Perceived learning needs in staff development of some care providers in five long-term care settings in Southern Ontario /
Millar, Deborah L.
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This exploratory descriptive study described what 20 care providers in 5 long-term care facilities perceived to aid or hinder their learning in a work-sponsored learning experience. A Critical Incident Technique (Woolsey, 1986) was the catalyst for the interviews with the culturally and professionally diverse participants. Through data analysis, as described by Moustakas (1994), I found that (a) humour, (b) the learning environment, (c) specific characteristics of the presenter such as moderate pacing, speaking slowly and with simple words, (d) decision-making authority, (e) relevance to practice, and (f) practical applications best met the study participants' learning needs. Conversely, other factors could hinder learning based on the participants' perceptions. These were: (a) other presenter characteristics such as a program that was delivered quickly or spoken at a level above the participants' comprehension, (b) no perceived relevance to practice, (c), other environmental situations, and (d) the timing of the learning session. One of my intentions was to identify the emic view among cultural groups and professional/vocational affiliations. A surprising finding of this study was that neither impacted noticeably on the perceived learning needs of the participants. Further research with a revised research design to facilitate inclusion of more diverse participants will aid in determining if the lack of a difference was unique to this sample or more generalizable on a case-to-case transfer basis to the study population.