AN INVESTIGATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERCEPTIONS OF THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, LEARNING OUTCOMES AND TRANSFER INTENTIONS IN A SAMPLE OF HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY TRAINEES
 
Drury, B, Creed, P and Smout, S., Griffith University, Australia
 
This study investigated the relationship between peer and supervisor support, perceptions of the training environment, transfer intentions and learning outcomes in a sample of 97 trainees employed by seven hospitality establishments on the Gold Coast, Australia. Participants completed a questionnaire measuring perceptions of training support, perceptions of the training environment and transfer intentions prior to completing a competency-based training program. Four qualified workplace trainers and assessors assessed individual learning outcomes relating to the training program. The trainers were employed by three registered Training Organisations to deliver and assess workplace training for the trainees. Trainee perceptions of peer and supervisor support were measured using the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (Holton & Bates, 1998). Trainee perceptions of the training environment were measured using the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (Fraser, Treagust & Dennis, 1986). Transfer intentions were measured using a scale developed by Machin (Machin & Fogarty, 1998). The Assessment of Learning Outcomes Scale (ALOS) was established for the purpose of this study. The first hypothesis that trainees who report better perceptions of the training environment would achieve better training outcomes than trainees who report less favourable perceptions of the training environment is supported. The second hypothesis that trainees who report better perceptions of the training environment would report higher transfer intentions than trainees who reported less favourable perceptions of the training environment was also supported. The prediction that a positive relationship would be found between perceptions of training support and training outcomes was not supported. Finally, the proposition that a positive relationship would be found between perceptions of training support and transfer intentions was partially supported. It was found that peer support for training was significantly associated with transfer intentions, however supervisor support was not. The results overall suggested that perceptions of the training environment were a useful predictor of trainee transfer intentions. The results of this study build upon those of previous research aimed at understanding the factors that influence achievement of training outcomes. The implications for organisations investing in training, and for those responsible for the design and delivery of training programs are discussed.