A policy-capturing study of preferences for differing training factors

Willis, Colin, author
Kraiger, Kurt, advisor
Cleary, Anne, committee member
Fisher, Gwen, committee member
Maynard, Travis, committee member
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The present study applied policy-capturing, a methodology in which subjects act as their own control, to assess the utility of 32 different training scenarios. These scenarios were composed from levels of four different cues, or components, of training: whether the trainee was a new hire or tenured employee, whether the training content taught human or technical skills, whether the training method was classroom-based, computer-based, a blend of the two, or mobile-based, and whether the learning occurred individually or as part of a group. These cues were fully crossed to build the scenarios, so that participants saw every possible combination of the cues across the scenarios. Participants, who on average reported working fulltime, being with their organization for at least six years, and taking over 30 training courses across their career, were asked to rate these scenarios on how useful the training would be for them and for their job and to give an overall rating to the scenario. Additionally, participants reported their prior training experience, motivation to learn, role conflict, role overload, role ambiguity, and age. It was hypothesized that: (a) Each cue would each explain a significant proportion of variance in scenario ratings; (b) participants would combine cues interactively, and these interaction terms would explain a significant proportion of variance in scenario ratings; (c) more motivated to learn participants would combine cues interactively more frequently than less motivated participants; (d) more potentially stressed individuals would prefer less restrictive training methods (i.e., computer-based or mobile-based methods); (e) more experienced participants would combine cues interactively more frequently than less experienced participants; and (f) scenario ratings would decrease as age increased. Results were modeled at two levels – between and within subjects – and the results supported the notion that potential trainees have stable preferences for different training scenarios, these preferences vary across prior training experience and motivation to learn, and conceptions about training are formed prior to training. These results support the future exploration of training preferences, specifically how other cues might influence preferences, whether these preferences influence later training evaluations, and whether designing future training to match, even generally, the preferences of trainees improves training learning or transfer outcomes.
2016 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.
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