The transfer of learning process
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The field of training and development has experienced tremendous growth during the past decade. Outdoor adventure-based programs represent a sizeable percentage of this marketplace. Despite an increase in popularity, however, little is known about how adult learners transfer adventure-based learning to the practice setting. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to understand how adult learners transfer outdoor adventure-based learning to their workplace environments.|Utilizing a qualitative methodology relying primarily upon in-depth interviews, data were collected from eighteen respondents, representing three companies, who met specific sample-selection criteria. Each of the three groups of employees participated in a one-day outdoor adventure-based learning program. The first group of employees, representing a small advertising firm, participated in a low ropes training day. The second group, from the accounts payable department of a large construction agency, participated in a training day that included various high ropes activities. The final group, a leadership team from a regional healthcare center, took part in a training day consisting of various portable group initiatives.|Each of the eighteen interviews was audio-taped and later transcribed. Transcripts were then analyzed using the constant comparative method of data analysis. Analysis revealed that participants gain significant insights into themselves, their colleagues, and their entire work group through participating in outdoor adventure-based training programs. In transferring outdoor adventure-based learning to the workplace, participants employed a process consisting of reflecting, strategizing, implementing, and evaluating. Finally, certain factors including trainee perceptions, supervisory support, and group dynamics, were discovered to influence the transfer of outdoor adventure-based learning.|Three conclusions were reached based upon the above findings from this study. First, participants do experience meaningful yet unintended learning during outdoor adventure-based programs. Next, participants employ a deliberate process in an effort to transfer this learning to the workplace settings. Finally, there are several factors that have an impact upon this transfer process.