Honors College Thesis


The Effectiveness of cTRAIN Computer-Based Programs in Occupational Psychology and its Sociological Implications Public Deposited

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  • Pesticides can often be toxic and for this reason their methods and quantities of application are extremely regulated. Pesticide applicators are at risk of permanently damaging their health from exposure to pesticides. In order to ensure that these employees have the proper information to protect themselves, they are required to pass a state certification test. Agriculture, in certain states, relies on a high number of immigrant workers having varying degrees of education, thus making it difficult to efficiently and effectively train each employee in the needed areas. A computer-based training program for pesticide applicators was developed to be used by agricultural workers preparing for the state certification exam. The training program was designed to be effective for people with varying degrees of knowledge and computer experience. Similarly, its design has allowed for a method of training employees in their native tongue. Agricultural workers from a vineyard completed the computer-based training, in their native language of Mexican Spanish, prior to taking the state certification test. Nine of the sixteen workers passed the training program while none of them passed the state certification test. One participant did not complete either portion of the study, and one participant took the training but 2 did not take the certification test. Although none of the participants passed the certification test there was a significant increase in the training program scores between the pre-test and post-test. The statistical significances (tstatistics) for packages 1-4, were 0.00132, 0.00015, < 0.001, and 0.0004 in that order. All participants were encouraged to complete basic demographic surveys. The outcome of the training and state tests indicates a need to revise the content of the Pesticide Applicator training to better fit the information required for the certification test and account for the institutional bias that is inherent in the testing system. A follow-up study ran in August 2007 using the modified training.
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