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How Can I Get Learners to Transfer What They've Learned?

Homepage Forums Brain-Based Learning Q&A How Can I Get Learners to Transfer What They've Learned?

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      In working with trainers, one of their common complaints is that new learning doesn’t seem to transfer from the training room to the workplace. Here are some strategies that you may find helpful.

      First, clearly communicate expected outcomes to both the manager and the participant. When the expectations are clear, both managers and participants will know whether they have completed the learning effectively and if they are using it on the job.

      It is also important that the outcomes are measurable and reported. Will they complete a task more quickly, with fewer errors, or in a completely new way? It is important to be able to measure success, and to know whether there is a need for further training or coaching.

      Speaking of coaching, it is helpful to build coaching into the learning and follow-up phases. This means that both the trainer and the managers need to have coaching skills so providing coaching training to managers will help them more effectively support their employees in applying their new learning.

      Accountability for application and performance increases learning transfer. How often is their performance measured? To whom and how often do they report their progress? How often is their performance, use of the new skills or concepts, observed or measured? Answering these questions when designing the training, then communicating the accountability expectations to the managers and participants, will increase the transfer the new learning.

      Finally, celebrate the successful application of new learning with the managers and the participants. This is encouraging for this learning as well as future training and learning experiences.

      Please share your ideas to help learners transfer learning.


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