A market survey of occupational health and safety professionals was performed to assess their interest in course work offered through distance education, using technology-enhanced learning methods such as the Internet or CD-ROM. A random sample of 800 active and student members of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, and the American Society of Safety Engineers from the eight-state Midwest region were queried through a mail survey. Respondents expressed a high likeliness (87.4%) to participate in distance education opportunities for the purposes of continuing education and academic degree. The areas of study interest selected most often were occupational health (73%), injury prevention and control (60%), and industrial hygiene (53%). More than three-quarters of respondents (79%) said that an on-campus component was not important to their learning experience. The majority of respondents (68%) indicated that they were reimbursed for the cost of education with significant differences identified by association. Occupational health and safety professionals are interested in distance education using technology-enhanced learning (TEL) methodologies for meeting their educational needs. TEL/distance education, built on a tested educational approach, should be implemented and outcomes shared to increase the body of knowledge regarding these teaching strategies as they pertain to occupational health and safety professionals.
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*Author to whom correspondence should be sent. This study is supported in part by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health under the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Training Grant (CDC/T42/ CCT510422).
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- Distance education
- Technology-enhanced learning