Chapter 6 Pages 191-194 Learning theory and training design Two major approaches to the study of learning 1. behaviorist perspective 2. cognitive perspective Behaviorist theory Learning in terms of observable stimuli and responses A person’s behavior is a product of the person’s past experience in an environment Experience gained during training should influence later job performance Transfer of training: the degree to which the knowledge, skills, and abilities gained in the training environment are then applied in the job environment Four basic learning principles: 1. Identical Elements: transfer of training is maximized to the extent that stimuli in the training environment are identical to those in the transfer environment 2. General Principles: transfer of training is improved when trainees are taught not only applicable skills, but also general rules that underlie the training content 3. Stimulus Variability: multiple examples of a concept should be provided for trainees to see the applicability 4. Conditions of Practice: the manner in which the trainee is exposed to the content of the training program a. Whole vs. part learning: addresses whether knowledge, skills, and abilities being covered in the training program should be introduced to trainees as the whole task or as separate task elements Whole learning: practicing an entire duty Part learning: asks participants to practice pieces of larger tasks For tasks that have highly interdependent parts, whole learning is preferred Tasks that have largely independent elements should be trained using part learning b. Spaced vs. massed practice: concerns the dispersion of practice sessions Spaced trials: rest period is allowed between practice sessions Massed practice: trainee practices the task continually until mastery Space trials are preferable
Massed practice may be used in a case where errors are critical and learning from errors is important c. Overlearning: a task should be practiced until it can be performed with few attentional resources Invaluable in health and safety-related training Cognitive learning theories Popular cognitive approach to learning: social learning theory: people observe others to learn Can help us learn various motor skills or styles of behaving Models: the people we observe during social learning Psychologist most often associated with social learning theory: Albert Bandura Bandura propose four mental processes facilitate social learning: 1. Attention: must notice behavioral models and find them interesting 2. Memory: must be able to remember the information obtained by observation to use at a later time 3. Motor control: must be able to use the information obtain from observation to guide their own actions 4. Motivation: must have some reason to perform the modeled actions Pages 198-201 Types of training in organizations Safety training Some forms of training are mandated by law for certain workers General training that is required for all workers
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