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Learning Theory and Program Design

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  1. Learning Theory and Program Design • Learning Theories/Adult Learning • Learning Styles • Program Design • Learning Objectives

  2. Learning • If we can’t observe learning, how do we know it has occurred? • Infer learning by observing a behavioral change or development • Examine cognitions - changes in the way people process information and respond to information, think, problem solve

  3. Learning • The change can be attitudes or feelings (Affective domain) • The change can be in physical actions (psychomotor domain) • When designing training some knowledge of learning theory/what motivates people is useful!

  4. Reinforcement Theory • Emphasizes that people are motivated to perform or avoid certain behaviors because of past outcomes that have resulted from those behaviors. • Positive reinforcement • Negative Reinforcement • Extinction • Punishment

  5. Reinforcement Theory (continued) • From a training perspective, it suggests that for learners to acquire knowledge, change behavior, or modify skills, the trainer needs to identify what outcomes the learner finds most positive and negative. • Trainers then need to positively reinforce trainees for doing the things (behaviors) that lead to the outcomes they value.

  6. Social Learning Theory • Emphasizes that people learn by observing other persons (models) whom they believe are credible and knowledgeable. • Self-efficacy – one’s belief in their ability to perform a given task • When others gain rewards for doing a specific behavior or action, you assume if you do it, you will be rewarded too.

  7. Goal Theories • Goal setting theory assumes behavior results from a person’s conscious goals and intentions. • Goals influence behavior by directing energy and attention, sustaining effort over time, and motivating the person to develop strategies for goal attainment. • Research suggests that specific challenging goals have been shown to lead to high performance only if people are committed to the goal.

  8. Goal Theories (continued) • 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, objectives, course & program outcomes etc.

  9. Need Theories • Need theories help explain the value that a person places on certain outcomes. • Need theories suggest that to motivate learning: • trainers should identify trainees’ needs, and • communicate how training program content relates to fulfilling these needs. Also, giving trainees a choice when appropriate is motivating. • If the basic needs of trainees are not met, they are unlikely to be motivated to learn or even attend training.

  10. Expectancy Theory • Expectancy theory suggests that learning is most likely to occur when employees believe: • They can learn the content of the program (expectancy) • Learning is linked to outcomes such as better job performance, a salary increase, or peer recognition (instrumentality) • Employees value these outcomes

  11. Expectancy Theory of Motivation Valance Instrumentality Expectancy X X = Effort Value of Outcome Performance Outcome Effort Performance Are Outcomes Related to Training Valued? Does Trainee Believe Training Outcomes Promised Will Be Delivered? Does Trainee Have Ability to Learn? Does Trainee Believe He Can Learn?

  12. Expectancy • Discuss goals of the training program or session • Design training for incremental successes • Make it clear what completion of the training will do for the person

  13. Adult Learning Theory • Adult learning theory was developed out of a need for a specific theory of how adults learn. • It is based on several assumptions: • Adults have the need to know why they are learning something. • Adults have a need to be self-directed. • Adults bring more work-related experiences into the learning situation. • Adults enter into a learning experience with a problem-centered approach to learning. • Adults are motivated to learn by both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators.

  14. Lessons from Learning Theories • Feedback and Reinforcement is necessary • Practice is important/Clear Objectives • Material must be meaningful • Learners must be involved • The Trainer must be credible • Learners must be able to see the benefits & achieve incremental successes

  15. Learning Styles or Preferred Approach to Learning • Single Style • An individual can use a style selected from any number of possibilities • Everyone has many different combinations of learning styles

  16. Other Common Learning Styles • Listening & Reading • Observing & Imitating • Doing

  17. Learning Styles Con’t • Visual – Write out most things, visualize in your head, use charts, maps, videos, flash cards • Auditory – Talk to others, read and then recite it aloud, taped lectures • Tactile – write what is to be learned several times, take good notes, make study sheets, associate with real things

  18. Training administration involves:(1 of 2) • Communicating courses and programs to employees • Enrolling employees in courses and programs • Preparing and processing any pre-training materials such as readings or tests • Preparing materials that will be used in instruction • Testing equipment that will be used in instruction • Arranging for the training facility and room

  19. Training administration involves:(2 of 2) • Having backup equipment should equipment fail • Providing support during instruction • Distributing evaluation materials • Facilitating communications between trainer and trainees during and after training • Recording course completion in the trainees’ records or personnel files

  20. Seating Arrangements • What type of interactions are required between trainer and trainees? • Traditional classroom seating for lecture and audiovisual presentation • Fan-type seating allows everyone to communicate, can easily switch from listening to a presentation to working in groups/teamwork

  21. Seating Arrangements • Horseshoe seating allows for various presentations and total group interaction. Trainees can all see each other • Conference seating for group discussion and limited presentation • http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/seating.html

  22. Program Design – coordinating & designing specific lessons Course Parameters Objectives Lesson Plan Overview Detailed Lesson Plan

  23. Course Parameters • Title • Target audience • Statement of purpose • Goals of the course • Location • Time • Instructor’s name

  24. Detailed Lesson Plan (Noe page 157) • Lesson plans are usually prepared for each day of training • Title, length, learning objectives, target audience, instructor, materials and equipment, evaluation and assignments, outline of what you want to do for a specified time segment

  25. Training Objectives • Employees learn best when they understand the objective of the training program • The objective refers to to the purpose and expected outcome of training activities • Objectives are useful for identifying the types of training outcomes that should be measured to evaluate a training program’s effectiveness

  26. Types of Training Objectives can match the types of evaluations you intend to do • Trainee Reaction Objectives • Learning Objectives • Transfer of Training Objectives or Behavioral Change • Organizational Outcome Objectives

  27. Hierarchy of Objectives • Training Program Outcomes – broad statements of purpose. Usually measured by results such as increased customer satisfaction, less turnover, increased sales, less accidents etc. • Training Course Objectives (reaction, learning, behavior) • Course examples: leadership, Microsoft office, stress management etc. • Courses can contain from 1 to several lessons • Specific Lesson Objectives (reaction, learning, behavior)

  28. A training or learning objective has three components: • A statement of what the employee is expected to do (performance or desired behavior) • A statement of the quality or level of performance that is acceptable (standard/criterion) • A statement of the conditions under which the trainee is expected to perform the desired outcome (conditions) Where, when or what is needed? • Research suggests a time frame for completion may also be included

  29. Example • Given a diagram of machine tool X, the trainee/learner will be able to describe all safety features with 100 percent accuracy. • After training, the employee will be able to operate a cash register by using the touch method maintaining a 99% accuracy rate.

  30. Bloom’s Taxonomy – Cognitive Domain • Measurable learning objectives can be developed by using one or more verbs that are appropriate to a specific level of learning in the cognitive domain.

  31. Bloom’s Taxonomy • Knowledge: identify, list, tell, define, arrange • Comprehension: describe, explain, summarize, translate, review • Application: construct, demonstrate, solve, apply, illustrate • Analysis: analyze, generalize, organize, diagram, test

  32. Bloom’s Taxonomy • Synthesis: compile, create, design, arrange, collect, assemble • Evaluation: appraise, compare, contrast, argue

  33. Practice Re-Writing Learning Objectives • At the end of the training, learners will be able to: • Apply theories of motivation to different situations • Recognize and identify different personalities and know how to motivate them • Understand what is necessary to have an effective team