OSHA's pamphlet on training (OSHA 7) states that an "Effective training program allows employees to participate in the training process and to practice their skills or knowledge. This will help to ensure that they are learning the required knowledge or skills and permit correction if necessary." Learning occurs when behavior is changed and adults learn differently than children. When determining the effectiveness of the training experience (traditional, accelerated learning, e-Learning, blended, and so on), ask three questions:
Did the learner participate in the training, e.g., will you have appropriate types/numbers of respirator cartridges/filters to allow each respirator user an opportunity to conduct an exercise on proper selection and attachment of media?
Did the learner practice their skills or knowledge, e.g., will you have appropriate sizes/numbers of SCBA facepieces and breathing air cylinders to allow each respirator user sufficient time to practice inspection, donning, seal checks and doffing?
Was the trainer available to permit correction? Remember that it is harder to unlearn incorrect information than it is to learn new information. So it is critical that learners take the correct information home with them in their short-term memory before burning it to long-term memory.
Learning objectives describe the behavior change expected from the learner after training. Learning objectives should reflect the knowledge and skills addressed in training materials which are then linked to various instructional methods. Learning objectives provide the basis for evaluating course effectiveness in relation to student learning.