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Learning Styles, Motivation and on the Job Training

The first learning style is sensing vs.intuitive learning style.Sensing learners like learning facts and solving problems by well established methods.

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Unlike intuitive learners, sensor learners resent testing on material that has not been explicitly covered in training. (p 169) Intuitive learners often prefer discovering new relationships and can be innovative in their approach to problem solving. They dislike repetition and are better at grasping concepts than sensor learners. Unlike sensors, intuitive learners don’t like courses that involve a lot of memorization and routine calculations.

In order to get the most out of training, sensor learners need to be intuitive learners at times and at times intuitive learners need to be sensor learners. The trainer can help the sensor learner by organizing the training by using a problem first method. Intuitors can be more difficult to train especially if the training involves a lot of memorization. The trainer can help these people by creating incentives such as a game with a reward for memorizing certain key points of the training.

Next there is the visual vs. erbal learner. Visual learners remember best what they see, pictures, diagrams, flowcharts and demonstrations. 169 Verbal learners get more out of words; both written and spoken. Visual learners are among the easiest to train. There are a wide variety of materials available to supplement lectures for the trainer to use to engage the visual learner. The trainer can help the verbal learner by having handouts of the presentation available or providing paper in which the trainee can summarize the presentation in his/her own words.

Sequential learners vs. global learners. Sequential learners gain understanding when things are presented step by step. The global learner is one who needs to see the whole picture before being able to absorb the details. The sequential learner can be helped by providing a copy of the lecture material with blank spaces for the sequential learner to fill in key terms and definitions. The global learner can be helped by explaining how each new module fits in with the overall purpose of the training. Active learners vs reflective learners.

Active learners need to do something. They can be helped by applying the information, discussing it, or explaining it to others. Reflective learners prefer to think about the new information before applying it. “ Let’s try it out and see how it works” is how the active learner might respond. The reflective learner on the other hand might say, “ Let’s think it through first”. The active learner can be helped by the trainer by being placed in group settings. They have a particularly hard time sitting in a lecture and taking notes.

The reflective learner, however, prefers working alone so it might be beneficial to give this type of learner questions to answer at the end of each training module. One of the most frequently used training methods is on the job training (OJT). Compare and contrast the characteristics of an informal OJT program with that of a formal one. Before the advent of training classrooms, on the job training was the most predominant form of training.. This was commonly referred to as apprenticeship.

Master craftsmen passed on their skills to novices who worked alongside of them Today, on the job training is used primarily for teaching new technology or increasing skills in the use of current technology. Informal OJT consists of using more skilled co-workers or supervisors to train the less skilled or less experienced employee. The informal OJT has not been thought out or prepared (p 236). The workers generally learn on a trial and error basis with some feedback from supervisors or coworkers. It is also done on an ad hoc basis with no predetermined content or process.

With informal OJT there aren’t any objectives or goals and trainers are often chosen on the basis of their technical expertise not their training ability because they haven’t had any formal training on how to train. This creates more room for error because the trainers are often inconsistent and may even be introducing methods that are not approved by the organization. Formal OJT programs are just the opposite. They have a carefully thought out sequence of events. Like informal OJT the trainee gets to observe the trainer performing the job related tasks.

Unlike informal OJT, the procedures involved in the tasks are discussed, before, during and after the training. In formal OJT, the trainee does not begin performing the tasks until the trainer feels that they are ready to do so. The trainee is given more and more of the job to perform as he/she masters the each skill necessary to perform the task. Because a trainer is used who is not only experienced with the task but trained as a trainer, the company can be assured that the new employees are learning the tasks more quickly and systematically than in an informal training.

Another advantage is consistency of training. The company can be sure that all of the workers performing the same tasks in any of the company departments or locations will be performing in the same manner. With formal OJT, inputs and outputs can be assessed to determine if any modifications need to be made to the training. Describe four factors that should be considered when developing an effective computer based training (CBT) program. One of the biggest factors to consider is the cost of the program.

Developing a CBT can be a costly endeavor. Costs of the program include the wages of the course developer as well as the wages of the trainees while they are taking the program (p 276). Then the organization must also consider the costs of the hardware and software needed to conduct the training. The company must then weigh these costs against the number of trainees that will be using the program and how often the program will be needed as well as the frequency of updating the material.

The second factor to consider is the control of material and the training process. Because the content is built directly into the program, the company has complete control over the content of the learning material that all trainees are getting. This is advantageous for companies with multiple locations because it allows for consistency in the training. Also, the trainees are moved through the training process based on their understanding of each training module.

The trainees can also start and stop the training rocess which allows for minimal disruption in production. CBTs can help employees enhance their knowledge. The CBT can present the facts in several different formats and presentation styles. It also can provide a variety of modules to show the employees how to apply the knowledge to their actual job. Analyze the three things an organization should do to motivate a trainee before the trainee attends training. An organization can have one of the best training programs available, but if the trainees are not motivated they will not learn.

When conducting a training program, it is important to remember that the trainees all have different learning styles. Each of the trainees will have a different learning style than the others. Most likely they will have a combination of the sensing/intuitive, active/reflective, visual/verbal and sequential/global learning styles. Because of this it is important to remember that a variety of training methods be incorporated into the training and it is also important to remember that there will be modules of the training that will be more effective for some trainees than others.

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