As its name suggests the “transfer of training” deals with the fact that how quickly and effectively, the training has been conveyed from the tutor to employees. It is extremely important to keep an eye on it, especially if the company wants to deploy the newly acquired skills in the market. But beware that if deploys the new skills is too quick, then it might not possible to guarantee the quality services.
This transfer of training can be made to work through different methods e.g. formal training, online learning, coaching, mentoring, job rotation and many others. But the primary objective behind all of these is the same, and that’s about making the employees capable of doing a whole new range of cool stuff and helping them grow their skillset. There are three different types of the training transfers that have different effects on the outcomes of the training. We will try to cover most of the detail here in this blog post.
Types of Transfer of Training
1. Positive Transfer
Positive transfer occurs when learning one type of skill makes the way, to the next one, even easier. In this type, the previously learned skill may or may not have a relationship with the target skill. For example, if one knows how to play a violin and can easily differentiate sounds, then it might be easier for him to step up to learn how to play a piano. Similarly, having a good knowledge of mathematical tactics and techniques can greatly speed up the process of learning Physics.
2. Negative Transfer
In the totally opposite realm, lies the negative transfer of training, which makes it quite harder for a student to learn new skills. This type of transfer is mostly observed in the cases where one skill overlaps the other one and often causes confusions.
For example, it is a common observation that sometimes, there’s a huge difference in the formulas and techniques for using the formulas, in mathematics, as compared to that of physics. Even though the final solution is same but due to overlapping topics but different formulas leading to the same thing often causes confusions. Same goes for learning of right-hand drive, which is greatly hindered by left-hand side vehicle driving.
3. Neutral Transfer
Neutral transfer of training occurs when the previously learned skill has nothing to do with the skill that one is trying to learn now. In simple words, it neither hinders nor facilitates the learning of a new skill. For example, having the knowledge of mathematics does not affect the learning process of a car or a scooter.
Transfer of Training Theories
1. Theories of Identical Elements
The first and foremost theory that finds its way into this list is obviously none other than one of the most famous “theory of identical elements”. This game-changing theory was based on the idea of the occurrence of the training transfer, from one side to another, under the situations with most similar or identical elements and was developed by E.L Thorndike.
According to this theory, carrying out the transfer of training from the trainer’s side to that of the trainee is proportional to the degree of resemblance in situations. In simpler words, you can say that the greater the similarity, the quicker and more effective, the transfer is. Furthermore, the degree of transfer, as well as the pace of the transfer, increases as the number of similar elements increase.
For example, for most of the learners, it’s extremely easy to learn to ride a bike, if they have some experience with a bicycle. In this case, the transfer occurs extremely fast because of the similarities in both vehicles.
Moreover, it is also true that the methods, which are used to guide the pupil and his learning activities, greatly influence (or we might say, they control), the degree of transferability of the training and Thorndike was sure of it. It is a common observation that nearly all of the new learners are supposed to move forward by taking small steps instead of a whole big leap. This is done so that the learner grasps the maximum possible concepts and keeps the interest in the subject. There would be nothing if the opposite had been done.
2. Generalization of Experience
Along with food, air and other necessities of life, experience has also greatly helped the humans in surviving the harsh conditions and trying to prevent further mishaps by preparing for the expected ones. It works because experiences and the knowledge gained from one situation can be generalized, modified and applied to another situation in the life.
This theory of the generalization of experience was developed by Charles Judd. According to this theory, it can be assumed that, whenever, when one performs a particular task, he gains experience from it, turns it into generalization and apply this experience to another task. In some cases, this experience proves to be far more useful than the face to face training, no matter whether he is an employee or a college student.
On the way, as one gains more and more understanding of the common problems, it becomes easier for him to start perceiving and deducting the solutions. This capability of individuals to generalize knowledge differs from person to person, in accordance with their degrees of intelligence.
3. Cognitive Theory
Cognitive Theory is a modern theory as compared to the alternative theories of the transfer of training. According to this theory, the pace and the effectiveness of the process of transferring the training can greatly be increased by focusing on the individuals’ mental models, retention of information and comprehension. Moreover, the main point that makes it to perceived differently from other transfer theories is its extreme level applicability under, almost, all kinds of situations.
You can get an idea of the application of the cognitive theory by thinking about recent integrations of the training process to that of the mental tasks and assignments. This is done so that learner employees can become able to learn the primary concepts of the training program through experiencing the mental problems that they are going to solve in their chosen way.