Text Review

Training and Development:  Enhancing Communication and Leadership Skills

Review by Charles W. McGlothlin, Jr., Ph.D., P.E

Section I: Name of text and authors

Training and Development: Enhancing Communication and Leadership Skills
Steven A Beebe, Ph.D., Texas State University-San Marcos
Timothy Pl Mottet, Ed.D., Texas State University-San Marcos
K. David Roach, Ed.D., Texas Tech University
ISBN 0-205-33243-9 (Paperback)
Publisher: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 336 pages
Price: $48.80

Section II: Review of table of contents

The table of contents indicates the logical flow required for the development of effective training from understanding the training and development process, to understanding how adults learn, to the needs assessment process, to developing and delivering training, and finally to assessment of learning outcomes and evaluating training effectiveness. The 12 chapters in this book cover this content following a needs-centered training model. As chapters build sequentially, the student is reminded pictorially where they are in this process and how each step in the process must address both organizational and trainee needs. This performance-based approach continues through each step to the final assessment of training, trainer, and performance evaluations.

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to training, education, and development to help the student understand the difference in focus in seeing behavioral change verses learning information for knowledge in and for itself. This understanding is important to later development of learning objectives to address desired performance outcomes. In Chapter 2 adult learning theory is covered very effectively and prepares the student to work with adults and address their needs in a training environment. The next six chapters deal with the steps required to develop an effective, needs-based training program from conducting a needs assessment to developing learning objectives, designing curriculum, training content, using technology and presentational aids, and developing training plans. Chapters 9 and 10 deal with delivering training content and managing conflict in the classroom. Chapter 11 deals with measuring learning outcomes, assessment designs, and interpreting assessment information. The final chapter covers writing a needs assessment proposal, developing a cost benefit analysis, presenting results, and writing a training proposal.

Section III: Review of content

According to the authors “This book is written to be used as the primary text or supporting text for a (university-level) course to teach people how to design and present a training seminar or workshop. This is not a book just about training; it is a book that prescribes how to do training” [p. xvii]. This reviewer could not agree more. The how to approach of this text is a nice compliment to ANSI/ASSE Z490.1 which provides the what to do American National Standard establishing Criteria for Accepted Practice in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training.

The text is theory based but helps students develop practical skills and methods of designing and presenting effective training programs. It is designed as a comprehensive, needs-centered approach to training that provides practical principles and skill as to how to develop a comprehensive training program from start to finish. The authors are university communications professors with extensive experience in training and development that relate real life experiences to both theory and practice.

After the Chapter 1 introduction and overview to the training process, the authors contrast in Chapter 2 adult learning theory (andragogy) to the child learning theory (pedagogy). The authors emphasis five key assumptions about the adult learner that trainers must keep in mind to be effective: (1) adults need relevant training, (2) adults bring experience levels to the class, (3) adults are internally motivated to learn, (4) adults know what they need to learn, and (5) adult learning is problem oriented. This chapter also provides important information relative to learning styles and how this knowledge relates to development of effective training.

Chapter 3 addresses the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning domains as they relate appropriate assessment tools to address each domain. In addition, less formal methods are discussed analyze training needs when time for a more formal process is not available. Once well-defined needs are defined the text follows with Chapter 4 and the development of training objective and curriculum design. Particular attention is placed on development of properly structured training/learning objectives. A particularly strong teaching technique used by the authors is the modeling of properly structured learning objectives for each chapter of the text. The structure of curriculum design focuses on a chronological order consistent with the objectives and developed from simple to more complex skills. Another effective teaching/learning aid the authors provide are the end of chapter discussion, application, and analysis questions.

Chapters 5 through 10 are very well done but pretty much standard fair relative to developing content, selecting training methods, using technology and presentational aids, developing training plans, delivering the training session, and managing conflict in the classroom. However, Chapters 11 and 12 are very effective in providing the student with information relative to assessing and measuring learning outcome, designing and interpreting assessment data, and making the business case for effective training.

The references are of excellent quality for each chapter and the chapters are well written and easy to read with excellent visual aids where appropriate. The icing on the cake is the excellent teacher’s guide that is available for download. The guide contains complete chapter outlines, lesson plans, and multiple choice and true/false chapter quiz questions.

Section IV: Overall recommendation

I strongly recommend this text and have adopted it for our Oakland University OSH 225, Safety Training Methods course. 

Section V: Reviewer

Charles W. McGlothlin, Jr., Ph.D., P.E.
Assistant Professor and Program Director
Occupational Safety and Health
Oakland University
Rochester, Michigan