Interactive, Computer-Based Training Program for Radiological Workers Page: 3 of 12
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Interactive, Computer-Based Training Program for Radiological Workers
P.A. Trinoskey, P.I. Camacho, and L. Wells
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is redesigning its Computer-Based Training (CBT)
program for radiological workers. The redesign represents a major effort to produce a single, highly
interactive and flexible CBT program that will meet the training needs of a wide range of radiological
workers-from researchers and x-ray operators to individuals working in tritium, uranium, plutonium, and
accelerator facilities. The new CBT program addresses the broad diversity of backgrounds found at a
When a training audience is homogenous in terms of education level and type of work performed, it is
difficult to duplicate the effectiveness of a flexible, technically competent instructor who can tailor a course
to the express needs and concerns of a course's participants. Unfortunately, such homogeneity is rare. At
Lawrence Livermore, we have a diverse workforce engaged in a wide range of radiological activities, from
the fairly common to the quite exotic. As a result, the Laboratory must offer a wide variety of radiological
worker courses. These include a general contamination-control course in addition to radioactive-material-
handling courses for both low-level laboratory (i.e., bench-top) activities as well as high-level work in
tritium, uranium, and plutonium facilities. We also offer training courses for employees who work with
radiation-generating devices-x-ray, accelerator, and E-beam operators, for instance.
However, even with the number and variety of courses the Laboratory offers, we are constrained by the
diversity of backgrounds (i.e., knowledge and experience) of those to be trained. Moreover, time
constraints often preclude in-depth coverage of site- and/or task-specific details. In response to this
situation, several years ago LLNL began moving toward computer-based training for radiological workers.
Today, that CBT effort includes a general radiological safety course developed by the Department of
Energy's Hanford facility and a contamination-control program developed by LLNL. A comprehensive
study guide and a post-training practical exam supplement the CBT effort. The "hands-on" practical is
particularly important in that it gives participants not only the opportunity to demonstrate what they've
learned, but to ask questions about their individual work situations.
The challenge is how to make the CBT program more facility- and task-specific while, at the same time,
making the program more in tune with the education and/or experience levels of individual trainees. To that
end, we have designed a CBT program, which we refer to as an "onion." That is, the course is layered,
going from the general to the more and more specific. Also, the path through a given module can vary from
one trainee to another, depending on answers given by the trainee to an initial, on-line questionnaire. This
questionnaire asks where the person works (type of facility), what he/she does (specific job
tasks/activities), and how much education/experience he/she has. Based on this information, the computer
then tailors the training module to that individual's job needs and education/experience level. The trainee
can then peel the CBT "onion" to whatever level of explanation or detail he/she wants.
The new CBT program will be recorded on an interactive, multi-platform (i.e., Mac and PC) CD-ROM.
When complete, the new program will include ten modules, each including information on specific areas of
radiation safety (e.g., x-ray, accelerator, laboratory, and contamination control). In addition to the CD
format, we are exploring ways to deliver the training via internet/intranet. Again, though, the key feature of
the new training is that the student tailors the CBT package to his/her needs by first answering a set of
questions at the beginning.
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Trinoskey, P.A.; Camacho, P.I. & Wells, L. Interactive, Computer-Based Training Program for Radiological Workers, article, January 18, 2000; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc737776/m1/3/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.