Chapter 4 Learning: Theories and Program Design 165 Learning Outcome Internal Conditions External Conditions Verbal Information Labels, facts, and Previously learned knowledge and Repeated practice propositions verbal information Meaningful chunks Strategies for coding information Advance organizers into memory Recall cues Intellectual Skills Knowing how Link between new and previously learned knowledge Cognitive Strategies Process of thinking Recall of prerequisites, similar Verbal description of strategy and learning tasks, and strategies Strategy demonstration Practice with feedback Variety of tasks that provide opportunity to apply strategy Attitudes Choice of personal Mastery of prerequisites Demonstration by a model action Identification with model Positive learning environment Cognitive dissonance Strong message from credible source Reinforcement Motor Skills Muscular actions Recall of part skills Practice Coordination program Demonstration Gradual decrease of external feedback TABLE 4.11 Internal and External Conditions Necessary for Learning Outcomes Source: Based on R. M. Gagne and K. L. Medsker, The Conditions of Learning (Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt-Brace College Publishers, 1996). CONSIDERATIONS IN DESIGNING EFFECTIVE TRAINING PROGRAMS This chapter has discussed implications of learning theory for instruction. The importance of objectives, meaningful material, properly coordinated and arranged training, and oppor- tunities for practice and feedback has been emphasized. How do trainers ensure that these conditions are present in training programs? This last section of the chapter discusses the practical steps involved in designing effective training programs, courses, and lessons. This includes selecting and preparing the training site, selecting trainers, creating a positive learning environment and program design. Selecting and Preparing the Training Site The training site refers to the room where training will be conducted. A good training site offers the following features: 57 1. It is comfortable and accessible. 2. It is quiet, private, and free from interruptions.
166 Part 2 Designing Training 3. It has sufficient space for trainees to move easily around in, offers enough room for trainees to have adequate work space, and has good visibility for trainees to see each other, the trainer, and any visual displays or examples that will be used in training (e.g., videos, product samples, charts, slides). Details to Be Considered in the Training Room Table 4.12 presents characteristics of the meeting room that a trainer, program designer, or manager should use to evaluate a training site. Keep in mind that many times trainers do not have the luxury of choosing the “perfect” training site. Rather, they use their evaluation of the training site to familiarize themselves with the site’s strengths and weaknesses in order to adjust the training program and/or physical arrangements of the site (e.g., rearrange the trainer’s position so it is closer to electrical outlets needed to run equipment).
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