past outcomes that have resulted from those behaviors. Several processes in reinforcement theory are positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, extinction, and punishment.

6 Learning Theories (cont.)
Reinforcement theory The trainer needs to identify what outcomes the learner finds most positive and negative. Trainers then need to link these outcomes to learners acquiring knowledge, skills, or changing behaviors. Trainers can withhold or provide job-related, personal, and career-related benefits to learners who master program content.

7 Table 4.2 - Schedules of Reinforcement

8 Learning Theories (cont.)
Social learning theory - emphasizes that people learn by observing other persons (models) whom they believe are credible and knowledgeable. The theory recognizes that behavior that is reinforced or rewarded tends to be repeated.

9 Learning Theories (cont.)
Social learning theory Learning new skills or behavior comes from: directly experiencing the consequences of using a behavior or skill, or the process of observing others and seeing the consequences of their behavior.

10 Learning Theories (cont.)
Social learning theory Learning is also influenced by a person’s self-efficacy, which is a person’s judgment about whether he or she can successfully learn knowledge and skills. A person’s self-efficacy can be increased using several methods: verbal persuasion, logical verification, observation of others (modeling), and past accomplishments.

11 Figure 4.1 - Processes of Social Learning Theory

12 Learning Theories (cont.)
Goal theories Goal setting theory - assumes that behavior results from a person’s conscious goals and intentions. Goals influence a person’s behavior by: directing energy and attention. sustaining effort over time. motivating the person to develop strategies for goal attainment.

13 Learning Theories (cont.)
Goal theories Goal setting theory It is used in training program design. It suggests that learning can be facilitated by providing trainees with specific challenging goals and objectives. The influence of goal setting theory can be seen in the development of training lesson plans.

14 Learning Theories (cont.)
Goal theories Goal orientation - the goals held by a trainee in a learning situation. It includes learning and performance orientation. Learning orientation - trying to increase ability or competence in a task. Performance orientation - learners who focus on task performance and how they compare to others.

15 Learning Theories (cont.)
Goal theories Goal orientation It affects the amount of effort a trainee will expend in learning (motivation to learn). Learners with a high learning orientation will direct greater attention to the task and learn for the sake of learning in comparison to learners with a performance orientation. Learners with a performance orientation will direct more attention to performing well and less effort to learning.

16 Learning Theories (cont.)
Need theories Helps to explain the value that a person places on certain outcomes. Need - a deficiency that a person is experiencing at any point in time. Maslow’s and Alderfer’s need theories focused on physiological needs, relatedness needs, and growth needs.

17 Learning Theories (cont.)
Need theories The major difference between Alderfer’s and Maslow’s hierarchies of needs is that Alderfer allows the possibility that if higher-level needs are not satisfied, employees will refocus on lower-level needs. McClelland’s need theory focused primarily on needs for achievement, affiliation, and power.

18 Learning Theories (cont.)
Need theories Suggest that to motivate learning, trainers should identify trainees’ needs and communicate how training program content relates to fulfilling these needs. If certain basic needs of trainees are not met, they are unlikely to be motivated to learn.

19 Learning Theories (cont.)
Expectancy theory It suggests that a person’s behavior is based on three factors: Expectancies - the link between trying to perform a behavior and actually performing well. Instrumentality - a belief that performing a given behavior is associated with a particular outcome. Valence - the value that a person places on an outcome.

20 Figure 4.2 - Expectancy Theory of Motivation

21 Table 4.3 - Implications of Adult Learning Theory for Training

22 Learning Theories (cont.)
Information processing theory It gives more emphasis to the internal processes that occur when training content is learned and retained. It highlights how external events influence learning, which include: Changes in the intensity or frequency of the stimulus that affect attention. Informing the learner of the objectives to establish an expectation. Enhancing perceptual features of the material (stimulus), drawing the attention of the learner to certain features.

23 Learning Theories (cont.)
Information processing theory It highlights how external events influence learning, which include: Verbal instructions, pictures, diagrams, and maps suggesting ways to code the training content so that it can be stored in memory. Meaningful learning context (examples, problems) creating cues that facilitate coding. Demonstration or verbal instructions helping to organize the learner’s response as well as facilitating the selection of the correct response.

24 Figure 4.3 – A Model of Human Information Processing

25 Table 4.4- The Relationship among Learning Processes, Instructional Events, and Forms of Instruction

26 The Learning Process The learning cycle involves four stages:
Concrete experience Reflective observation Abstract conceptualization Active experimentation

27 Table 4.5 – Learning Styles

28 The Learning Process (cont.)
Age influences on learning Trainers need to be aware of trainees’ ages to create a learning environment and develop materials that meet their preferences. According to some trainers, there are four generations of employees with distinct attitudes toward work and preferred ways to learn—Millenniums (or nexters), Gen Xers, baby boomers, and traditionalists.

29 The Learning Process (cont.)
Instruction - trainer’s manipulation of the environment in order to help trainees learn. The training context - the physical, intellectual, and emotional environment in which training occurs. Practice - physical or mental rehearsal of a task, knowledge, or skill to achieve proficiency in performing the task or skill or demonstrating the knowledge.

30 Table 4.6 - Features of Good Instruction That Facilitate Learning

31 Table 4.8 - Characteristics of Good Training Objectives

32 The Learning Process (cont.)
Metacognition - individual control over one’s thinking. Two ways that individuals engage in metacognition are monitoring and control. Advance organizers - outlines, texts, diagrams, and graphs that help trainees organize the information that will be presented and practiced.

33 The Learning Process (cont.)
Overlearning - Continuing to practice even after being able to perform the objective several times. Error management training - giving trainees opportunities to make errors during training; provides the opportunity for trainees to engage in metacognition.

34 The Learning Process (cont.)
Practice can be massed, spaced, in whole, or in part. It must be related to the training objectives. Feedback is information about how well people are meeting the training objectives, and should be provided as soon as possible after the trainees’ behavior.

35 The Learning Process (cont.)
Employees learn through observation, experience, and interacting with others. Communities of practice - groups of employees who work together, learn from each other, and develop a common understanding of how to get work accomplished.

36 Table 4.11 - Internal and External Conditions Necessary for Learning Outcomes

37 Table 4.12 - Details to Consider When Evaluating a Training Room

38 Figure 4.4 - Examples of Seating Arrangements

39 Table 4.13 - Matching Training Rooms With Learning Requirements

40 Table 4.14 - Examples of how to get Trainees Involved

41 Table 4.15 - Design Document Template

42 Table 4.17 - Sample of a Detailed Lesson Plan

43 Table 4.18 - Features of an Effective Lesson Plan

44 Table 4.19 - Sample Lesson Overview

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