Training and Development: The Evolution Essay
Of course, the trials and tribulation of modern man are less life and death, but this primitive need is still present in the entrepreneurial world of today. Equally prevalent is our never ending quest for knowledge. Training and Development: The Evolution Dating back to the dawn of man, there has been a need to teach basic skills to younger members of a tribe in order to prepare them for the transition from adolescence to adulthood. As ancient humans became dependent on primitive tools for survival, the need to pass along those skills to future generators became essential in insuring the sustainability of the species.
As man invented tools, weapons, clothing, shelter, and language, the need for training became an essential Ingredient In the march of civilization” (Statement, 1976, p. 1-3). This compulsory obligation to hand down knowledge was so critical to human existence, that It Is forever ingrained in our genealogy. While the need for sustenance and protection faced by people today is not nearly as immediate and problematic, that endemic motivation for survival Is alive and well in today’s modern civilizations, albeit from a more entrepreneurial perspective.
Our tools for survival have become much more employ though the generations, but the
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Education relates to a broad spectrum of information designed to Increase ones overall knowledge of a particular subject, whereas training relates to behavior modification. All too often, instructors misguidedly assume that if a student is 1 OFF conclusion as the master, and therefore exhibit the same behaviors as the master. This isn’t always the case. Whether or not a desired behavior is exhibited and maintained after the training is delivered, is the determining factor as to whether a training program is considered successful, not the students’ over all knowledge of the object.
The purpose of training is much more about producing a Bolivian response rather than inspiring an intellectual Journey. Any information delivered during a training program that is not in direct support the desired behavior is often a distraction, and will do little to insure the behavior is exhibited. To put this theory into perspective, consider a group of employees who need training on proper fire drill procedures. Knowing that the fire alarm was invented by Dry. William F.
Changing in 1839 and first implemented in Boston in 1852 may do wonders in raising the intellectual water level of the group, but will be of little use in insuring the safety of the employees. This is not to say that obscure “nuggets of information” have no use at all. These tidbits of wisdom can help instructors gain credibility with an audience, but a program designed solely around an intellectual dialog will certainly fail to achieve its true objective. In order to understand where training is today and where it’s heading, we must examine where it’s been and the almost Darwinist way it has evolved into the high tech process it is today.
The primary form of training during antiquity was on-the-Job training. JOT training is one of the earliest means of skill transfer and was extremely effective during that period because it did not require the need for additional skill sets such as reading or writing. This “monkey see, monkey do” approach normally happens where the work will take place, directly relating the instruction to the work that is to be done. The only requirements are an individual who already possesses the skill and a willing student to watch and mirror the actions.
As tools became more advanced, and the labor more specialized, the JOT method gave way to apprenticeship programs that were wide spread by the Middle Ages. The increased skill complexity and quickly changing social structure meant the labor force had to become less “Jack of all trades” and more proficient in specific areas. While JOT programs were very effective at training elementary skills that did not require unique knowledge, apprenticeships programs were designed to train high level skills that typically took years to master.
The down side to this type of training is that it is one-to-one training that requires a large number of highly skilled “masters” to train a small number of students. During the Industrial Revolution, formal classrooms had become the common environment for education. The rapid growth of mechanized manufacturing meant that a skilled workforce was needed much quicker than long term apprenticeships programs could provide. “In the asses factory schools were created, in which workers were trained in classrooms within the factory walls” (Sleight, 1993) thus giving birth to the training classroom.
With classroom training, factory owners could now train large groups of employees quickly with only a few highly skilled trainers. Because training took place in a controlled environment away from the production floor, employees could learn valuable skills thou adversely affecting production totals. This approach to training did have drawbacks however. Having one instructor train a large group at once means that individual learning paths could not be accommodated and students must take Around 1900 Vestibule training was developed to combine the benefits of on-the-Job and classroom training.
Vestibule training brought classroom training as close to the work area as possible in rooms specifically designed to simulate an actual production environment. Students learned the needed skills by practicing on equipment that is identical to that on the production floor. This gives the student a practical application experience similar to on-the-Job training without negatively affecting production. Vestibule training is extremely effective but does have some draw backs. Vestibule training tends to be very expensive because it requires training rooms be outfitted with the same equipment as the production floor.
This typically requires a considerable amount of space dedicated to training that can rarely be repressed for other training needs. The Vestibule approach is still widely used in mass- production environments where large groups of semi-skilled employees need to be rained in a short amount of time. During the World Wars, manufacturing production had to be increased to a level never before seen, in order to supply the war efforts. This period gave birth to Systematic Training, where each function was broken down to its simplest form in order to eliminate non-productive steps and movements.
Systematic Training or Job Instruction Training TIT) is primarily designed to increase efficiency. This approach requires a great deal of research and analysis into the task to be performed in order to illuminate the areas of opportunity. Once these areas are exploited and incorporated into the training program, tremendous improvements in efficiency can be realized, equating to a large “bang” for the training “buck”. The post-war world saw a revolution in automation that extended well past manufacturing processes as training itself became more automated.
The days of large instructor lead classrooms were giving way to Individualized Instruction that could eliminate the instructor entirely. Teaching machines were programmed to teach students by presenting predetermined scenarios after which the student must give a response by answering a question or solving a problem. The student received feedback after each response. Over time these simple linear programs became more complex and allowed more experienced students to skip sections that were more remedial while allowing less experienced students to spend more time with new subject matter. Individualized instruction was originally presented in book form, and sometimes still is. In order to prevent students from looking at the answers in the book ahead of time, some individualized instruction was automated by inserting it into a teaching machine. Teaching machines are devices that house, display, and present printed programmed instruction. A display aperture exposes each instructional frame, and a second aperture provides a space for the response. Feedback is given when the program is advanced through actuation of a lever, knob, or button, and the correct answer comes to view’ (Sleight, 1993).
These rudimentary programs evolved into computer-based training that became very popular during the asses. A form of CB called embedded training is still in use today by the military to carry out continuing education training in operational systems were skills degrade over time. By the end of the 20th century we had entered an information evolution where the amount of information needed to perform a tasking was increasing and work procedures were evolving quickly. To train a modern workforce information that would be very difficult to retain with any degree of accuracy.
The solution was to create Job Aids that eliminate the need for students to learn anything at all. Students would only need to know where to find the information when it was needed. With a data base housing very detailed step-by-step instructions for every task to be performed, students only need a small amount of training on where to find the information. Quality control is also less of a concern as each worker gets the same instructions each time the task is performed. This approach works extremely well when the tasks to be performed are fairly predictable and do not require a great deal of flexibility.
The training landscape of today is more off blended approach. It is a culmination of its lineage. Modern online training programs and Learning Management Systems carry the DNA of the Teaching Machines of the asses. Modern training labs allow subject matter experts to pass down there skills to future generations of workers Just as our ancestors did eons ago. But the trainers of today face challenges that our predecessor didn’t see coming. The attention span of today’s student cannot be held by the mere self-fulfillment of increased education and the acquisition new skill sets. Today’s students demand to be entertained as well.
Thirty years ago, when computers were fairly new to the training environment, computer- based training programs seemed cutting edge to most students. That is not true today. Sadly, most online training courses evoke memories of The Oregon Trail and the Open Apple Resets of the past, opposed to engaging the learner in ways they have become accustomed to. This is because the online training environment requires today’s instructors to create new content at a rate faster than ever before. Modern Learning Management Systems are content-eating machines that demand a constant supply of fresh material to satisfy their insatiable appetite.
One can relate this paradigm to that of the Vaudevillian comedians on the asses. In those days, comedians would develop material that would be delivered on stage. They would take their show on the road to halls and play houses all over the country, refining the act along the way. A comedian of this era could use an act for years without the need or new material. This all changed when television became the default means of entertainment. A comedian’s act could be delivered to the entire county simultaneously, so fresh material would be needed after each show. What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish” (Aden, 1962). To insure modern students are engaged instructors must be masters of Pedagogy. Pedagogical theory is used where the learner may not be self-motivated to learn the material and needs a high level of engagement in order to maintain focus. This can be managed in classroom based programs through the use of hands-on exercises and AD models that depict the theory being taught.
This is more difficult with online programs and is often over looked entirely. Most instructors, and instructional designers, make the mistake of assuming that because the learning is self-paced that an Ontological approach is adequate. This misconception leads to material that is deemed boring by today’s students who lose interest very quickly. In conclusion, the modern training environment is a culmination of methods and traits passed down from generation to enervation to create the complex learning landscape we see today. In order for which it sprang.
By utilizing each of the methods perfected by our predecessors, and adapting them to meet the needs of an increasingly fastidious leaner, we can be an active participant in that evolution rather than become an extinct species due to the ever changing world around us. When it comes to training, one thing will remain a constant throughout the millennia. At its most fundamental, training will always consist of someone passionate enough about the knowledge they possess, to pass it long to someone intelligent enough to see the need to possess it.