Theories of Training Scheduling
Training Scheduling can be done either during the working hours or after the working hours. There are many training design theories. These theories offer guidelines as to what methods to use in what situation for designing the sequencing of the training program for it to be effective.
Two important training scheduling theories one concentrating at the macro level, the “Elaboration theory” and another which concentrates at the micro level, the “Gagne and Briggs theory” are explained here.
1. Elaboration Theory
Sequencing is the process of how to group and order the content of training. It gains importance in training programs only when a strong relationship exists among the topics of the course. In such cases, how the sequencing has to be carried out so that the trainees are benefited to the maximum extent is brought out through the elaboration theory.
Elaboration theory, a macro design theory, is a useful guide for determining sequencing of events and how to present them in a training content. Two different strategies are possible for the sequencing of topics in a training program.
- Topical Sequencing
- Spiral Sequencing
Topical sequencing has the advantage of concentrating on one topic and helps the trainees to understand that topic fully before going to the next topic. But this also makes the learner move from one topic to the next so the danger of the trainee forgetting the previously learnt topic to the next so the danger of the trainee forgetting the previously learnt topic may materialize.
In the case of spiral sequencing, synthesis and review among the topics learnt is possible as inter-relationships are understood and taken care of. But it affects the learners thought process when moving to next topic continuously.
Elaboration theory is applicable to complex tasks and is based on the “Simplifying Condition Method”. SCM sequencing strategy enables learners to understand tasks holistically, which results in the formation of a stable cognitive schema to which more complex capabilities and understanding can be assimilated. For example, driving a vehicle is a complex task. But first the learner is taught to drive the vehicle in an empty road and then slowly making the learner to drive the vehicle in a busy road will make the learning process and easy task.
SCM consists of two parts. Epitomizing, which is the process of identifying the simplest version of the task, but is still a representative of the task as a whole. Then elaborating, which is the process of identifying a progressively more complex version of the task. While designing the training program first, the epitomizing of the task is done first and later elaborating is carried out.
2. Gagne Briggs Theory
In order to bring about cognitive, behavioral and attitudinal learning, this micro level theory provides a set of procedures to be followed for each instructional event to enhance learning.
Gagne Briggs theory identifies the following events of instruction:
- Gain attention: Gaining the attention of the trainees is the first step to enhance learning in a training program. This attention seeking can be done in a number of ways. One way is to have the CEO / President / Top person in management welcome the trainee.
- Informing trainee of goal (objective): The next step is to make the trainees focused and be aware of what needs to be learnt and what they have to be after the training is complete.
- Stimulate / Recall previous knowledge: In order to ensure that the trainees have accessed the necessary information needed for learning that is about to take place in the training program, stimulating recall of relevant prior knowledge is done.
- Present the material: In order to ensure understanding, the material is presented in a logical way. Use questions eliciting response from the trainees, use presentation sheets with colors or bold letters to emphasize important points.
- Provide guidance for learning: The trainees should be guided to reach the solution and not be provided with the solution straightaway. This way they are stimulated to think of the possible ways to reach at a solution.
- Elicit performance: Allow the trainees to try out what they have learned. Exercises can be given focusing on teamwork to solve the problems.
- Provide informative feedback: Once the group completes one process in the training program, a feedback session as to how they have done is essential. Feedback can be given in different method depending upon the time of the training sessions, number of trainees etc.
- Assess performance: This theory suggests that one should assess learning after each of the topics is taught. Such assessment of the skills taught need not be formal, and it can be done at the end of the training program.
- Enhance retention and transfer: Transfer of training to the job is an important part of any training program. Therefore, any training program should be designed to facilitate retention and transfer of knowledge and learning.