Training & Development For Dummies
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Trainers address three types of learning: knowledge (K), skills (S), and influencing attitude (A). Trainers frequently shorten this to the KSA acronym. (If you want the research to support this, it is called Bloom's Taxonomy.)

Knowledge (Bloom called this cognitive) involves the development of intellectual skills. Examples of knowledge include understanding the principles of accounting, knowing the stages of childhood, understanding how interest rates affect the economy, or knowing how to get a book published.

Skills (Bloom called this psychomotor) refer to physical movement, coordination, and the use of the motor-skills area. Examples of skills you may learn include the ability to use a 3D printer, operate a backhoe, supervise staff, listen effectively, or kick a soccer ball.

Attitude (Bloom called this affective) refers to how you deal with things emotionally, such as feelings, motivation, and enthusiasm. Although attitude is not "taught," training may affect it. Trainers cannot change attitudes, but they frequently have the opportunity to influence attitudes.

Trainers sometimes discuss whether it is the learner's skill or will that prevents topnotch performance following a training session. This refers to the fact that an employee may have learned the skill but is unwilling to use it. Therefore, the real reason an employee may not be using what was learned may not be skill-based at all. It may be that the employee won't use the skill that was learned.

Knowing that there are three types of learning means that you need to use different methods to address each.

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Elaine Biech has been in the training and consulting field for over a quarter of a century. She is President of ebb associates inc, an organizational development and custom training design firm that helps organizations work through large-scale change, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal.

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