TRAINEE CHARACTERISTICS AND THE OUTCOMES OF OPEN LEARNING

Authors

  • PETER WARR,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Work Psychology University of Sheffield and Centre for Economic Performance London School of Economics
      and requests for reprints should be addressed to Peter Warr, Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom.
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  • DAVID BUNCE

    1. Institute of Work Psychology University of Sheffield and Centre for Economic Performance London School of Economics
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and requests for reprints should be addressed to Peter Warr, Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Previous investigations into the processes and outcomes of training have been restricted to conventional “closed” settings. However, learning is likely to become increasingly “open,” with greater discretion granted for individuals to choose how and when they will acquire new skills and information. In a study of 106 junior managers over a 7-month period, the impact of 11 trainee characteristics was investigated in relation to immediate learning scores, reactions to the program, and changes in rated job behaviors. It was found that learning score was significantly independently predicted by general training attitude, the use of an analytic learning strategy, and (low) age. Post-training reactions were identified as being of three kinds: reported enjoyment, usefulness, and difficulty. These were shown to be differentially associated with the trainee characteristics studied. Significant associations were found between learning score and changes in rated job performance.

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