Transfer of Training and Skill Retention
AMERICAN INSTITUTES FOR RESEARCH WASHINGTON DC
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To explore the relationship between retention of training content and transfer of that training to a criterion performance test, and to explore the impact of refresher training on transfer, a three-phase experiment was carried out over a 17-week period, utilizing 106 enlisted Army personnel divided into six groups. Training was provided by the Training Extension Course TEC materials on selection, maintenance, and use of hand grenades. Three groups were provided refresher training by reexposure to the TEC materials at varying intervals from the original training. Retention of training content was measured by a written posttest designed from the TEC materials. Transfer of training was measured by a criterion performance test CRT administered on an individual basis at varying intervals after original training. The posttest consisted of four subtests I--Selection of Grenades, II--Maintaining the Hand Grenade, III- -Arming the Hand Grenade, and IV--Throwing Positions. The CRT test contained the same four subtests, and in addition a fifth subtest, Identify Components of a Hand Grenade. Retention of CRT transfer performance levels was not affected by time. Repeated testing on the CRT instrument immediately after TEC training, 6 weeks after training, and 17 weeks after training revealed no decline in proficiency. However, training content retention showed a rather consistent decline over time.
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