Science of Learning: When and How

2016-08-30_10-00-45The 2014 Association for Talent Development’s (ATD) State of the Industry report, shows organizations spending spent $1,208 on average, per employee, on training and development. Salas and the other authors of The Science of Training and Development in Organizations: What Matters in Practice, groundbreaking research using a series of meta-analyses, tell us that well-designed training is effective. It also says that the way we design, deliver, and implement training is what impacts the degree to which it is effective, asserting:

… (D)ecisions about what to train, how to train, and how to implement and evaluate training should be informed by the best information science has to offer.

Salas and fellow authors said reviews of training literature found many training efforts to be faddish, disconnected to the scientific literature, and lagging behind other sciences, with training programs implemented for inadequate and wasteful reasons.

Too many training myths still prevail. A 2008 Cisco whitepaper discussed the multitude of learning myths prevalent among learning practitioners. An entire book was recently published on learning myths.

Using research in practice aims to integrate scientific evidence with day-to-day practice in order to gain better outcomes. For example, carpenters may not know all the physics that goes into good practice, but they practice the science as shelving and framing would fall down if they didn’t.

What happens when L&D practitioners don’t practice the science of learning? Not practicing our science means our organizations and learners suffer and resources are wasted.

In this chat2lrn, we’ll discuss whether and how to use the science of learning in L&D practice.

References

C. Fadel. & C. Lemke. (2008). Cisco Systems. Multimodal learning through media: What the research says http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/education/Multimodal-Learning-Through-Media.pdf

Salas, E., Tannenbaum, S.I., Kraiger, K and Smith-Jentsch, K.A. (2012). The science of training and development in organizations: What matters in practice. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13 (2), pp. 74-101. 42. http://psi.sagepub.com/content/13/2/74.full.pdf+html

Tharenou, P., Saks, A., & Moore, C. (2007). A review and critique of research on training Psychological Science in the Public Interest-2012-Salas-74-101 http://www.celiamoore.com/uploads/9/3/2/1/9321973/tharenou_saks_moore_-_hrm_review_-_2007.pdf

R. E.  Mayer, R.E. (1997). Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions? Education Psychologist, 32, 1-19. http://www.uky.edu/~gmswan3/609/mayer_1997.pdfPsychological Science in the Public Interest-2012-Salas-74-101