Differing effects of in-person and online methods of delivering JHSC Certification Part 1 Training

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Published: September 2023

by: Robson LS, Chen C, Imam S, Biswas A, Landsman V, Shahidi FV, Smith PM, Mustard C

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the ongoing trend toward online learning in many spheres of life, including occupational health and safety (OHS) training. However, it's not clear whether online delivery methods are as effective as in-person methods. A recent rapid review of systematic reviews compared the effectiveness of face-to-face and instructor-led synchronous distance learning formats for work-related training. It found similar levels of knowledge could be achieved with both. The research available was mostly conducted with highly educated workers and students in health care, however; its generalizability to a more diverse group of workers is unknown. 

This study helps address the above research gap. It compares face-to-face learning, online instructor-led synchronous distance learning and online self-paced e-learning methods. The study focuses on standardized OHS training, delivered to Ontario workers undergoing Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Certification. The main research question is whether the three training delivery methods differ in the post-training knowledge gain by learners. Secondary research questions are asked about factors affecting knowledge achievement, other training outcomes, and learner suggestions for improving the training.