Learning and retention of chemical safety training information: A comparison of classroom versus computer-based formats on a college campus

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2012-09-01
Authors
Withers, James
Freeman, Steven
Kim, Eunice
Freeman, Steven
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StatisticsAgricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Abstract

Safety training is an important part of every safety professional's daily practice. Evaluation of the effectiveness of safety training is especially critical. A research study was undertaken that first explores the basics of devising an effective safety training module. The literature related to the key issues of amount of learning and retention is reviewed and tested in the context of a site-specific chemical safety training course that is offered both in the classroom and on the computer. The importance of evaluating characteristics of the learner is discussed and evaluated. Finally, important variables related to assessment technique (i.e., how learning is assessed) are discussed.

The results of the study confirm that training participants were getting equivalent learning experiences regardless of the training methodology (classroom versus computer). Numerous learner characteristics were evaluated relative to both learning and retention and were found to have no impact on the observed results.

The implications of the findings of this study are discussed relative to potential impact on an overall safety training program. Not only is it essential to evaluate the effectiveness of safety training given different delivery methodologies, but the techniques used are relatively simple and can facilitate reductions in overall costs associated with training.

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This is a manuscript of an article published as Withers, James H., Steven A. Freeman, and Eunice Kim. "Learning and retention of chemical safety training information: A comparison of classroom versus computer-based formats on a college campus." Journal of Chemical Health and Safety 19, no. 5 (2012): 47-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.jchas.2011.12.001. Posted with permission.

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