Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Second Advisor

Duane M. Covrig

Third Advisor

Sylvia Gonzalez

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this research study was to compare the effectiveness of computer-based training with traditional classroom training; both instructional delivery methods utilized the traditional classroom curriculum as a means of delivery for an on-the-job company-sponsored program. The JAW-SAD Human Resource Center (HRC) is a training facility for the SAD Corporation, a major international manufacturing company. The HRC is responsible for conducting continuous training and certification of SAD employees. Historically, training has been provided through conference workshops with a traditional classroom training format. The motivation and importance for this study was influenced by an administrative requirement to determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of utilizing computer technology for all HRC training programs. The sample group for this research study was adult learners all over 25 years of age, an active employee of the corporation, and a job placement team member. Each Job Placement Team consists of a management, a union worker, and a medical representative. These teams are responsible for the job placements of medically restricted employees throughout the company. It is a company requirement that each team member take specific training for professional development and certification.

Method: The research was guided by four questions. First, is there a significant difference in the understanding of the participants who took the computer-based training and the participants who took traditional classroom training? Second, is there a significant difference in the overall student satisfaction levels between participants in the computer-based training and participants in the classroom? Third, is there a significant difference in the course completion times for participants in the computer-based training and participants in the classroom training? Lastly, is there a significant difference in the company job placement rate post-Job Placement Team training? The data were collected and evaluated using both quantitative and qualitative methods. A company-designed pretest and posttest to measure learning and a company-required Participant Reaction Questionnaire to determine the overall effectiveness and participant satisfaction relative to the training class were utilized. A total of 83 participants completed all instruments and were included in the sample population. Additionally, course completion times were measured by recording the start and stop times for the classroom and the computer-based training, and data were collected from company quarterly reports to determine the job placement rate.

Results: Analysis of the test score data revealed no significant difference in the understanding of the Job Placement Process at the end of the study between the participants who took the computer-based and the traditional training. However, student satisfaction yielded slightly higher scores from the participants in the traditional classroom training but, not statistically significant. Additionally, the summed scores for satisfaction with training were compared by demographic characteristics, including gender, race/ethnicity, employment status, and educational level. The data revealed that no statistically significant difference was found for the main effect of gender; it appeared that male and female participants in the two groups experienced similar levels of satisfaction with the training. An analysis was conducted to determine if satisfaction with training differed by group membership and race/ethnicity. The results of the analysis indicated satisfaction with training did not differ among African Americans and Caucasian participants. Further, satisfaction with training between participants in the two types of training programs and employment status, hourly/salaried, was compared. The difference in satisfaction with training by employment status was statistically significant. The computer-based training program mean score for the hourly participants was found to be lower than the mean score for those in the traditional training program. However, members of the computer-based group who were salaried had levels of satisfaction that were similar to both hourly and salaried members in the traditional class. Reviews of the results comparing satisfaction with training among participants with four different levels of education were not statistically significant. Based on this finding, it did not appear that satisfaction with training was related to the level of education. Additional findings did not support the null hypothesis that there was no significant difference in the course completion times. However, the findings did support that computer-based training has the potential to significantly impact the duration of time spent on company training courses. Lastly, the improved job placement data, as indicated through post-training company administrative reports, provide support that the training appeared to be effective in placing employees in jobs.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate no significant differences in test scores, participant satisfaction, or overall program effectiveness between the instructional methods. Based on the results of this study I recommend that a set of instructional activities utilizing computer-based technology modeled on an adult learning style design replace the current traditional classroom delivery method for the corporation Job Placement Teams. Further research should be conducted on the effect of computer-based technology as an instructional method to increase job performance in the areas of Health and Safety, Ergonomics, and Diversity certification programs. I also recommend research be conducted to determine if social networking for class participants has any long-term beneficial value to the company. Finally, research should be conducted to determine the actual training time for the traditional classroom delivery method excluding class breaks.

Subject Area

Computer-assisted instruction, Computer managed instruction, Teaching--Methodology--Comparative studies

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