Influencing variables and moderators of transfer of learning to the workplace within the area of staff development in higher education: Research review

Catherine De Rijdt*, Ann Stes, Cees van der Vleuten, Filip Dochy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The goal of staff development in higher education is a change in teacher practices to positively influence student learning. In other words, the goal of staff development is the transfer of learning to the workplace. Research illuminates that this transfer of learning to the workplace is a complex issue. To make an accurate assessment of staff development initiatives one must consider what works for whom and under what conditions. We need to understand which influencing variables actually lead to which effects. Furthermore, we have to gain insight into moderators in the relationship between influencing variables and transfer of learning. With this interdisciplinary review we combine the findings of management, Human Resource Development (HRD), and organisational psychological research with educational research. We attempt to generate guidelines for further research to improve staff development by revealing gaps in earlier research on impact of staff development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-74
JournalEducational Research Review
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Transfer of learning to the workplace
  • Staff development
  • Higher education

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