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Transfer of Learning into the workplace


I am currently involved in providing training for technicans working within a dealer franchise network. While it is relatively easy to determine the training need I am haveing great difficulty in finding a method of measuring the success of the training by relating it to improvements in the workplace. There are many problems surrounding this one of which is that the tecnican may not neccessarily use what has been taught for some considerable time after the training has been completed.
adrian birch

5 Responses

  1. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it
    In our Organisation, our motto is that if you don’t use it then you will lose it. For instance, we discourage IT users who request system training if they are not able to go straight back to their desks and use their newly acquired skills. Our training is very much hands on and delegates are keen to put that which they have learnt to the test. We find that the day after training has been completed their enthusiasm is at its peak and to not be able to use a system is not a good thing.

    We specifically train users in a job based environment where training is identical to real working tasks or situations, thus making the transition from classroom to workplace is much smoother.

    We also run a very succesful dealership program – email me for more information and some ideas.

  2. Transfer of Learning
    This is part of the dilemma of training. Before you can measure improvement you first need to have in place a method of measurement (I don’t wish to overstate the obvious). When there is no existing measurement, it’s almost impossible, without that base line, to find out what improvement has occurred as a result of training.

    Find out how output or outcomes are measured now. Plan the training to occur just-in-time so that learning can be reinforced on the job. With an existing method of measurement, it shouldn’t be too hard to determine if improvement has occurred.

    Unfortunately, output in some jobs is very difficult to gauge. If this is the case in your current circumstance, then you really only have the word of supervisors and participants to say whether they have improved. At most this is very subjective, but it’s better than nothing.

    Good luck.

  3. No rocket science involved
    Hi Adrian
    You’re facing an issue which is more and more high focus, but surprisingly many Training professionals think they don’t have the expertise to carry out effective training evaluation.
    Your scenario sound like it needs you to find a way of testing the on-the-job performance of people you have trained and comparing it with that of those who haven’t. You probably also need to t4est at predetermined intervals to check how much of the training “falls out” because they don’t have the opportunity to implement the training immediately. If you are looking then to evaluate the financial impact of the training , a simple methodology would be to cost out the effect of not having the skills – how much does each mistake cost, in simple terms, and the impact is then the nu,mber of times each year the training has prevented the mistake from occurring.
    I train people in evaluation, so if youd like to know more, please fell free to email me on [email protected] or call on 01295 256161.

  4. review for evaluation
    with the people who are not going to use the new skills immediately – can you cost into your product a review/check up session for later in the year. Would also be a check up for those using the skills.


  5. Evaluating Learning

    If you need to run some type of assessment much later than the training occurs, that’s fine. If you can find some way to get people to review their skills to reinforce them, it will be better. For example, can some of the learners job rotate for a few hours per week to keep skills current until they need them full time?

    As you suggest, a diagnostic test could be used for trained practitioners who use the skills every day and the learners. If the skills being taught are psychomotor (as it sounds they are), you can use a checklist of each step in the various process or processes. Having a peer (buddy) assigned to check out another technician is a good way to maintain skills both of the checker and the learner being assessed. This also aids team work and shows the expert technicians (who have probably started cutting corners), that they need to refocus on some procedures.



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