Training and development have not always been perceived by organizations as activities that add value to their operations. Thankfully, that perception has changed significantly since the 1970s. Recent research has shown that organizations that invest in the training and development of their employees tend to be more successful than those who do not. By enrolling in this course, you have chosen to learn how to join this successful group.
This unit will help you begin your journey toward being a training professional. You will learn what training is and the benefits it provides to organizations. The concept of strategic training, or the use of training to address an organization’s mission, is critical in providing successful training initiatives. This will be discussed, along with how various organizational characteristics influence the design of training programs. Training department organizational models will be presented, along with alternatives for marketing a training department and its programs.
The unit concludes with an overview of the importance of conducting a needs assessment before designing a training program. Needs assessment consists of three components: organizational analysis, person analysis, and task analysis. These will be described, along with detailed information on how to conduct and use needs analysis data.
As you learned in Unit 1, training is the facilitation of learning in the workplace. Learning must occur for training to be effective. This unit defines learning and highlights some major theories of learning, including reinforcement theory, social learning theory, goal setting theory, need theories, expectancy theories, adult learning theory, and information processing theory. The learning process is discussed along with the basic process of instructional design. This includes consideration of the elements of instruction such as making the learner aware of why he/she should learn, making training content meaningful, providing opportunities for practice and feedback, and providing an environment conducive to learning. Information on schedules of reinforcement, processes of learning, external instructional events, and forms of instruction are also presented, with advice on the preparation of a training site.
Obviously, learning is an important aspect of any training program. However, the ability to use learned capabilities on the job (transfer of training) is equally important. This unit discusses how trainee characteristics, trainee design features, and the work environment itself influence the transfer of training. Trainees may need to develop self-management skills to cope with a work environment that is not always conducive to transfer of training. The climate for transfer, manager and peer support, technology support, and opportunity to perform are features that influence transfer of training.
Unit 3 covers the topics of training evaluation and information on training method options that many novice trainers falsely believe should make up the entire course.
Lesson 6 provides information on training evaluation, the issues surrounding it, and how to approach it. Reasons for evaluating training are described, and the process of evaluating training is outlined. Various evaluation designs are explained with an emphasis on related costs, time, and strength. Return on investment (ROI) and cost-benefit analysis concepts are presented, and examples given.
Lesson 7 describes a number of traditional methods for delivering training, from passive presentation methods to hands-on methods to group building methods. Each has advantages and disadvantages, which are discussed.
Lesson 8 provides an understanding of the various “new technologies” that have changed the way training is delivered. They are typically interactive and experiential in nature. Advantages and disadvantages are described for each of the new technologies as are their uses. To a student in an online course, many of these new technologies should sound very familiar!
This unit provides a discussion of employee development and career management. Major approaches to employee development will be addressed, including formal education programs and assessment methods for developmental purposes. Other assessment activities such as assessment centers and performance appraisals are reviewed. A currently popular appraisal method called 360-degree feedback is presented. Job experiences for development are discussed, with a focus on job rotation and transfers. Finally, interpersonal relationships will be addressed, with an emphasis on mentoring.
Because careers have changed so dramatically, the discussion of careers and career management is extremely important. The second part of this unit provides a context by discussing the traditional concept of a career as compared to today’s concept. The implications for career management systems and training are enormous. Lesson 11 discusses the notion of a career and how it has changed. It will describe career models, the four stages of a career, and reveals the important components of a career management system. The roles of the various parties to career management are detailed and the expected outcomes of career management systems are discussed. The unit provides a thorough discussion of careers and career management in a futuristic manner.
There are 4 exams for this course.
There are 14 discussion postings, 17 individual activities, and a graduate project for this course.
There are 9 team activities for this course.