Development of a Naturalist Course for Manta Tour Guides in Hawaii
KeywordsInstructional Design, development, naturalist course, manta rays, manta tours, tour guides, Kona, Hawaii
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AbstractThe Kona Coast on the island of Hawaii is a world-class destination for those who seek marine wildlife interactions. One activity that sets Kona apart from other worldwide tourist destinations is the opportunity to observe manta rays in the wild. Manta tour guides act as authorities about manta rays while conducting tours, however, there was no official course for these guides. To fill this need, the Manta Naturalist Course for Manta Tour Guides and Operators was developed and delivered. The purpose of this instructional design project was to develop and evaluate the first module in this naturalist course for manta tour guides offered through Hawaii Community College, Office of Continuing Education and Training in Kona, Hawaii. The course includes two face-to-face classroom sessions along with an online component. The learning management system is through the University of Hawaii at https://laulima.hawaii.edu/portal and the content for the course can be found at http://www.mantanaturalist.com. The Dick and Carey Model offered the framework for instructional design and Keller’s ARCS Model (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction) was employed throughout the development. Using Web 2.0 tools, the course content was developed from a curated collection that included original underwater videos as well as meaningful online resources. Special emphasis was placed on visual design elements for course materials and web site. Design choices based on theory were compared with practical application. Based on feedback, modifications were made. Lessons learned and recommendations for future courses are highlighted.