A cost analysis and comparison of computer-assisted instruction and traditional classroom instruction in an industrial setting
Sylvia Wood Hornback, Texas A&M University, United States
Texas A&M University . Awarded
This purpose of this study was to analyze and compare costs of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) versus traditional classroom instruction as a means of training and educating the natural gas industry workforce. In addition, the research reports implications of analyses and comparisons related to timeliness of training and incident reduction. The major research questions framing the study were the following: (1) What are the cost differences between computer-assisted training and traditional classroom training for federally mandated qualification of operators in the natural gas industry? (2) What are the implications of the cost differences of computer-assisted training versus traditional classroom training as it relates to the issues of timeliness of training and incident reduction?
A questionnaire and interviews were used to collect data. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequencies, percentages, and means. Qualitative methods were used in this study to supplement the collected quantitative data. Nine operations training principals from 60 natural gas companies were interviewed.
The major study findings for the cost differences are the following: (1) Classroom training costs were more for completing a course than CAI. (2) Classroom training costs were more per day than CAI. (3) On-site and off-site classroom training costs were higher than CAI costs.
The major study findings from the interview data for costs relating to incident reduction and timeliness are the following: (1) All respondents believed training reduced incidents. (2) CAI provided more training in less time and for less money. (3) CAI was consider timely due to availability, and convenience.
Results of other findings emerging from interviews as topics of concern: (1) Accidents involving a third party or contractor. (2) Alternatives to reducing accidents other than training. (3) Retraining a mature and experienced workforce. (4) Physical conditions of aging pipelines
Recommendations for future study are the following: (1) determine if the difference in time to complete a course for CAI versus classroom resulted in effectiveness in application and (2) determine if there is a correlation between the reduction of incidents due to specific training.
Hornback, S.W. A cost analysis and comparison of computer-assisted instruction and traditional classroom instruction in an industrial setting. Ph.D. thesis, Texas A&M University.
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