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Defense Acquisition University: A Study of Employee Perceptions on Web Based Learning Transfer

Research Area:  Machine Learning


Organizations invest heavily in training to ensure employees have the skills they need to be successful. One of the goals in business is to maximize the skills of the employees in the workplace, which creates a competitive advantage for the business. Traditional classroom training is still used in the workplace; however, technology-driven training has risen considerably over recent years. The investment in training should be beneficial to organizations; however, businesses need to know the impact to the bottom line from this investment to determine the profitability of the training. Based on Level 3 of Kirkpatricks model of evaluation, this study was a qualitative exploration of the degree of transfer of training from an online learning environment to the workplace, and used a semi-structured interview as the research tool. Thirty-one interview participants were selected through a purposeful sampling of employees who participated in training courses at the Defense Acquisition University. Employees like the concept of web-based learning because of the convenience and flexibility of the program. However, the results indicated that the employees felt transfer of knowledge from the courses at the Defense Acquisition University was minimal. The most prominent factor missing in the online classroom was interaction. Participants felt that without interaction with teachers and fellow employees, the transfer process was significantly hindered. The results of the study provided insight into the factors that may influence the transfer of learning in a workplace e-learning environment. These findings are consistent with previous studies on the transfer of learning.

Name of the Researcher:  Carolyn W. Oglesby

Name of the Supervisor(s):  Robert Rowden

Year of Completion:  2012

University:  Capella University

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