An evaluation of the training of telephonists

Lamb, Richard Thomas (1974) An evaluation of the training of telephonists. Masters thesis, Middlesex Polytechnic.

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Abstract

The research described in this thesis is part of a study undertaken by the Post Office to determine criteria for the evaluation of training. In particular the training of operators for switchboards at Auto Manual Centres (AMCs) is investigated. This is done both at AMCs and in training centres known as Wing Schools. The similarilies and differences between the training at AMCs and Wing Schools are discussed, together with a brief outline of the work itself and the recruitment process.

The work is considered quasi-repetitive, and includes an element of decision-making. Measures of output exist, which are used by management to determine staffing levels. These measures are considered for the purpose of assessing training effectiveness, which is seen as the core of the problem of evaluating training. However, they are shown to be unsuitable in this role, and a simpler measure of progress is proposed.

By activity sampling methods, the existence of activity profiles is shown for experienced operators. The profiles are affected by the traffic mix in the AMC, but are seen as a means of comparing trainees' progress in different locations. Activity sampling observations of trainees compare the effects of practice on live and simulated traffic during their initial training period, and for a further five months of post-training experience. Additionally, comparisons are drawn between successful and unsuccessful trainees.

Next, objective tests using partial simulation of call situations are used to compare different methods of studying programmed texts. No difference is found between the methods but a comparison is made also between two different orders of training, wilh positive results.

A brief study of costs shows that training in an AMC is Iikely to cost very much less than in a school, but also indicates that improved selection would show financial returns.

The principal conclusions are that
(a) Common activiy-profiles exist for trained operators within a
particular exchange.
(b) The profiles can be used in the assessment of training performance.
(c) The benefit of training operators for Directory Enquiry work initially and subsequently training for switchboard operation should be given further investigation.
(d) Training in an AMC is more cost-effective than at a Wing School.
(e) A trainability test should be a useful addition to the present
selection procedures.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13461
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2015 17:05
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 22:07
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/13461

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