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Book: Accelerated Proficiency for Accelerated Times (Kindle version)



Why this book

Time is money and a reduction in time should be the first goal of any training program or any employee development initiative. The skills and knowledge acquired today become irrelevant or obsolete quickly. In that kind of dynamics, the organizations have shifted focus on how to shorten time to proficiency of employees and bring them up to speed to the required performance in a shorter time. This book intends to establish scholarly know-how on this construct of Accelerated Proficiency and provide practitioners and researchers with a condensed and coherent knowledge base on this burning business concept.

To develop a condensed and coherent knowledge base on Accelerated Proficiencythis book is organized around reviews of studies on performance and proficiency from several different disciplines spanning over five decades. The book explores concepts, themes, nature, and challenges associated with the process of accelerating proficiency. This book discusses the business metrics of time to proficiency and speed to proficiency. In particular, this book will enable you with the answers to some crucial questions – What is the nature of proficiency in the organization? What is the meaning and goal of accelerating proficiency? Whether or not proficiency and performance of employees can be accelerated? What kind of methods has been researched and proven to accelerate proficiency?

The book offers a condensed review of a range of classic and new studies on performance, human resource development, skill acquisition, and proficiency and explores the concepts that relate to speeding up performance and proficiency. This can get new researchers started with a good foundation to carry forward the research. The reviews in this book are complemented with over 500 authentic sources that a researcher read for a detailed and deeper dive and set the direction for further exploration.

The Readers

Research students and scholars: Ideally, this book is meant for research students, researchers, and scholars (new and seasoned) who are researching the areas of human performance, education, expertise, skill development, instructional design, cognitive sciences, learning theory, and training design, and similar disciplines. Ironically, most of the new researchers do not get a good handle on where to start their literature review and which direction to go for more in-depth exploration. That is where this book may act as a time saver for those new scholars or research students in training, education, and learning disciplines who are either new to these disciplines or who do not have any prior experience in conducting a literature review in these disciplines.

Academics and teaching staff: Additionally, academics or professors who are teaching courses or subjects in the above areas may find this book useful enough to recommend this book to their students to plan for a detailed literature review in such areas.

Instructional designers and HR practitioners: This book may also be helpful to professional instructional designers, learning specialists, trainers, and consultants who are interested in designing and delivering their programs or training sessions to speed up employee performance. HR specialists, learning designers, instructional designers, and performance consultants are trying to structure their training and learning programs for employee development around some established models or best practices with the goal to reduce time to proficiency or in general speeding up workplace performance.

A Learning Journey

The chapters in this book dive into the literature review of various aspects and dimensions of the concept of accelerated proficiency and build a concise knowledge base on the business challenge of shortening time to proficiency. This book is organized as follows:

Chapter 1 introduces the context and relevance of the book.

Chapter 2 introduces major themes on performance from historical and classical studies as it leads to the concept of proficiency. The broader perspectives from studies and advances in human resource development (HRD) and performance improvement are reviewed. The chapter discusses the studies that characterized dimensions of job performance. The classic, seminal, and historical works of significance, such as theories of stages of skill acquisition are reviewed in this chapter.

Chapter 3 presents the definition and nature of proficiency. The literature on proficiency is reviewed as it relates to the topics of performance, knowledge/skill acquisition, and expertise acquisition. Key studies on novice-to-expert transition and the concept of proficiency are reviewed.

Chapter 4 presents the imperatives in the literature that assert the need for accelerating proficiency. The historical and current work on accelerated proficiency is reviewed. Then the theoretical aspects of accelerating proficiency are explored.

Chapter 5 explores studies on various methods proposed by researchers for accelerating proficiency of people or personnel in various settings. The methods are reviewed for their implications and evidence towards the acceleration of proficiency.

Chapter 6 enumerates the gaps highlighted in previous chapters in regards to the nature and attainment of accelerated proficiency. The role and challenges of using training interventions to accelerate proficiency in organizations are also discussed. The chapter concludes the book by appealing for further research in broader methods to accelerate proficiency.

The Contents


2.1 Performance Improvement
2.1.1 Human resource development
2.1.2 Learning paradigm of HRD
2.1.3 Performance paradigm of HRD
2.2 Dimensions of Job Performance
2.2.1 Value of individual performance
2.2.2 Job performance
2.2.3 Dimensions of job performance
2.2.4 Complex nature of job performance
2.3 Perspectives on job performance
2.3.1 Behavioral vs outcome performance
2.3.2 Task vs contextual performance
2.3.3 Individual vs team performance
2.3.4 Multidimensionality of job performance
2.4 Learning and Performance
2.4.1 Abilities, knowledge and skills
2.4.2 Central role of learning
2.5 Acquiring Skilled Job Performance
2.5.1 Fitts and Posner’s three-stage skill acquisition
2.5.2 Anderson’s three-stage learning model
2.5.3 Ackerman’s three-stage model
2.5.4 Langan-Fox’s skill acquisition model
2.6 Summary

3.1 Novice-to-Expert Progression
3.1.1 Novice to expert progression as stages
3.1.2 Problem-solving approaches as an indicator of stages
3.1.3 Tasks performance as an indicator of stages
3.1.4 Measurable attributes as an indicator of stages
3.1.5 Novice to expert transition as a process
3.1.6 Implications
3.2 Stages of Proficiency Acquisition
3.3 Proficiency Scaling
3.3.1 Hoffman’s proficiency scaling
3.3.2 Jacobs’ taxonomy of human competence
3.3.3 Implications of proficiency scaling
3.4 Proficient Performance
3.4.1 Role of proficiency in performance
3.4.2 Development of proficient performers
3.4.3 Characteristics of proficient performers
3.4.4 Measuring proficient performance
3.4.5 Importance of proficient performance
3.5 Expert Performance
3.5.1 Attributes of expertise
3.5.2 A holistic view of expertise
3.5.3 Construct of expert performance
3.5.4 Deliberate practice mechanism
3.5.5 Time to expertise
3.5.6 Relevance of expert performance
3.6 Expert vs Proficient
3.7 Summary

4.1 Accelerating Proficiency
4.1.1 Time to Proficiency Metrics
4.1.2 Studies on time to proficiency
4.1.3 How long is time to proficiency
4.2 Accelerating Learning vs Proficiency
4.3 Business Drivers for Speed
4.4 Theory of Accelerated Proficiency
4.4.1 Theoretical aspects
4.4.2 CTT as Basis of Accelerated Proficiency
4.4.3 CFT as Basis of Accelerated Proficiency
4.4.4 Unified Theory to Explain Accelerated Proficiency
4.5 Summary

5.1 Thematic Categories of Methods
5.2 Cognitive task analysis (CTA) methods
5.2.1 Using CTA to design training
5.2.2 Complimenting CTA with other methods
5.2.3 Challenges and benefits
5.2.4 Cognitive work analysis
5.3 Simulation-based Training methods
5.3.1 Time compression
5.3.2 Expert-based simulation
5.3.3 Above Real-time Training
5.3.4 Gamification
5.3.5 Virtual or synthetic environments
5.3.6 Immersive strategies
5.3.7 Operational simulation
5.3.8 Benefits
5.4 Scenario-based Training methods
5.4.1 Scenario-based training
5.4.2 Desirable difficulties
5.4.3 Tough case time compression
5.4.4 Conceptual skills
5.5 Part-task Based Methods
5.6 Workplace Activities-based Methods
5.6.1 Informal and social learning
5.6.2 Experiential and action learning
5.6.3 Structured workplace activities
5.6.4 Cognitive apprenticeship
5.6.5 Structured on-the-job training
5.6.6 Deliberate practice at work
5.6.7 Deliberate performance through action learning
5.6.8 Learning organizations
5.7 Technology-based methods
5.7.1 Expert-based systems
5.7.2 Tutoring systems
5.7.3 Performance support systems
5.7.4 Knowledge capture systems
5.7.5 Personalised learning systems
5.8 Summary

6.1 Challenges to Accelerate Proficiency
6.2 Issues with Training Methods
6.3 Issues with Workplace Methods
6.4 Applying Lessons from this book
6.5 Final Words



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