Web-based training has become a billion dollar industry in the United States. Electronically aided learning is viewed by many companies as a cost-effective way to deliver the up-to-date, up-gradable job-related training that the industry is demanding. This study sought to examine the relationship between learners’ satisfaction with online training as it relates to learner readiness, online features, and course relevance. The population for this study was adults seeking non-credit workforce training, specifically library professionals who were involved in web-based training through the Lifelong Education @ Desktop (LE@D) program at the University of North Texas, Denton. Online methods of training are used most extensively in the area of mandatory or compliance training, in which 35 % of training is conducted mostly or completely online. The total potential library population using LE@D product to date is approximately 4,000 unique enrollments nationwide. Participants were selected from a complete list of unique LE@D users over a 90-day period. A survey instrument was sent via e-mail to 514 enrollees who had completed a recent LE@D online training course. In total, 254 participants responded to the survey. Bivariate analysis of the variables using the Pearson product-moment correlation was used to determine the occurrence and strength of a relationship between each of the three independent variables and the dependent variable in order to test the three research hypotheses. A regression model was used to explain how significantly the three independent variables, that is, online features, learner readiness, and course relevance, would have an impact on learner satisfaction. Results suggest that learner awareness of issues surrounding online features, learner readiness, and course relevance have a statistically significant impact on the overall satisfaction of the Web-based training event. As companies continue to adopt eLearning as a training investment, attention should be given to the end-users experiences. Employee responses to ...
The purpose of the study was to investigate the application of cognitive load theory to the design of online instruction. Students in three different courses (N = 146) were measured on both learning performance and perceptions of mental effort to see if there were any statistically significant differences. The study utilized a quasi-experimental posttest-only control group design contrasting modified and unmodified instructional lessons. Both groups were given a posttest to measure knowledge gained from the lesson (cognitive domain of learning) and perceptions of mental effort involved. Independent samples t-tests were used to compare the mean performance scores of the treatment groups (i.e. the sections using redesigned materials) versus the control groups for all three courses. Cohen's d was also computed to determine effect size. Mental effort scores were similarly compared for each group on the overall cognitive load score, for a total of six data points in the study. Of the four hypotheses examined, three (H1, H2, H4) found no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control groups. Negative significance was found between the experimental and control group on the effect of modality (H3). On measures of cognitive load, no statistically significant differences were found.
Many are beginning to see the promise that the quantum world has offered those who manage and lead organizations (Wheatley, 1992; Zohar, 1997). The Newtonian world is one in which all "things" are reduced to their smallest parts, separated, divided, and analyzed with predictability, with complete control being the ultimate goal. The quantum world is one of infinite possibilities, infinite fields of influence, and infinite relationships. The hallmark characteristics found in a manager who has been schooled in the quantum sciences are flexibility, responsiveness, synchronicity, serendipity, creativity, innovation, participation, and motivation. In a quantum organization there is the constant awareness of the whole system, but there is also diversity (wave or particle), which allows for self-organization that is based on the environment and its requirements. In the quantum world many paths lead from A to Z, and depending on the path chosen, numerous realities wait to unfold. It was the goal of this research to explore the changing of leader behaviors through exposure to the models and theories found in quantum physics. From a quantum perspective this behavior change is possible; the only question is the readiness, willingness, and ability of the leaders to allow their behaviors to be surfaced and challenged. These are indeed the greatest challenges for all people as they proceed through life and work - readiness for change, willingness to change, and ability to surface key areas where change is needed.
Over the last 5 decades, the retrospective pretest has been used in behavioral science research to battle key threats to the internal validity of posttest-only control-group and pretest-posttest only designs. The purpose of this study was to compare outcome measures resulting from four research design implementations incorporating the retrospective pretest: (a) pre-post-then, (b) pre-post/then, (c) post-then, and (d) post/then. The study analyzed the interaction effect of pretest sensitization and post-intervention survey order on two subjective measures: (a) a control measure not related to the intervention and (b) an experimental measure consistent with the intervention. Validity of subjective measurement outcomes were assessed by correlating resulting to objective performance measurement outcomes. A Situational Leadership® II (SLII) training workshop served as the intervention. The Work Involvement Scale of the self version of the Survey of Management Practices Survey served as the subjective control measure. The Clarification of Goals and Objectives Scale of the self version of the Survey of Management Practices Survey served as the subjective experimental measure. The Effectiveness Scale of the self version of the Leader Behavior Analysis II® served as the objective performance measure. This study detected differences in measurement outcomes from SLII participant responses to an experimental and a control measure. In the case of the experimental measure, differences were found in the magnitude and direction of the validity coefficients. In the case of the control measure, differences were found in the magnitude of the treatment effect between groups. These differences indicate that, for this study, the pre-post-then design produced the most valid results for the experimental measure. For the control measure in this study, the pre-post/then design produced the most valid results. Across both measures, the post/then design produced the least valid results.
Database modeling is a complex conceptual topic often taught through the use of project-based teams. One of the problems with the use of project-based teams in university courses is the determination of whether this is the most effective use of instructor and student time involvement and effort level. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of providing team dynamics training prior to the commencement of short-duration project-based team conceptual data modeling projects on individual data modeling task performance (DMTP) outcomes and team cohesiveness. The literature review encompassed conceptual data design modeling, the use of a project-based team approach, team dynamics and cohesion, self-efficacy, gender, and diversity. The research population consisted of 75 university students at a North American University (Canadian) pursuing a business program requiring an information systems course in which database design components are taught. Analysis of the collected data revealed that there was a statistically significant inverse relationship found between the provision of team dynamics training and individual DMTP. However, no statistically significant relationship was found between team dynamics training and team cohesion. Therefore, this study calls into question the value of team dynamics training on learning outcomes in the case of very short duration project-based teams involved in conceptual data modeling tasks. Additional research in this area would need to clarify what about this particular experiment might have contributed to these results.
The study had four main hypotheses that examined the relationships between job satisfaction and the reasons for attending continuing professional education (CPE). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between training and job satisfaction with the objective of adding to the body of knowledge related to both job satisfaction and training and development. Participation Reasons Scale was used to measure the reasons for attending CPE activities, and the Job in General Scale and Job Descriptive Index was used to measure job satisfaction. The surveys were administered over the Internet to information technology professionals working in higher education. The participants were contacted by email with a message explaining the purpose of the research and a Web link that took the participants directly to the survey. After collecting the data, it was exported into SPSS and analyzed using Spearman Rho and Mann Whitney U statistics and a simple structure exploratory factor to determine any underlying structures between the job satisfaction and CPE.
Web-based instruction has fast become a common component of higher education. Although such instruction began as a supplemental form of interaction, it has now become a basic aspect of many college courses and degree programs. If teacher and student are not in the same place at the same time, it becomes necessary to introduce a communications medium that will not only deliver information but also provide a channel of interaction between them. This study focused on faculty training and development programs designed to impact Web-based instruction in higher education at the five largest state-funded universities in Texas within a college of education. The instrument used in this study was developed by the research to collect data relating to faculty perception of training and development opportunities available to them at their institutions, perceptions of administrative support, and technical support. The objective was to determine if there was a relationship between these items listed above and faculty members' levels of confidence and perceptions of effectiveness when teach Web-based courses. The population consisted on 151 faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, and Texas Tech University. This research study suggests that full-time tenure track faculty members at the five largest state-funded universities in Texas perceive that the amount of formal training they have received increases their ability to teach Web-based courses effectively and that the amount of formal training received also increases their perceived level of confidence when teaching Web-based courses. The researcher discovered similar results when faculty members were asked about their perceived level of institutional commitment and current initiatives for teaching Web-based courses.
This study examined the signaling strength, or marketing power, of the most common qualifications of entry-level biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) in Texas, based on stated hiring preferences of BMET managers, using order ranking of fictitious resumes. This study also sought to determine whether certification status, education background, military training background as a BMET, or type of employer [hospital or ISO] of the hiring manager had an effect on hiring preference for applicant qualifications of associate degree, military training as a BMET, or certified biomedical equipment technician (CBET) certification candidacy. Participants were asked to rank 16 fictitious resumes representing the most common qualifications of entry-level BMETs and to fill out a background questionnaire regarding their education, military, certification, and employer. The number of times each resume ranked in first place was tabulated and inter-rater reliability was calculated. Resumes with qualifications of associate degree versus military training as a BMET were compared at three levels of work experience. A chi-square test for independence was conducted for the comparisons to determine whether work experience influenced preference. Chi-square tests were also conducted for comparisons of associate degree with candidacy for CBET certification versus associate degree and military training with CBET candidacy versus military training. No statistically significant results were found for the chi-square tests, indicating that work experience did not significantly influence participant preferences for the compared qualifications. BMET hiring managers indicated a preference for combinations of qualifications rather than any single qualification. Correlations in hiring managers' educational background, certification status, military training as a BMET, type of employer, and preference for applicant qualifications were examined. Statistically significant correlations were found between participants' preference for associate degree or military training and level of education, military training background, and type of employer. Statistically significant correlations were also found between participants' preference of military training with ...
The study's purpose was to identify demographics, educational background, finances, formal and informal education and experiences, reading habits, external environmental factors, psychological factors, and computer efficacy factors that predict a student's ability to successful complete an online (Web-based) distance learning community college course. Major student retention theories and student attrition and persistence research guided the study. Distance learners (N = 926) completed four surveys, which collected data for 26 predictor variables that included age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, support others, course load, first-time student, last semester attended, student type and location, financial stability, tuition payment, prior learning experiences, reading habits, family support, enrollment encouragement, study encouragement, time management, study environment, employment, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, locus of control, self-efficacy, computer confidence and skills, and number of prior online courses. Successful or unsuccessful course completion was the dependent variable. Statistical analyses included Cronbach's alpha, Pearson chi-square, two-sample t test, Pearson correlation, phi coefficient, and binary logistic regression. Variables in each factor were entered sequentially in a block using separate binary logistic regression models. Statistically significant variables were course load, financial stability, prior learning experiences, time management and study environment, extrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, and computer skills. Selected predictor variables (N = 20) were entered hierarchically in a logistic regression model of which course load, financial stability, and self-efficacy were statistically significant in the final block. Correlation coefficients were computed for statistically significant predictor variables to determine whether the significance was confined to the control group or an overall level of significance. Findings were supported through cross-validation and forward stepwise entry of variables in logistic regression. Despite having two or more at-risk factors, distance learners who had high levels of self-efficacy, good computer and time management skills, financial stability, a favorable study environment, were enrolled in more than one course, and believed their ...
The purpose of the study was to investigate the application of the chunking process to the design and delivery of workforce training. Students in a 1-hour course (N = 110) were measured on learner reaction, learning score achievement, and knowledge retention to see whether or not chunking training in a 1-hour session into three 20-minute sessions to match adult attention span resulted in a statistically significant difference from training for 1-hour without chunking. The study utilized a repeated measures design, in which the same individuals in both the control group and experimental group took a reaction survey instrument, a posttest after the training, and again 30 days later. Independent samples t tests were used to compare the mean performance scores of the treatment group versus the control group for both sessions. Cohen's d was also computed to determine effect size. All hypotheses found a statistically significant difference between the experimental and control group.
When expenses become an issue, training is often one of the first budget items to be cut. There have been a number of evaluation studies about rates of return from training interventions. Most results are based on interviewing participants about the value of the intervention and its effect on their productivity. This often results in quadruple digit return on investment indications. Decision makers who control the budget often view these kinds of results with skepticism. This study proposes a methodology to evaluate training interventions without asking participants their opinions. The process involves measuring learning through a series of pre-tests and post-tests and determining if scores on pre-tests can be used as predictors of future return on investment results. The study evaluates a series of return on investment scores using analysis of variance to determine the relationship between pre-tests and final return on investment results for each participant. Data is also collected and evaluated to determine if the financial results of the organization during the period of the training intervention could be correlated to the results of the training intervention. The results of the study suggest that the proposed methodology can be used to predict future return on investment from training interventions based on the use of pre-tests. These rates of return can be used as a method of selecting between competing training intervention proposals. It is a process that is easily understood by the key decision makers who control the allocation of financial resources. More importantly, it is a process that can maximize the value of each dollar spent on training.
The purpose of this study was to examine a select set of organizational variables and determine their relationship to nursing assistants' intentions to quit in state-owned veterans' long-term care facilities located across the United States. America's long-term care industry (e.g., nursing homes, assisted living facilities) is a multibillion dollar industry. Because the U.S. government is projecting a 250% increase in the elderly population, staffing these nursing homes and related facilities is a critical concern. A vitally important but often overlooked factor of the long-term care industry is employee turnover. Of the staff in long-term care facilities, the nursing assistant (NA) position is particularly susceptible to turnover. Approximately 80% of NAs who enter the workforce leave within the 1st year and many leave within the first 3 months of employment. Some facilities report that they are unable to accept new residents because of a lack of qualified NAs. While many studies have researched this issue, staff turnover in long-term care facilities remains a serious and widespread problem. This study provides a foundation for future research related to the perceptions of intentions to quit of nursing assistants (NAs) working in state-owned veterans long-term care facilities by providing primary data regarding NAs intentions to quit. Results of this study indicate that NA intentions to quit might be reduced provided that pay and rewards are increased, workplace violence is addressed, and better access to patient care plans is provided. This research is useful to state-owned and operated long-term care facilities by giving them additional insights into nursing assistants' intentions to quit perhaps resulting in lower rates of turnover. It is suggested that future research be performed using populations of individuals from other segments of the long-term care industry, mainly, for-profit institutional care nursing homes, and federally owned veterans long-term care facilities.
Undergraduate enrollment in colleges and universities has grown and changed drastically over the past 2 decades, with a significant portion of this growth coming from the increased number of nontraditional students who have made the decision to make their way onto college and university campuses to pursue a college degree. Due to these changes, many institutions of higher education have had to rethink the way they have historically operated. In an attempt to better meet the needs and demands of adult nontraditional students, colleges and universities have reviewed their existing programs and instituted programs that allow for the awarding of academic credit for prior learning. For those institutions of higher education involved in the prior learning assessment (PLA) process and interested in providing a quality program, an increased emphasis and focus should be on the importance of determining what a learning activity is, and more importantly, what constitutes college-level learning. This study focused on the identification and profiling of prior learning assessment (PLA) processes in Texas public universities offering nontraditional baccalaureate degree programs, the identification of commonalties among such programs, and the determination of program quality based on established standards. The instrument utilized in this study was designed on Urban Whitaker's 10 Standards of Good Practice. The population consisted of those public institutions of higher education in Texas that offer the Texas CIP code 30.9999.40 - Applied Arts and Sciences - baccalaureate degree. A within-stage mixed-model methodology was used. Open-ended questions were used to strengthen the data obtained from the quantitative portion. This research study suggests that, although there are similarities with regards to the types of PLA processes used in the awarding of PLA credit, many of the organizations could benefit from an evaluation of their current policies, procedures, and/or common practices related to the process of awarding credit ...
The purpose of this study was to examine a school-to-career program created and operated by a non-profit organization called Jobs for America's Graduates, Inc. (JAG). During the school year 2003-2004, they provided this service to 12,205 students in 426 schools and 21 states. Data was collected to measure the following: (a) were they successful in helping students graduate from high school, find a career, enter postsecondary education or the military; (b) how many of the youth were still employed 12 months after graduation; and (c) did school demographic and socioeconomic factors affect JAG's performance. JAG is a 25 year old organization that works with at-risk youth to help them graduate from high school and move into gainful employment, further education or the military. They provide students with nine months of in school instruction, mentoring, career connections and 12 months of follow-up service. Data was collected by job specialists through job placement reports and 12 month follow-up reports. School demographic and socioeconomic information was collected via the Internet. This study discovered that JAG students are graduating from high school at levels well above the national rates, attaining 90% graduation rather than the average of 68% (Swanson, 2004a). A year after graduation the data revealed similar good news: 25% were enrolled in college, 5% in the military and 55% were working full time. Another interesting revelation showed that neither high school socioeconomic or demographic factor affected the high school graduation rate for JAG participants, which is contrary to most current research.
The purpose of this study was to explore what effect manager involvement in the delivery of training has on employee learning (transfer of learning) and on student behavior after training (transfer of training). Study participants were randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups and a customer service training program was delivered with and without manager involvement. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected immediately after training using a retrospective pretest-then/posttest-now instrument developed to measure the participants' perceived transfer of learning. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected approximately 4 weeks after training also using a retrospective pretest-then/posttest-now instrument developed to measure the participants' perceived transfer of training. Quality assurance data generated by the organization for the first full month after the training program was completed were collected to measure the actual transfer of training. A 13-item version of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MC-C) was included with the perceived transfer of training survey to measure the potential for self-perception bias with the perceived transfer of learning and the perceived transfer of training data. ANOVA results for the perceived transfer of learning and perceived transfer of training data indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups. ANOVA results for the actual transfer of training data mirrored the results found for the perceived transfer of training. The possibility of self-perception bias in using the retrospective pretest-then/posttest-now instruments was recognized as a study concern with MC-C data indicating a much higher level of social desirability with the sample population than with reported non-forensic norms. A slight positive influence on the transfer of learning and on the transfer of training was found when a participant's direct manager was involved in the delivery of training.
This qualitative study explored the overall impact of training HVAC technicians using the SightPros-VirTechs system for remote, wireless, internet video assistance at a small HVAC company, Metro Environmental. John Thomason, the president/co-owner developed a website and a new SightPros communication tool that allows wireless, one-on-one, just-in-time, high-quality, video-monitored instructions between an expert at one site and a technician at another site. Metro Environmental successfully used the SightPros-VirTechs system to train a new apprentice remotely. The apprentice and expert changed their normal and routine physical activities because the expert worked remotely and the apprentice worked on-site. Within just a few months, the apprentice proved competent enough to go to customer accounts without more experienced technicians nearby. The technicians express excitement about the SightPros communication tool as a way to contact remote experts whenever needed. The customer and business contacts also give good reviews and suggest other benefits. The expert permanently captures the communications so the company can use the saved video for many applications, especially training. The dissertation provides a list of recommendations to trainers/educators for similar applications.
This study looked at leadership development at top performing nuclear plants in the United States. The examination of leadership development as actually practiced in the nuclear energy industry lead to the development of a best practice model. The nuclear industry is self-regulated through the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). INPO has been evaluating nuclear plants over the past 15 years. Recently they have identified supervisor performance as a key factor in poor plant performance. INPO created a model for leadership development called Growing Industry Leaders. The nuclear industry has identified its aging workforce and subsequent loss of leadership as an emerging issue facing the nuclear industry in the next five to ten years. This initiative was aimed at both the supervisor shortfalls identified through plant evaluations and the state of the workforce within the nuclear industry. This research evaluated the elements of this model and compared them to a model of best practice. This research answered the following questions: What elements of leadership development should be included in leadership development programs? What would a model of best practice in leadership development look like? Data was collected from nine out of 103 top performing plants. Development activities were categorized by a seven member panel of experts. These categories were then validated using three rounds of a Delphi process to reach consensus. This became the basis for the best practice model for leadership development.
The purpose of this study was to examine three components of Donaldson and Graham's (1999) model of college outcomes for adults: (a) Prior Experience & Personal Biographies, (b) the Connecting Classroom, and (c) Life-World Environment, and to assess their application to traditional and nontraditional students in community colleges in both technical and nontechnical courses. The study sample was comprised of 311 community college students enrolled in technical and nontechnical courses during fall 2005. A survey instrument was developed based on the three model components through a review of the literature. Demographic data collected were utilized to classify students into a technical or nontechnical grouping as well as four classifications of traditionalism: (a) traditional, (b) minimally nontraditional, (c) moderately nontraditional, and (d) highly traditional. This study found that nontraditional students vary from traditional students in regards to the three model constructs. A post hoc descriptive discriminate analysis determined that the Life-World Environment component contributed the most to group differences with the minimally nontraditional group scoring the highest on this construct.
The primary purpose of this study was to test the theory of experiential learning by measuring to what extent work experience predicts the work ethic characteristics of students in baccalaureate nursing programs at three regional universities in Texas, including Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Tarleton State University in Stephenville, and West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Work experience is the amount full-time or part-time on-the-job experience. Work ethic attributes are referred to as considerate, ambitious, dependable, and cooperative. Results generated in this study failed to reject the null hypotheses, which means that work experience, does not provide evidence of the ability to predict the development of work ethic characteristics in baccalaureate nursing students who participated in this research study. Knowledge generated in this study provided alternative directions for future research with respect to the relationship between work experiences and work ethic characteristics in nursing students. Such research may be useful to nursing educators and trainers in the design and delivery phases of the educational process for nurses.
This study examined training evaluation practices in U.S. nonprofit sector organizations. It offered a framework for evaluating employee training in the nonprofit sector and suggested solutions to overcome the barriers to evaluation. A mail survey was sent to 879 individuals who were members of, or had expressed an interest in, the American Society for Training and Development. The membership list consisted of individuals who indicated association/nonprofit or interfaith as an area of interest. Data from the survey show that training in the nonprofit sector is evaluated primarily at Level 1 (reaction) and Level 2 (learning). It also shows decreasing use from Level 3 (application) through Level 5 (ROI). Reaction questionnaires are the primary method for collecting Level 1 data. Facilitator assessment and self-assessment were listed as the primary method for evaluating Level 2. A significant mean rank difference was found between Level 2 (learning) and the existence of an evaluation policy. Spearman rho correlation revealed a statistically significant relationship between Level 4 (results) and the reasons training programs are offered. The Kruskal-Wallis H test revealed a statistically significant mean rank difference between "academic preparation" of managers with Level 3 evaluation. The Mann-Whitney U test was used post hoc and revealed that master's degree had a higher mean rank compared to bachelor's degree and doctorate. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that there were statistically significant mean rank differences on Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 5 evaluation use with the barriers "little perceived value to the organization," "lack of training or experience using this form of evaluation," and "not required by the organization." Research findings are consistent with previous research conducted in the public sector, business and industry, healthcare, and finance. Nonprofit sector organizations evaluate primarily at Level 1 and Level 2. The existence of a written policy increases ...