and asked to complete the introductory lesson consisting of the completion of a pre-course evaluation and recording a short video introduction using the Flipgrid online application. Flipgrid videos were used throughout the course to gather qualitative evaluation data on participant expectations, satisfaction and attitudes. Pre-course evaluations were collected using Qualtrics software and was set up in 3 sections. The first section collected information on the participant including name of tour outfitter, number of years’ experience in the guiding business, geographic location on the coast, and approximate number of tourists guided annually. If the guide reported themselves to be the owner of their tour company, they were asked to quantify how many people they employ. Behavior of each participant regarding actions with potential conservation impacts on shorebirds (taking dogs to the beach, walking in the dunes, disturbing resting or feeding birds) was measured using a series of five questions with Likert-scale questions. And baseline knowledge was measured using a series of questions specifically aligned with course content. Post-course evaluations were collected similarly to pre-course evaluations: using Qualtrics software. The evaluation tool closely followed the pre-course evaluation except that the first section was replaced with questions designed to evaluate participant satisfaction with content, delivery and format of the course. Furthermore, to help in the establishment of a fee-based option for future trainings, participants were asked to indicate their willingness to and amount that they would pay for similar training or recertification. The post- course evaluation was paired with pre-course results to determine how closely learning objectives were accomplished.
Of the 19 participants who took the course, 17 completed all the requirements to become certified CARE guides. The 19 participants represented a diverse cross-section of the water-based guide community, including eleven different businesses/organizations. Nine participants indicated they were the owners of their business, and most employed at least 1-2 guides in addition to themselves. The experience level of the guides ranged from veterans of the trade to initiates. For the first iteration of the CARE certification course, leaders in the community were encouraged to participate in the hopes that they could set the standard for their employees and other early career guides.
2021 NET Conference Proceedings
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