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Book Review: ASTD Handbook

​Edited by Elaine Biech; Association for Talent Development;; 980 pages. $145.95

The basic principles of learning are the foundation of the second edition of the ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training & Development, which is published by the Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD). This excellent book clearly explains the differences among various types of knowledge, as well as the factors that motivate people to learn. It also discusses research in learning and development in a useful format.  

It is difficult to find a text that keeps the reader engaged; this one is a happy exception. It includes activities that hold the reader’s interest, plus guidelines and techniques that inspire readers to apply what they read. It explains that training has to be performance- and job-centered to be most effective.

This excellent resource for security trainers is also suited for professors who lecture in security studies. Well written and engaging, it demonstrates how to develop training activities and then evaluate the effectiveness of the training. Those security professionals responsible for testing and assessment will find this resource valuable. 

The comprehensive book includes techniques on how to use examples and tests effectively. Checklists help the instructor create visuals and manuals that support instruction. Each chapter is reinforced with questions, and additional sources are provided in the back. Overall, I highly recommend it. 


Reviewer: Mark H. Beaudry, CPP, is chair of the ASIS International Research Council.