Pre-training to improve workshop performance in supervisor skills: An exploratory study of Latino agricultural workers

John Austin, Alicia M. Alvero, Martha M. Fuchs, Lindsey Patterson, W. Kent Anger

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

5 Scopus citations


Employees with limited education may be excluded from advanced training due to assumptions that they might not learn rapidly. However, preparatory training may be able to overcome missing experience in education. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that computer-based training (CBT) in supervisor skills of Latino agricultural workers would improve subsequent performance in a workshop designed to teach supervisor skills. Ten men born and educated in Mexico participated in the study; all spoke Spanish, the language of the training. Five participants (mean 6.4 years of education) completed supervisor skills CBT, and five participants (mean 8.2 years of education) completed hazard communication (HazCom) CBT as a control condition. Following the CBT, all participants completed a two-day face-to-face workshop on supervisory skills conducted by an experienced behavior management consultant. Although the groups did not differ in their knowledge scores on a multiple-choice test before the face-to-face workshop, after the workshop the HazCom group had a mean test score of 51.2% (SD = 8.7) while the supervisor group had a higher mean test score of 65.2% (SD = 14.3). The difference was marginally significant by a t-test (p = 0.052), and the effect size was large (d = 1.16). The results suggest that computer-based training in supervisor skills can be effective in preparing participants with limited education to learn supervisor skills from a face-to-face workshop. This result suggests that limited educational attainment is not a barrier to learning the complex knowledge required to supervise employees, that pre-training may improve learning in a workshop format, and that training may be presented effectively in a computer-based format to employees with limited education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages9
Specialist publicationJournal of Agricultural Safety and Health
StatePublished - Jul 23 2009


  • Agriculture
  • Behavioral principles
  • Community-based participatory research (CBPR)
  • Computer-based training
  • Latino workers
  • Supervisor skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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