Transfer of Learning: Planning Workplace Education Programs (1997)

Transfer of learning is pervasive in our everyday life at work, at home and in the community. Transfer takes place whenever our existing knowledge, abilities and skills affect the learning or performance of new tasks. But what are the principles of effective transfer of learning? How can workplace instructors design training programs to facilitate transfer? Given the centrality of this topic to so many areas of workplace education, this discussion paper will draw together the results of research and some practical techniques that will help practitioners in the field.

The report is organized into four parts: 1) definitions of learning transfer, 2) factors influencing the transfer of learning, 3) integrating learning transfer into program planning and 4) strategies to enhance the transfer of learning. The report is summarized through a number of application exercises that challenges the reader to recall former workplace education experiences and interact with contents of the document.

Transfer of learning occurs when learning in one context or with one set of materials impacts on performance in another context or with other related materials. From a theoretical point of view transfer of learning occurs whenever prior learned knowledge and skills affect the way in which new knowledge and skills are learned and performed. When later acquisition or performance is facilitated, transfer is positive. When later acquisition or performance is impeded, transfer is negative. As well, transfer can be general affecting a wide range of new knowledge and skills or specific affecting only particular knowledge and skills within a circumscribed subject matter.

The author also describes examples of barriers and enhancers to the transfer of learning as well as strategies to enhance the transfer of learning, such as involving supervisors and trainees in the program development and designing instruction systematically.

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1997-01-01
APA citation
Maurice C. Taylor. Transfer of Learning: Planning Workplace Education Programs 1997. Web. 1 Oct. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/nls/inpub/transfer/transfer.pdf>
Maurice C. Taylor (1997). Transfer of Learning: Planning Workplace Education Programs. Retrieved October 1, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/nls/inpub/transfer/transfer.pdf
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