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Improving learning transfer in the workplace

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This presentation is for a session given on Learning Transfer

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  • I am an instructional designer. Currently I am writing my training and performance improvement dissertation about learning transfer best practices. This presentation frames the topic well. I have found that the research indicates that from 10% to 40% of learning is actually used. What practices to enhance learning transfer have you used?
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Improving learning transfer in the workplace

  1. 1. IMPROVING LEARNING TRANSFER IN THE WORKPLACEFacilitated by Rachel Donley
  2. 2. WHAT IS LEARNING TRANSFER?
  3. 3. WHAT IS LEARNING TRANSFER? “The ability to apply knowledge or procedures learned in one context to new contexts.” (Mestre, 2002) “Ensuring the knowledge and skills acquired during a learning intervention are applied on the job.” (Sullivan, 2003) “The process of putting learning to work in a way that improves performance.” (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p. 9)
  4. 4. WHY WOULD LEARNING TRANSFER MATTER IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?
  5. 5. WHY DOES LEARNING TRANSFER MATTER? It’s estimated that less than 20% of corporate training leads to performance improvement. (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p. 165) What do you think this means in terms of workplace learning’s:  Efficiency?  Effectiveness?  Current practices?  ROI?  Future?
  6. 6. WHY DOES LEARNING TRANSFER MATTER? Training is an investment. In order for it to be successful, the results need to offset the costs. Training results = improved productivity or performance Not all training success need be financial; success may be quantitative or qualitative, as long as it’s relevant to the business. (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010)
  7. 7. LEARNING TRANSFER IN ACTION
  8. 8. LEARNING TRANSFER IN ACTION RESULTS Learning Expectations Influence Outcomes! 1950 MIT experiment asked students to review teacher. One group was told teacher was “very warm” one group was told teacher was “very cold”. Even though the students sat through the exact same lecture, the teacher reviews were completely different between the two groups. (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p. 72)
  9. 9. LEARNING TRANSFER IN ACTION RESULTS Any early exposure to the learning program or previous experience with similar ones shape opinions about the program’s value Manager’s level of interest or indifference strongly shapes learners’ opinions Learns get out of a program exactly what they expect they will! (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010)
  10. 10. WHAT AFFECTS LEARNING TRANSFER? Clear expectations about expected performance after training (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p. 80) Manager support (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p. 77) Perceived value and benefits (personal gain) (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p. 75) Relevance (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p. 66) Prior Experiences (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p 66) Distance from the Instructional Source (Distributed Workforce – Game of Telephone) (Sullivan) Poor Instructional Design (Sullivan) Conflicts or distractions with work (Sullivan)
  11. 11. DESIGNING FOR LEARNING TRANSFER
  12. 12. DESIGN FOR BEFORE ….. Get every training attendee on the same page Prework/Preparation before training:  Allows trainer to go further and quicker  Creates richer and more meaningful group discussions  Needs to be reasonable  Needs to be a clearly stated prerequisite to training, such that those who do not complete are unable to participate
  13. 13. ….. AND AFTER “The single greatest barrier to learning transfer [is] lack of reinforcement on the job” (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p. 92)
  14. 14. ….. AND AFTER Of eleven reasons cited by Philips and Philips (2002) of why training fails, 7 are related to the post-training environment:  Training regarded as an isolated event  Participants not held accountable for results  Failure to prepare the job environment to support transfer  Management reinforcement and support mission  Failure to isolate the effects of training  Lack of commitment and involvement of executives  Failure to provide feedback and use information about results (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010, p. 92)
  15. 15. ….. AND AFTER Everyone (managers and learning professionals) need to take responsibility for ensuring learning produces results! Actively adopt new systems and process to ensure learning transfer… such as?  How do you start the conversation?  Who do you need to get on board?  What process changes need to happen?  What tools can you use to help post-training? (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010)
  16. 16. ….. AND AFTER If there was a class with no grades, no tests, no attendance, and no clear expected future benefit, would you….  Do the assignments?  Make it a priority?  Show up everyday?  Register for it?
  17. 17. ….. AND AFTER Assessments are an important and necessary part of training programs.  They set clear expectations  They set a clear finish line for the training program  They reinforce training concepts  They provide an opportunity for feedback (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010,)
  18. 18. ….. AND AFTER For assessments to be effective, however, they must evaluate the correct behavior/skill/results. (Wick, Pollock & Jefferson, 2010)
  19. 19. “Understanding, Creating & Evaluating Learning Objectives.”
  20. 20. LEARNING TRANSFER CASE STUDY
  21. 21. LEARNING TRANSFER CASE STUDY
  22. 22. REFERENCES Hutchings, Ph.D, Holly & Burke, Ph.D, Lisa A. “Transfer of Training. Activities to Enhance Learning.” SHRM. Accessed November 24, 2007 from http://www.shrm.org/Education/hreducation/Documents/Transfer%20of%20Training%20_ Activities.pdf. Sullivan, Rick. “Transfer of Learning”. MAQ Exchange. Accessed November 23, 2011 from http://www.intrahealth.org/~intrahea/files/media/training-innovations-and-provider- performance/TOL_high_res.pdf. Troha, Frank. “Ensuring the Transfer of Learning: Some Tips for Making Training Stick.” Frank Troha Instructional Design and Development Consulting. Accessed November 22, 2007 from www.iacet.org/component,9/action,download_file/_no.../id,132/. “Understanding, Creating & Evaluating Learning Objectives.” Accessed November 27, 2011 from http://softchalkconnect.com/lesson/files/8wXSLynRaeBOP6/Learning_Outcomes_Lesson _print.html Wick, C. W., Pollock, R. V. H., & Jefferson, A. (2010). The six disciplines of breakthrough learning, how to turn training and development into business results. (2 ed.). Pfeiffer.

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