Training & Development

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Training & Development

MODULE ASSIGNMENT
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Preamble
As there is only one module assignment for this module, we are giving you two options. The first is an essay and the second is a practical exercise using the method of Hierarchical Task Analysis. You are only required to do one of these and only one of these will be marked. So make sure you only submit the one you want us to mark, should you inadvertently do both of them.
Both of these assignment options require you to think broadly about everything we cover in the Training & Development module. They also enable you to find relevant material from other modules; training and development are concerned with getting people to do things better and sometimes other occupational psychology of human factors issues need to be addressed alongside training principles in order to provide a best solution. You may feel that your response to the question might be satisfactory if you just read and report the specific sections in the module manual, but be assured this will not be satisfactory. You will need to understand ideas from across the entire module in order to give a good account of yourself and submit a satisfactory assignment. You are also likely to find the Blackboard discussions particularly valuable.
Making your Choice
While Option 1 is an essay topic, it requires you to think in a practical way about how to implement solutions. The systems approach provides you with a framework for working systematically to embrace and integrate various diverse ideas from occupational psychology and beyond.
Option 2 requires you to utilise a particular method of task analysis as a basis the generating a simple training programme. This is practical, but how you apply the method and use it to best effect to develop a training programme depends upon your understanding of a wide range of ideas and issues.
Take some care about the choice you make. If you think that you will be able to write the essay set in Option 1 simply by reading a few relevant sections and references and then regurgitating these ideas, you may be disappointed. Equally, Option 2 may appear daunting at first because it entails something you will not be familiar with. But you will soon gain insight into how the method should be used. Also, it is worth pointing out that you will be very limited in your answer to the essay question concerning the systems approach to training if you have avoided trying to understand what task analysis is for. Equally, by considering the task analysis option, you will be embracing many of the systems ideas that underpin training.
Word limits
You will notice the word limits differ. You are required to keep within a word limit of 3000 words. If you use diagrams to illustrate your ideas they will not be
counted in the word limit and nor will references. But tables will be counted in your overall word limit.
Supporting Practice for Training and Development in Real and Artificial Working Environments
Assignment Specification:
Practice is an important component of training and development. In some situations it is possible to provide opportunities for practice by requiring the learner to deal with real events in the normal working environment. In other situations practising
in the real environment is impossible or otherwise unsatisfactory – consequently an artificial working environment, or simulation, must be provided to enable practice in safety.
You are required to comment on the following issues related to practice within training and development. To do this,
1. Provide a justification for practice in training and development
Justify the importance of practice in training and development and how an
‘instructor’ can use a practice environment to guide, support and assess the trainee.
(25% of total marks)
2. Provide a specification for two jobs or tasks that contrast with one another with regard to their practice environments
Specify and briefly describe two jobs or tasks that you judge contrast with one another with regard to how an artificial environment could benefit in supporting effective practice. One job or task should be where you judge that practice in the real situation would be adequate; the other should be where you judge that development of some form of task simulation would be beneficial. Describe the features of each that support your judgments. (25% of total marks)
3. Describe a representation of an artificial environment
Consider the task where you have chosen to develop simulation. Describe and justify how you would represent the task in order to provide the artificial environment for instruction in the most economical way that you can think of. Outline the key features of the simulation you propose. Briefly describe how you
would use this simulation in supporting training or development. (25% of total marks)
4. Identify the risks of using a simulation and discuss their mitigation
Learning in a simulation is clearly not the same thing as learning in the real situation. Using a simulation to help someone to learn may be accompanied by risks that learning will be unsatisfactory in some ways. Describe the risks to effective learning that might be entailed in using your simulation. Describe how you might overcome these risks. (25% of total marks)
The assignment should be presented in the form of a report, not exceeding 3000 words in total. Marks are awarded in accordance with the allocation described, but you should feel free to allocate the 3000 words you have available limit as you think fit between the four parts.
Notes for items 1 to 4:
1. Provide a justification for practice in training and development
You should consider how practice at a task or job supports the learning process. In addition, it requires you to consider how an instructor (who could be a coach or a line manager engaged in development) can manipulate conditions associated with the practice to help someone learn. (25% of total marks)
2. Provide a specification for two jobs or tasks that contrast with one another with regard to their practice environments
You should to think about why it might be justified to go to the expense and effort of developing an artificial learning environment. You are required to specify and briefly describe two jobs or tasks that should be treated in different ways. These
may be jobs with which you may be familiar or jobs you have read about in the literature. Feel free to ask for advice on the Blackboard Discussion Board regarding your choices. (25% of total marks)
3. Describe a representation of an artificial environment
This part focuses on artificial environments or simulations (the same thing as far as we are concerned). You should consider the appropriate job or task that you identified in part 2, then describe this environment and how you would use it in the most appropriate way you can in the space available. (25% of total marks)
4. Identify the risks of using a simulation and discuss their mitigation
You need to consider possible adverse consequences of using an artificial environment for training /development. This will include considering the process of designing and validating the simulation and mitigating the consequences of the simulation lacking fidelity. How can transfer of training be optimised? (25% of total marks)
Additional points:
? It is important to note that this assignment requires you to locate information widely from across the T&D module as well as material from other modules, further reading and wider knowledge of psychology.
? We shall expand on these notes in the podcast.
? We hope that you will engage with the Discussion Board on Blackboard where, the issues and approaches can be discussed further. Please remember, the Discussion Board is for your benefit and we will not be using it in any way you grade your final efforts. It is an opportunity to share thinking with your colleagues and the tutors.
? You are required to deal with the various aspects of this assignment in a systematic way. For some aspects, a conventional essay approach is likely to apply. But in other areas, you will find that combining part essay with tables where you can set out your process for considering the issues more appropriately. Part of your assessment will relate to how clearly you convey your ideas, using essay components, tables or even diagrams if appropriate.
? You should aim to use your understanding of principles of occupational psychology to form your judgements. It is important that you cite the literature that has informed your approach where appropriate.
? There are many different ways to organise this material in order to provide a satisfactory treatment of the question and you should not try to identify a single
‘correct’ approach. The question is fundamental to how occupational psychologists should think about training. It is often the case that we are confronted with things that have not been fully researched, but are still required to make our best judgements about how things should or could be done.

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