Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Robert O. Brinkerhoff

Second Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Third Advisor

Dr. Katherine Karl


The issue of transfer of training and its problems have been studied by a number of researchers and practitioners in training and development. Many of these (Broad, 1982; Huczynski & Lewis, 1980; Leifer & Newstrom, 1980) have reported that pre-training information enhances trainee learning and transfer. Many questions remain, however, as to what types of pre-training information might impact on learning and subsequent transfer of learning.

The primary objective of the present study was to investigate the impact of two different types of training “preview” on subjects: (a) reactions to training, (b) acquisition of knowledge (learning), and (c) transfer of training. A secondary objective was to investigate the impact of these training previews on subjects’ self-efficacy and motivation, and to investigate the extent to which self-efficacy and motivation were related to training outcomes.

A training workshop on communication and feedback skills was conducted. Prior to the training workshop, subjects were randomly divided into two groups. One group received a "realistic" training preview, while the other received an "optimistic" training preview. Data were collected from 83 people who attended the training preview and the training workshop. Subjects, volunteer students at Western Michigan. University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, completed questionnaires which were given to them immediately after the training preview session and prior to the training workshop, immediately after the training workshop, and two to three weeks after the training workshop.

A number of statistical comparisons were made among the study measures. These comparisons failed to indicate that the realistic training preview resulted in superior training outcomes. A relationship between the type of training preview and subjects' self-efficacy was not found. On the other hand, a difference was found between the type of training preview and subjects' motivation level. Subjects in the optimistic training preview group reported higher motivation than those in the realistic training preview group. Finally, there were no differences between groups in the relationship between motivation, self-efficacy, and the three training outcomes. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are included.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access