Training Transfer and Training Evaluation


For years, parents, students, and teachers complained that nobody listened, that decisions were made without participation, and that good ideas went unacknowledged. A needs analysis that involved a survey of teachers and students confirmed that these problems were widespread. Carlos DaSilva, who was recently appointed trainer at the school board and had a strong background in teaching, had to address the communications problem as his first assignment. He designed what he considered to be an excellent three- day communications program. He spent months on the design: finding videos, exercises, and games that taught active listening, upward communication, brain- storming, and other areas identified in the survey. Carlos was excited to deliver his new training program and was sure that the participants would like it. On the first day, Carlos began with a brief introduction on the importance of communication, followed by a lecture on communication channels. Afterwards, he showed a video about manager–employee communication problems and how to improve communication. This was followed by a discussion of the key points in the video and what the trainees might do to improve their communication skills. On day two of the training program, Carlos began with a lecture on brain- storming. He then had trainees participate in a group brainstorming exercise. Each group had to brainstorm as many ideas as possible for improving communication in the school board. Afterwards, the groups presented their ideas followed by a discussion of the most creative ways to improve communication with teachers, students, and parents. On the third day of the training program, Carlos began with a lecture on active listening. Trainees then participated in an exercise in which they had to develop a message and then communicate it to the other trainees. At the end of the exercise, each trainee had to recall the message sent by the other trainees. This was followed by a discussion of how to be a more effective listener and tips on active listening. Carlos ended the training program by having trainees participate in a communication game. First, he had trainees complete a self-assessment of how they send messages and the channels they use for communication. Then groups of trainees had to develop a message that they would communicate to the other groups. Each group had to determine the best way for their message to reach the other groups as accurately and quickly as possible. At the end of the game, each group read out the message they received from the other groups. Carlos then scored each group in terms of the accuracy of the message received by the other groups and how long it took for each group to receive the message. The game was a lot of fun for the participants, who left the training program on a high. Carlos thanked them for attending the program and encouraged them to apply what they learned in training when they returned to work. The trainees applauded Carlos and thanked him for providing such an enjoyable training experience. Two months after the training program, Carlos was sitting at his desk, thinking about his meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. with the school board superintendent. He was looking forward to the meeting, knowing that he would be praised for the successful interactive communications program he had designed and delivered.

However, the meeting with the superintendent went poorly. Although some participants had loved the exercises and games in the communications course, most had not changed their work behaviour. Furthermore, a review of the situation showed that the old problems persisted and communication remained a serious problem at the school board. Carlos did not know what to say or what he should do. Several days later, Carlos approached some of the participants who had attended the training program and asked them how things were going. One participant laughed and said, “Well that was a lot of fun, but training is training and work is work. Besides, nothing ever changes around here.” Carlos asked her what she meant and she explained to him that supervisors don’t get it and continued to call the shots. “The only thing they know about communication is downward,” she said. “Maybe they should have attended your training program!” QUESTIONS

1. What are some reasons that Carlos’s training program did not transfer?

2. Discuss some of the barriers to transfer that might be operating at the school board. Who is responsible for these barriers and when do they occur during the training process?

3. Describe some of the things that Carlos might have done before, during, and after the training program to improve the transfer of training. What could the trainees and supervisors have been asked to do before, during, and after training to improve transfer?

4. Discuss the training transfer climate and the transfer system at the school board. How might they have contributed to the transfer problem?

5. What should Carlos do about the transfer problem at the school board? What changes should he make next time he delivers a training program?

Case 2: Read the Case Study entitled The Alcohol/Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP) at the end of Chapter 11 of  Saks, A., and Haccoun, R. (2015). Managing performance through training and development, 7th ed. Toronto: Nelson. Assume the role of a training consultant who has been hired by the company to assess where this training initiative went wrong and how to move forward.

Write a 1000-word memo that answers the four Questions in the case study. Ensure that you incorporate the concepts and ideas learned, and that you properly cite any materials you paraphrase or directly quote using APA 6th edition format.


The North American Transportation Company (NATC) is a very large organiza- tion that provides continent-wide facilities for the shipping of goods, from tonnes of wheat and iron ore to individual parcels. Headquartered in Canada, the com- pany uses all forms of heavy equipment to load, transport, and deliver goods and materials for its clients. In recent years, a number of accidents and near-accidents have occurred. In some cases the accidents caused injuries to people (mainly employees, though some injuries were sustained by bystanders). They also caused substantial material damage to prop- erty and/or the environment. In three cases in the last five years, people were killed. Investigation of these accidents indicated that drug and/or alcohol abuse by company personnel was relatively common and that these may have been contributing factors to the accidents. This analysis also uncovered that absenteeism and job performance problems were also the result of drug/alcohol use by employees. The CEO of the company asked the HR department to solve the problem. In response, the department formulated a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace  alcohol and drug abuse. The policy outlawed alcohol/drug use on the job and made the implementation and enforcement of the policy the direct responsibility of all supervisory personnel in the company. They further developed and imple- mented a training program to instruct all supervisors on the policy, the means to implement it, and the specific behaviours expected of them. This training program became known as the Alcohol/Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP). The day-long training program explained that it was the responsibility of super- visors to be vigilant with respect to drug/alcohol use on the job and to act imme- diately when there was a problem. There were three main aspects to the ADAPP policy that supervisors were to learn and to transfer to the job: (1) explain the policy to their employees as a group; (2) watch for employees who show signs of being “under the influence”; and (3) choose the specific supervisory action required correctly. Supervisor were instructed to (a) assess the situation with the employee; (b) immediately relieve the employee from his/her post should the impairment prevent safe and effective job performance; and (c) direct the person to the Employee Aid Program for further investigation and treatment. Supervisors who failed to implement the procedure would face disciplinary actions including, in some cases, immediate dismissal. The training program consisted of lectures and video presentations, followed by various role-playing exercises and discussions designed to help supervisors learn the policy, motivate them into implementing it, and enhance their confidence in their ability to do so.


1 . Design a training evaluation for the ADAPP. The training evaluation must be both summative (Has ADAPP led to an increase in the desired supervisory behaviours and to a decrease in employee absence and work- place accidents and injuries?) and formative (What aspects of the training program, if any, should be improved?).

2. What model or models of training evaluation would seem appropriate in this case? Explain your answer.

3. What variables should be measured and how should this be done? a. Determine the main variables to measure. b. Determine the information to be collected to address potential improvements to the program, if necessary.

4. What data collection design or designs would you consider most appropriate for the evaluation? Explain your reasoning.

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