Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Floyd L. Stead.


Each year in the United States, millions of dollars are spent to educate adults. Therefore, there has been a flurry of interest in answering the question, ''How do adults learn?'' There are different answers and therefore, different theories. The method selected for this study incorporated Andragogic learning into the laboratory safety training at Carnegie Mellon University. This design involved a number of features that recognized the essential maturity of the learner.;The training was developed to present the Laboratory Safety and Hazardous Waste Trainings at Carnegie Mellon University. The new training provided additional discussion points to allow the adults to interact more with the trainer and therefore, become more involved in their learning. The current training (''old'' training) did not incorporate the adult learning strategies. The new training began with providing objectives and real-life examples as well as a quiz that was graded and then the correct answers given, as opposed to allowing participants to change their responses before the grade is recorded. These educational concepts would hopefully transfer to improved safety practices in the laboratories. This was measured and recorded through staff observations during laboratory inspections. The observations recorded the number of safety violations exhibited by each participant.;The employees were divided into two groups: those that received the ''old'' training and those that received the ''new'' training. Staff members at Carnegie Mellon University trained to evaluate laboratory safety observed the employees. The employees were observed on three separate occasions to determine compliance to the safety behaviors described in the training.;After the observations were complete, t-tests were analyzed and a significant decrease in violations was found for participants in the ''new'' training. The results demonstrate significant decreases only when comparing the two training groups, not when other variables were considered: employee's department, male vs. female and training session attended.