Transfer Of Learning: Not Just An Afterthought

1782 words - 8 pages

Transfer of Learning: Not Just An Afterthought Why should we focus on transfer of learning/training? Training is an investment. However, studies have estimated that only 10% of training dollars invested result in actual change on the job (Georgenson, 1982). The loss to organizations is significant. In Canada, the annual amount invested in training is estimated to be $4 billion. In the United States, the annual figure is estimated to be more than $100 billion (Gist, 1990). If employees are seen as resources, then money spent on training must be viewed as investments in human capital development. ?Transfer? refers to the implementation in the work environment of the skills acquired during ...view middle of the document...

To solve the transfer problem, there must first be consensus as to the meaning of the transfer of learning.Defining Transfer of Learning J. Kevin Ford, associate professor, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, believes to define transfer of learning one must first ask the following four questions and there you will find the meaning in your answers. Transfer of learning can take on multiple meanings depending on the way trainers, planners, and implementers answer the following four questions.1. What do you expect to change during an organized educational experience? 2. What behaviors and in what settings do you expect the learner to apply the newly acquired knowledge, skills or attitudes? 3. What are the Barriers or Inhibitors to the effective Transfer of Learning? 4. How long do you expect the acquired knowledge, skills or attitudes to be maintained over time? Transfer of learning can take on a multitude of meanings depending on how we answer the above questions. The questions not only have implications for evaluation, but also for the planning and design. What to consider to incorporate in the design and evaluation of the program depends on the answer to whether change in knowledge, skills, or attitudes is expected. Where or what settings to consider depends on an intent of generalization. Why barriers to behavioral change exist must be considered in program design to minimize their influence on transfer. When to measure transfer outcomes depends on how long knowledge, skills, and attitudes must be retained in order to conclude that successful transfer has occurred.It?s clear that we must not think about evaluating the transfer of learning after the training. The transfer of learning is a process that must be addressed before, during and after the training. How can we do this? The Training Process We have to consider the whole training process. The needs assessment, the design, the delivery and the evaluation are all part and parcel and each plays an equally important part in shaping the success of the learning process. These four stages that are performed by the trainer are the foundation for learning. Without all four stages thought out or implemented properly there may be no learning.In order for our organization to ensure transfer of learning we need to be sure that the trainers we have in place recognize the value of and practice all four stages. We need to have people in place that can: 1. Assess the Need for Training- be adept in determining who needs training and why they need training. We need them through their assessment to identify the driving forces behind training requests and to evaluate what impact training will have on bottom-line results. They cannot assume transfer.2. Design Learner-Based Training ? to include transfer component in design, identify training goals and ?what? is to transfer, plan with learner and management, develop materials understanding application context, select training methods w...

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