Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 09:06:13 -0400
Reply-To: Ralph Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Ralph Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: exam questions
In-Reply-To: <42A8BB53.7010200**At_Symbol_Here**>

>Larry Cattoor (Biosafety/Chemical Hygiene Officer, University of Kansas,
>Lawrence) suggested an interesting - and the more I think about it,
>important - distinction between training and education:
>      To me, an exam to evaluate training is different than an exam to
>evaluate education. Training is a Pass or Fail situation, whereas
>      education can be graded on a quality scale with different levels of
>passing or failing. I educate people about safety principles, but I
>      train them in safety practices. When discussing principles I can
>evaluate on a sliding scale how well they understand and apply
>      principles. However, with safety practices the context really is

There's another important distinction between training and education
that I've thought about a lot:
Education raises general awareness about a field, we hope in a permanent way.
Training seeks to create specific habits, which will need to be
reinforced over time.

This means to me that quizzing people in educational settings when
the process is "over" to get feedback about what they've absorbed
makes sense. However, review of the success of a training should take
place some time after the training (a couple weeks or months) to see
if the desired behavior change has taken place on a permanent basis.
So, to me, the timing of the evaluation process is very important and
should be matched to the intent of the educational/training effort.

So, we rely on laboratory inspection results as the indicator of
successful training rather than passing a paper quiz at the class. On
the other hand, when we teach a HAZWOPER course to undergrads, we
rely more on class quizzes and projects, since we're not training
them for a specific job (we're not hiring those students, we're
educating them).

Of course, the regulatory approach to training doesn't make that
distinction - in most regulations, training is effectively used to
share some of the legal responsibility for safety conditions with the
employees, rather than just leave it all in the laps of the
employers. This confuses the issue in my mind by placing more
emphasis on documentation than training success.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH
Environmental Safety Manager
University of Vermont
Environmental Safety Facility
667 Spear St.
Burlington, VT   05405

fax: (802)656-5407

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