This study provides a preliminary analysis of how the techniques of fluency training can be combined with systematic concept instruction to improve the learning of complex verbal concepts. Fluency techniques, which require the learner to respond accurately at high rates, have typically focused on definition learning when teaching concepts. Instructional psychologists, however, recommend multiple exemplar training for conceptual instruction. To examine this issue, 41 undergraduate students completed a computer-based instructional module on logical fallacies. Participants were assigned to one of four groups, with the modules for each group differing only in the type of practice provided—either fluency or practice with either examples or definitions. Examination of posttest scores revealed significantly higher scores for participants in the examples groups than those in the definitions groups, but low experimental power prevented a clear conclusion to be drawn about differences between the fluency and practice groups. Implications of results and several methodological issues relevant to this area of research are discussed.
Human performance technology (HPT) is having a significant impact on the field of instructional design and technology (IDT), and many IDT graduate programs now offer training in HPT to their students. Some IDT programs may be struggling with the extent to which they should incorporate the principles and techniques of HPT into their courses, however. The purpose of this article is to report the results of a survey conducted to determine performance improvement competencies for graduates of IDT programs. A sample of faculty and practitioners used a web-based survey to rate the importance of HPT skills and knowledge for IDT graduates. Results of the survey can provide guidance to programs seeking to prepare their graduates for today’s workplace and may shed light on which HPT processes and interventions should be emphasized.