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Adult learner preferences for various corporate training activities

Kathleen Anne Vampola, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This exploratory study investigated participant preferences for popular training activities often used in corporate training sessions. The present research built on motivation and adult learning theories pertinent to corporate employee education. A self-administered survey instrument was internally distributed at local corporations. From the purposive sample, 281 respondents (38% male and 62% female) completed and returned the questionnaires. The mean age was 40 (age 20 to age 66). Corporate trainees' preferences were analyzed in three stages. (1) Respondents selected one favorite training activity from a list—lecture, demonstration, group discussion, games, role play, and other (please explain). The most preferred favorite activities were: group discussion (31%), demonstration (29%), and lecture (19%). Conversely, named as least liked were: lecture (43%), role play (37%), and games (8%). (2) The questionnaire's second section described 23 learning activities. Participants used a Likert scale to indicate the extent to which each activity helps them learn. An examination of frequencies of responses indicated that respondents ranked study notes as the most preferred learning activity followed by demonstrations, questions, lecture with discussion, simulation, lecture, and hands-on as the top seven, and role play ranked last. (3) A factor analysis grouped the 23 learning activities into four meaningful composite variables—Coactive Analysis, Application, Acquisition, and Private Implementation. Next, significant correlations indicated older trainees prefer Private Implementation activities (journaling and individual learning time). Older trainees and more-educated trainees do not prefer Coactive Analysis activities (small group discussion, medium group discussion, case study, buzz group, ice breakers, and recreation) and Application activities (skit, simulation, role play, hands-on, games, fishbowl, and puzzles). The other significant correlation indicated women prefer Coactive Analysis activities. Results indicated a need for additional assessment of motivation and adult learning theories. Additionally, corporate training may be more effective if trainee preferences are considered when planning training activities. An Activity Selection Model offers suggestions for considering trainee preferences when selecting activities for corporate training sessions. ^

Subject Area

Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Industrial

Recommended Citation

Vampola, Kathleen Anne, "Adult learner preferences for various corporate training activities" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3034395.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3034395

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