File - Landon Marie Moores

Increasing Intention to Provide Interpretation through an Application of the Theory of Planned
Landon M. Moores
University of Idaho
This study applies a theoretical framework to a professional development workshop. Participants
were given a pre- and post- workshop questionnaire in order to assess any increase in intention to
engage in the desired behavior, providing interpretation. Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior
(TPB) guided workshop development (1991). TPB predicts behavior by measuring intention (I).
I is based on three factors attitude toward the behavior (A), subjective norm (SN), and perceived
behavioral control (PBC). Assessment of the factors influencing intention, as established by
TPB, was used to measure any increase in intention. While scores in all three factors, A, SN, and
PBC increased, results indicate a significant increase in only one of the three factors: subjective
norm. The study also revealed perceived advantages, disadvantages, and obstacles to providing
interpretation. Results suggest further research into the application of TPB to workshop
development is necessary.
Keywords: theory of planned behavior, interpretation, workshop evaluation
Increasing Intention to Provide Interpretation through an Application of the Theory of Planned
River rafting is a growing area of resource-based tourism in the United States. As river
usage continues to grow, so too does concern for sustainable usage. Current research suggests
that interpretation can support sustainable tourism. Traditionally, interpretation is a method used
by many national park areas in order to educate users. Through this education, an increase in
visitor knowledge and understanding of the area can be attained. While this method has been
effective in communicating with the traditional park user, it does not reach users who are
traveling with commercial outfitters. For example, in one summer, approximately 10,000 people
float the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho (Salmon-Challis National Forest - Water
Activities). An estimated 50% of these users are on a commercial trip. With such a significant
portion of users employing commercial outfitters, the charge of interpretation falls to the guides
employed by these outfitters.
This study focuses on a method for increasing the intent of a commercial river guide to
provide interpretation to guests. In the past, agency-industry partnerships have been similarly
studied as effective means to educate users on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) practices
(Tan, McLauglin, & Grussing, 1992). In an agency-outfitter partnership, the agency (in this case
the BLM) partners with river outfitters and guides in order to disseminate information to a larger
audience. This larger audience is the group of guests that go on commercial raft trips of the
participating outfitters. Currently, the BLM sponsors a trip for Idaho commercial river guides in
order to educate on riparian topics including: river history, ecology, geology, Wild and Scenic
Rivers Act, BLM easements, hydrology, low-impact camping, wildlife, grazing and mining (Tan,
et al., 1992). The inception of the BLM-sponsored trip is in part based on the findings of a 1992
study of agency-outfitter partnership (Tan et al., 1992). The trip takes place on the 53-mile
stretch of the Lower Salmon River in central Idaho, from Hammer Creek Recreation site to the
Heller Bar site on the Snake River. In the Tan, et al. study, researchers concluded that if guides
were provided information on a river, both guides and commercial guests would experience an
increase in knowledge of the area. A strong significant correlation was established between an
increase in guide knowledge and an increase in guest knowledge.
Building on the relationship between workshop attendance and guide/guest knowledge,
the present study aims to further explore an information workshop’s ability to increase guide
intent to provide information to commercial guests. Rather than provide maximum information,
the workshop focused on delivering relevant information in a structured format. Relevant
information and format were determined based on the three factors influencing intention as
presented by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991). These factors are: attitude,
subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control.
Psychology has long attempted to explain human behavior. Researchers have proposed
several theoretical frameworks in order to clarify or predict behavior (Ajzen, 1991). One such
framework is Ajzen’s TPB which is outlined in Figure 1. In this model, intention determines
behavior. Intention can be predicted by three factors: attitude (A), subjective norms (SN), and
perceived behavioral control (PBC).
Beliefs form the basis for A, SN, and PBC. Behavioral beliefs form a person’s attitude
toward the behavior. This attitude is on a spectrum from favorable to unfavorable and includes
consideration of the outcome of a behavior. Normative beliefs are the basis for subjective norms
held by a person, where subjective norms refer to social and peer acceptance of the behavior.
Control beliefs form the basis for perceived behavioral control; that is, perceived behavioral
control indicates the amount of power the person feels they have in their ability to perform an
Research Questions and Objectives
The primary objective of the research is to further understanding of viable methods to
increase guides’ intention to provide interpretation presentations on commercially guided river
trips. Research did not explore content or quality of presentations. Particularly, an application of
TPB to an interpretation workshop was explored. It concentrates on the following research
question: How does an application of the Theory of Planned Behavior framework to an
interpretive techniques workshop increase guides’ intention to provide interpretation?
Through this question, a further understanding of interpretation and methods to improve it will
be clarified. The results of this study and its answers to the research questions posed will indicate
the extent to which a workshop based on the framework presented by the TPB can be effective
for increasing formal interpretation presentations on commercially-guided river trips.
Literature Review
For the purpose of informing the present research, literature was reviewed that focused on
the role of interpretation in a variety of tour-based industries, as well as the role of interpretation
in wilderness management, and the behavioral theories upon which interpretation is based.
Results of this review provide the basis for the present study.
The concept map that guided the literature review is shown in Appendix A. First,
interpretation and sustainable tourism will be further defined. Next, benefits and methods for
increasing interpretation will be discussed. Finally, the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen,
1991) will be evaluated as a guiding theory for an effective interpretation workshop.
Defining Interpretation
Several definitions of interpretation are presented in the literature. Despite the prevalence
of definitions, achieving any comprehensive definition and model of interpretation has proven
difficult. While a precise definition is lacking, an overview of existing ideas and definitions
presents a robust idea of the goals and objectives of interpretation. Tilden defines interpretation
as “an educational activity, which aims to reveal meaning and relationships through the use of
original objects, by firsthand experience, and by illustrative media, rather than simply to
communicate factual information,” (p. 16, 1957). A simplified definition describes interpretation
as “a form of communication having an educational function…with messages typically involving
our natural legacy” (Beck & Cable, 2002, p. 7).
Existing definitions in the literature establish interpretation as an educational
communication form that values hands-on experience. However, subjects for interpretation
extend beyond simply relaying factual information to include revealing meaning and establishing
a connection with the audience (Mills, 1920; Moscardo, 2003; Tilden, 1977). It is these qualities
that led Beck and Cable (2002) to describe interpretation as “an art form” (p. 8). As an “art
form,” interpretation values connection and as such, it is highly individualized. An interpreter
communicating to a group will not interpret any given resource in the same manner, as so many
factors exist when making connections. Because of the unique and highly individualized nature
of effective interpretation, there exists no all-inclusive paradigm of effective interpretation;
therefore, interpretation training must encompass and encourage unique style. In summary, for
the purpose of guiding this research, interpretation will be defined as a communication form that
aims to educate through connecting guest and resource in a hands-on experience.
Defining Sustainable Tourism
Although sustainable tourism is an oft-used term, a universal definition is lacking. It is
important to begin with the establishment of a definition to guide this review. The World
Commission on Environment and Development first recognized the concept of sustainability in
1987 (Ham & Weiler, 2001; Hunter, 1997). Since then, varying concepts and definitions of
sustainability have been produced. The idea of sustainable tourism is one application of a
developing ideal. Ham and Weiler (2001) have defined “sustainable tourism” as tourism that
balances economic viability with conservation of cultural and natural environment, while also
meeting tourism demands. Similarly, Moscardo, Woods, and Saltzer (2004) present three
concepts upon which the idea of sustainable tourism is based: quality, continuity, and balance.
That is, sustainable tourism provides a quality experience that can be continued in the future,
while balancing the needs of host, guest and place. However, Hunter (1997) argues that such a
paradigm is impossible to attain, for it is a weak model that diminishes the needs of nature and
conservation in order to present it as a commodity for the consumer. This stance should be noted,
as a true balance between conservation and tourism may not be possible: in reality, the very
nature of adventure tourism interferes with true and complete conservation of wild areas. For the
purposes of this research, sustainable tourism is defined as tourism that is economically viable,
satisfies the customer, and mitigates environmental and cultural impact. While this study will not
explicitly address sustainable tourism, this foundation is relevant, as explained in the next
Interpretation and Its Role in Sustainable Tourism
The research focuses on the tourism service of adventure guiding-- specifically, river
rafting on Wilderness rivers in Idaho. The past decades have brought change to the Rocky
Mountain West as it is shifting from resource dependence to tourism dependence (Johnson &
Beale, 1994). In order to preserve the integrity of the fragile, wild places in which rafting trips
take place, sustainable tourism may be used as a model. As noted above, sustainable tourism is
based upon economic, environmental, and social dimensions (Ham & Weiler, 2001; Littlefair &
Buckley, 2008; Moscardo et al. 2004). A premise of the research is that effective interpretation
assists in improving the viability of each of these aspects. This connection is illustrated in the
upper left-hand corner of the concept map shown in Figure 1.
Literature presents past research findings that support this proposition. First,
interpretation has been shown to increase customer satisfaction (Moscardo et al., 2004;
Roggenbuck, Williams, & Bobinski, 1994). With increased customer satisfaction, a tourism
company gains a competitive edge over competitors (Ham & Weiler, 2001), and thus, an
economic advantage. Increased economic sustainability supports sustainable tourism. Increases
in customer knowledge, such as those experienced with interpretive services, are also linked to
increases in customer satisfaction (Bobinski, 1985; Roggenbuck et al., 1994).
Secondly, interpretation has been linked to changes in customer behavior. Effective
interpretation has been found to increase emotional connection between customer and the
resource (Reisinger & Steiner, 2006). Increased connection can lead to a customer’s increased
likelihood to engage in pro-environmental behavior (Ham & Weiler, 2001). In addition to
changing behavior through increased connections, Cockrell, Bange, and Roggenbuck (1984)
found that river guides were more influential in altering customer norms than any other referents,
including other customers, family on and off the trip, other guides not on the trip, friends,
coworkers, and the National Park Service. Resulting from this foundational change in norms is a
change in customer behavior. Interpretation has been found to reduce the occurrences of
environmentally harmful behavior (Ham & Weiler, 2001; Littlefair & Buckley, 2008; Serenari,
Leung, Attarian, & Frank, 2012). This behavioral change based on altered norms suggests that
interpretation can lead to the mitigation of environmentally and culturally harmful behavior.
Reduction of such harmful behaviors supports the balance sought by sustainable tourism.
Increasing interpretation
The literature referenced above supports the connections between customer satisfaction,
customer knowledge, emotional connection to place, and mitigation of environmental and
cultural impact. These connections extend to an increase in tourism sustainability. An additional
proposition is that an interpretation workshop, based on TPB, will result in an increase in
interpretation presentations and an increase in the benefits of interpretation. While the literature
supports the idea that interpretation supports sustainable tourism, a gap exists. Literature
supporting ways to increase or encourage interpretation on guided trips is deficient. The
proposed research addresses this gap by clarifying methods for increasing the occurrence of
interpretation presentations.
Tan, McLaughlin, and Grussing (1992), found that information workshops led by the
BLM increased both guide and customer knowledge; however, this study did not specifically
focus on interpretation as a technique for providing interpretation. Furthermore, neither an
increase in interpretation presentations nor intentions to share interpretation were measured.
Bobinski (1984) found an increase in guide and customer knowledge following an interpretation
workshop. Additionally, Bobinski (1984) found a relationship between interpretation and
customer enjoyment. In Bobinski’s (1984) study, the National Park Service presented
information to river guides; however, neither instruction nor modeling of effective interpretation
was presented.
Research Focus
A central aspect of tourism is the availability and accessibility of information services to
the traveler or client. Information services are forms of communication designed to share
knowledge with the traveler. They can include communication about a range of subjects, from
basic safety messages to enriching knowledge about topics of historical or cultural significance.
Commercial river guides represent one element of the “tourism service system” that, as providers
of river recreation services, use a variety of methods to communicate information. One such
method is interpretation. Interpretation is a communication form that seeks to create a connection
between guest and resources. In this context, the term resources is flexible. It can include the
area, a specific artifact, the river, etc. This study examines the role of interpretation as an
essential informative communication technique in the realm of adventure guiding.
It is apparent from the reviewed literature that many gaps in research-based interpretation
studies exist. For example, literature establishes that interpretation is a valuable aspect of
tourism, but does not focus on methods for increasing interpretation in the commercially guided
travel industry. However, there exists a plethora of research on peripheral topics such as
sustainable tourism and methods for resource management. Due to this gap, there is a growing
need for more research that focuses on methods to increase interpretation. For this reason, this
study focuses on assessing the effectiveness of using a workshop to increase interpretation
The results of this research could establish a supporting or contradictory view of the
efficacy of interpretation workshops for river guides. Literature supports interpretation as
desirable behavior in adventure tourism, both to support guest satisfaction (Bobinski, 1985;
Reisinger & Steiner, 2006) and sustainable tourism (Littlefair & Buckley, 2008; Moscardo,
2003; Moscardo, Woods, & Saltzer, 2004). Results of this research will be valuable in assessing
effective methods to increase interpretation.
Research was conducted with the staff of ROW Adventures. ROW Adventures operates
as a part of ROW, Inc., an international and domestic adventure tour company. ROW was
founded in 1979, and is one of the oldest guiding companies in Idaho to continuously operate
under the same ownership. The company employs over 75 domestic and international guides and
interacts with over 5,000 guests annually (ROW Adventures, 2014). The study population
included 19 domestic river rafting guides. ROW Adventures was chosen for two reasons. First,
the company historically sponsors an annual interpretation workshop. For this reason, a
prospective audience was already available. Secondly, ROW Adventures highly values
interpretation on trips. This value is apparent in the company Mission, Vision, and Values
statement: “ROW values…bringing meaningful interpretation to our guests. We encourage
mastery in interpretive skills” (ROW Adventures, 2014). This focus on interpretation led to the
selection of this study population.
The TPB framework was used in order to measure any change in participants’ intentions
to employ interpretation strategies presented in the workshop. Use of the TPB framework also
elucidated perceived advantages, disadvantages, and obstacles presented by interpretation.
Interpretation Workshop
The interpretation workshop was presented as a part of ROW Adventures guide
enrichment and training. Workshop attendance is a requirement for all new-to-ROW guides, and
a suggestion for all returning guide. The workshop was attended by 19 guides, 3 new to ROW
and 16 returning.
The workshop consisted of two 7-hour days of instruction in June of 2014. The majority
of instruction occurred on Day 1. Day 2 was primarily spent creating interpretation presentations,
collaborating, and critiquing. Instruction techniques included lecturing, multimedia presentation,
small group instruction, discussion, and self-directed study. Session plans can be found in
Appendix C.
Workshop design addressed the three factors influencing intention: attitude, subjective
norm, and perceived behavioral control.
Addressing attitude. The first segment of the workshop attempted to establish a positive
attitude toward interpretation. The concept of interpretation was discussed and explored.
Literature review on interpretation and its role and benefits to adventure guiding was
summarized. The ROW Adventures Mission, Vision, and Values document was presented as a
reminder that interpretation is a valued and required portion of the ROW Adventures trips.
Participants were asked to share stories of positive feedback they received from guests regarding
Addressing subjective norm. Due to the nature of subjective norms in a long-standing
company culture, a complete establishment of interpretation as socially desirable behavior most
likely cannot be completed in the span of a two-day workshop. However, increasing A and PBC
within a group of peers could establish the foundation for an increase in positive SN. Responses
from the BS were shared anonymously in order to communicate the perceived value of
interpretation held by co-workers.
Addressing perceived behavioral control. The majority of workshop instruction was
spent addressing PBC. Concentration on PBC was not an indicator of importance, rather
workshop instruction is most conducive to increasing knowledge and perceived ability. An
increase in perceived ability can result in an increase in PBC. Workshop focused on developing
guide knowledge and communication technique. Instruction focused on research and
communication techniques. Due to the collaborative nature of the workshop, knowledge also
increased as a result of contact with other guides and individual interpretation presentations
Questionnaire construction was based on the parameters presented by Francis et al.’s
2004 manual detailing the construction of TPB questionnaires in combination with Ajzen’s 2011
unpublished manuscript detailing the same. The researcher designed and administered three
instruments in order to collect data: a pilot questionnaire and a pre- and post-workshop
questionnaire. This section will describe the design and administration of the questionnaire
Pilot questionnaire. The pilot questionnaire was a nine-item, open-ended survey. See
Appendix B for complete instrument. As established by past TPB research, this belief survey
(BS) was administered in order to elicit salient beliefs that influenced guides’ decisions to
provide interpretation. Questions were designed to explore beliefs as they formed the basis for
attitude (A), subjective norm (SN), and perceived behavioral control (PBC).
The BS was initially distributed via email to 50 participants representative of the research
population (river guides). Only three responses were received, a response rate of 6%. In order to
augment original responses, a paper copy of the survey was distributed at the boat launch
following a ROW Adventures training trip, which resulted in 27 more responses. Table 1 shows
the salient beliefs identified by the BS. Repeat responses were omitted.
Table 1: Salient beliefs established by BS
Responses to Belief Survey
Attitude toward behavior (Interpretation)
Interpretation deepens relationship to place
Interpretation is engaging
Interpretation entertains guests
Interpretation bores guests
Interpretation adds perspective
Interpretation overwhelms guests
Guests don’t care about interpretation
Interpretation is extra work
Interpretation causes stress
Interpretation reveals political differences.
Interpretation makes guides seem more knowledgeable
Interpretation leads to a raise
Interpretation spreads awareness
Interpretation is difficult
Interpretation detracts from “thrill seeking”
Interpretation leads to higher tips
Interpretation takes time away from the trip
Interpretation can alienate guests
Subjective norm (persons associated with interpretation)
Adults on vacation
Children on vacation
ROW managers
ROW Director of Operations
ROW owner
Conservation groups
ROW, Inc.
Perceived behavioral control (factors associated with
providing interpretation)
Presence of relevant landmarks
Presence of “boss”
Books available
Interested audience
Interesting topics
Based on a content analysis of the responses to the BS, a list of modal salient outcomes
(pertaining to A), referents (SN), and control factors (PBC) was determined. During analysis,
repeat responses were omitted and similar responses were combined. For example, “no time,”
“rigid schedule that doesn’t provide time,” and “time constraints” were all considered as
indicating the control factor of sufficient time. To reduce bias, responses were also reviewed by a
fellow graduate student who performed independent content analysis. The most common
responses were used to create a list of salient beliefs.
Intention Questionnaire construction and scoring. Based upon the salient beliefs
indicated in the BS, a 30-item intention questionnaire (IQ) was created. IQ creation was guided
by the steps presented in the Francis et al. manual (2004). The IQ was divided into sections to
assess each belief. Each belief (A, SN, and PBC) was measured directly and indirectly. For
example, a salient belief from the BS was “interpretation is boring for guests.” This belief was
measured directly by using a seven-point scale ranging from boring to interesting. Direct
measure of A was established by averaging the response to this statement with the responses to
the three other belief statements for A. Similarly, an average was determined for direct measures
of SN and PBC.
Indirect measures were determined by combining behavioral beliefs with outcome
evaluations. Based upon the same salient belief of boredom, the behavioral belief statement was
written as “If I provide interpretation, I may bore some guests.” This statement was evaluated on
a seven-point Likert scale ranging from unlikely to likely. The outcome evaluation statement of
boredom was written as “Boring some guests is…” Participants evaluated this statement on a 7point scale from extremely undesirable to extremely desirable with a score of -3 to extremely and
+3, respectively. Belief scores were multiplied by outcome evaluation scores. As in establishing
direct measures, indirect scores were averaged with the other scores in the attitude section.
Averages were determined for SN and PBC in the same fashion. IQ was administered before and
after workshop attendance resulting in two sets of scores for each participant.
It was hypothesized that post scores following a workshop aimed to address the three
factors influencing intention would show an increase when compared to pre-workshop
questionnaire scores. Score increases in each category (A, SN, and PBC) would indicate an
overall increase in intention. Ajzen’s TPB framework indicates a connection between increased
intention and increased behavior (1991).
In each area studied, average score increased. While the increase in average scores across
all three factor categories supports the hypothesis, a strong statistical significance (p>.05) in
individual score increases occurred only in direct and indirect measures of subjective norm.
TABLE 2. Scores on Pre- and Post-Workshop Questionnaires
Pre-questionnaire average
Post-questionnaire average
Average difference
Direct measure of attitude
Indirect measure of attitude
Direct measure of social
Indirect measure of social
Direct measure of perceived
behavioral control
Indirect measure of
perceived behavioral control
Direct measure of intention
Table 2 presents the results. Averages indicate the average score of each measurement (A, SN,
and PBC, direct and indirect) across all responses. The increase in average scores support the
In order to explore increases in scores of individual participants, a paired t-test was run in
each measurement category. Results of the paired t-test are shown by the p-values listed in Table
Study aimed to measure the ability of a TPB-based workshop to increase participants’
intention to engage in interpretation. In order to do so, three predictors were measured: (i)
attitude toward interpretation, (ii) subjective norm, and (iii) perceived behavioral control.
Predictors were measured both directly and indirectly through a questionnaire. Participants
completed the questionnaire before and after workshop attendance in order to measure any
change in predictor indicators.
Although results were statistically significant only in measures of social norm, the
overall increase in scores is a good indicator that with a larger sample size, higher statistical
significance may be obtained. Future research should explore a larger sample size in order to
determine the role of a workshop based on TPB in order to increase the intention of commercial
guides to provide formal interpretation to their audience. Overall increase in average scores in all
three factor areas (A, SN, and PBC) support an increase in intention. The framework proposed
by Ajzen establishes an increase in intention as an indicator for increased engagement in the
desired behavior (1991); however, further research is needed in order to strengthen the
correlation between intention and actual behavior.
Although the study primarily focused on the ability of a workshop to increase intention,
the secondary results elicited by the BS are of interest as well. The list of salient beliefs elicited
could be useful in future research hoping to increase interpretation. As summarized in the
literature review, past research establishes interpretation as a desirable behavior; however, little
research exists that explores methods to increase this desirable behavior. The list of modal salient
outcomes, referents, and control factors found in this study could help to guide future research.
By exploring the perception of interpretation, a deeper understanding could be acquired. Further
understanding of the salient beliefs could help to form methods for increasing interpretation.
General Study Limitations & Exclusions
Limitations and purposive exclusions exist in the research. Due to the small sampling size
and use of accidental sampling, results will not be generalizable outside of the study population.
Possible discrepancies on questionnaire responses may occur that also limit the study.
The purposeful exclusions to this study include informal interpretation presentations and
the quality of interpretation presentations presented. Informal interpretation is any
communication that occurs spontaneously. Due to the nature of informal interpretation, it is very
difficult to track and measure. For this reason, only formal interpretation presentations were be
studied. Quality of interpretation was not studied due to time restraints and the subjective nature
of such an assessment.
Ajzen, I. (2011). Constructing a theory of planned behavior questionnaire.Unpublished
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Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision
processes, 50(2), 179-211.
Beck, L., & Cable, P. (2002). The meaning of interpretation. Journal of Interpretation Research,
7(1), 7–10.
Bobinski, C. T. (1985). The effectiveness of training river guides as an alternative interpretive
approach in the New River Gorge (Doctoral dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University).
Cockrell, D., Bange, S., & Roggenbuck, J. W. (1984). Persuasion and normative influence in
commercial river recreation. The Journal of Environmental Education, 15(4), 20–26.
"Floating the Middle Fork of the Salmon River." USDA Forest Service. United States
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(2004). Constructing questionnaires based on the theory of planned behaviour. A manual
for health services researchers, 2010, 2-12.
Ham, S., & Weiler, B. (2001, October). 100,000 beating bird hearts: Tourism, wildlife and
interpretation. In Keynote Presentation: First National Conference on Wildlife Tourism
in Australia (pp. 1-13).
Hunter, C. (1997). Sustainable tourism as an adaptive paradigm. Annals of tourism research,
24(4), 850-867.
Littlefair, C., & Buckley, R. (2008). Interpretation reduces ecological impacts of visitors to
world heritage site. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 37(5), 338-341.
Johnson, K. M., & Beale, C. L. (1994). The Recent Revival of Widespread Population Growth in
Nonmetropolitan Areas of the United States1. Rural Sociology, 59(4), 655-667.
Mills, E.A. (1920). Adventures of a nature guide and essays in interpretation. Friendship, WI:
New Past Press.
Moscardo, G. (2003). Interpretation and sustainable tourism: functions, examples and principles.
Journal of tourism studies, 14(1), 112-123.
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authentic tourism. Current Issues in Tourism, 9(6), 481-498.
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increase commercial tour guides' effectiveness as nature interpreters. Journal of Park and
Recreation Administration, 10(2), 41-50.
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significant behavior among whitewater rafting and trekking guides in the Garhwal
Himalaya, India. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 20(5), 757–772.
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Appendix A: Concept map to guide literature review
Appendix B: Qualitative pre-survey
I am conducting a study of river guides at ROW Adventures. I am interested in the reasons why
guides do or do not provide formal interpretation presentations to guests. Formal interpretation
presentations are times when guests are invited to hear you provide interpretation on a preplanned topic (i.e. Chinese miners at Deep Creek, Pictographs on the SRC, Fred and Daisy
Tappin on the MF). “Boat-terp,” or other informal interpretation is not included in this survey. I
would appreciate your responses to some questions about this. There are no right or wrong
answers. Please tell me what you really think.
What do you believe are the advantages of providing interpretation during river trips?
What do you believe are the disadvantages of providing interpretation during river trips?
Is there anything else you associate with your own views about providing formal
interpretation presentations on river trips?
Are there any individuals or groups who would approve of your providing formal
interpretation presentations on a river trip?
Are there any individuals or groups who would disapprove of your providing formal
interpretation presentations on a river trip?
Is there anything else you associate with other people’s views about providing formal
interpretation presentations on a river trip?
What factors or circumstances would enable you to provide formal interpretation
presentations on a river trip?
What factors or circumstances would make it difficult or impossible for you to provide
formal interpretation presentations on a river trip?
Are there any other issues that come to mind when you think about providing formal
interpretation presentations on a river trip?
Appendix C: Workshop session plan
Interpretation Techniques Workshop
River Dance Lodge in Syringa, Idaho
Tuesday June 3rd-Wednesday June 4th 2014
 Participants will be familiar with the definition and principles of interpretation.
 Participants will be able to create meaningful, enjoyable, organized, and relevant
Participants will understand the importance of using tangible objects to connect audiences to
intangible ideas and universal concepts in interpretive programs
Participants will improve their presentation and communication skills
Participants will workshop one interpretation presentation alone or in a small group
Participants will participate in self and peer feedback of various interpretation presentations
Day One: The Building Blocks of Interpretation
Topics to be covered:
 Introduction to Interpretation
 Know Your Audience
 Know Your Resource
 Find the Connection
Introduction to Interpretation
Overview: This section will familiarize participants with the definition, history, and benefits of
interpretation. More specifically, the value of interpretation on river trips will be discussed.
Interpretation will be connected to the Mission Statement and philosophy of ROW Adventures.
(Approximately 1 hour, dependent on video length)
Ask participants to recall an effective interpretation presentation they have
experienced (either as presenter or observer). Using this example, generate a list of
the things you particularly remember from this presentation (10 items or less).
Watch interpretation video. Share and discuss examples in order to explore the
elements that effective interpretation presentations have in common.
Share and discuss Tilden and National Association for Interpretation definition of
Show concept map (Fig. 1) in order to outline both the value of interpretation and
the plan for the week. Discuss the history of interpretation (Tilden, Beck & Cable,
NAI). Share some of the answers from the pre-survey in order to establish the value
of interpretation to river trips (Answer the Why Do We Care?) in addition to the
values of interpretation as established by the literature (See Figure 1)
-------------10 MINUTE BREAK--------------
Know Your Audience
Overview: This section will familiarize participants with three elements associated with audience:
Types of audiences, Maslow’s hierarchy, and Learning Styles/Multiple Intelligences.
(Approximately 1.5 hours)
Types of Audiences (~30 minutes)
By identifying types of audiences and ways to connect with all types, interpretation will be improved.
In addition to familiarizing participants with audience style, this is also a brainstorming activity that
aims to generate methods to connect with each audience type.
Audience type skits. Have five guides come up and act out a pre-assigned audience
member type. Participants will record a few keywords about each type.
Share observations and possible connections to guests they have experienced in the
Define each type, as detailed by Falk, et al., 20071:
 Explorers: curiosity driven, seek to learn more about whatever they might
encounter at the resource.
Facilitators: focused primarily on enabling the experience and learning of
others in their accompanying social group (i.e. group organizer, teacher,
counselor, etc.
Professionals/Hobbyists: feel a close tie between the resource and their
professional or hobbyist passions (fellow guide, canoeist, boater, angler, etc)
Experience Seekers: primarily derive satisfaction from visiting this important
Spiritual Rechargers: primarily seeking a contemplative and/or restorative
Discuss specific connections that could be used for most effective interpretation
with each audience type.
Maslow’s Hierarchy (~15 minutes)
Share Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs chart in order to establish the basic elements and
intermediate needs that must be met in order to allow for higher needs to be met. This will be
delivered in the basic style of a brief lecture with accompanying handout.
 Basic needs
o Physiological
o Safety
o Security
 Intermediate needs
Falk, J. H., Reinhard, E. M., Vernon, C., Bronnenkant, K., Heimlich, J. E., & Deans, N. L. (2007). Why zoos &
aquariums matter: Assessing the impact of a visit to a zoo or aquarium. Silver Spring, MD: Association of Zoos &
o Love and belonging
o Esteem
o Knowledge
Growth needs
o Understanding
o Aesthetic
o Self-actualization
Learning Styles/Multiple Intelligences (~30 minutes)
The eight learning styles introduced by Howard Gardner2 will be introduced (1985). Methods to
include maximum learning styles will be discussed.
Engage: Hand out types of learning styles and brief definitions (1 type per person, there will be
repeats). Watch Amelie clip and have each participant watch through the “lens” of the learning
style they have.
Explore: Share observations. Discuss how different each experience was through each lens and
how this applies to the “big picture” message we attempt to communicate through
Explain: Handout MI charts with definitions (See Fig. 2)
Elaborate: Discuss/brainstorm methods for making interpretation presentations more inclusive
of MI/Learning styles.
Game Break: Play the objects under the handkerchief game and discuss how this could apply to
different learning styles and facilitate further interpretation.
----------Lunch Break--------
Know Your Resource
Overview: This section will familiarize participants with research resources and a research plan.
Additionally, the types of information to include and omit from interpretation
presentations will be discussed. (Approximately 1 hour)
Research Resources (Approximately 15 minutes)
This is a brainstorming and guided discussion activity designed to familiarize participants with
resources and references to use in order to build interpretation presentations.
Ask: What are some of your favorite methods for acquiring information for interpretation
Discuss answers and ensure all possible answers are covered with a few details about each.
Encourage collaboration between participants and “inside tips.”
Possible answers:
 Library Box
 Library (McCall Idaho room)
Gardner, H. (1985). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. Basic books.
ROW Book Collection (WH, RDL, etc.)
Children’s books as an introduction
Other interpretation presentations
ROW bibliography
Research Plan (Approximately 25 minutes)
This section will familiarize participants with the essential elements of a good research plan.
Methods for evaluating sources, keeping notes, and seeking more information will be discussed.
Good source
o Balanced v. biased
o current
Good notes
o Organized
o Systematic
More information
o Seek more contacts to get all info you can
Which Information Should be Included (Approximately 15 minutes)
This section will familiarize participants with the most effective information to seek when
researching for a new interpretation topic.
What’s Hot, What’s Not (Brochu & Merriman, 2012)
People love to hear:
 Good stories
 Unusual facts (catfish have tastebuds all over their bodies)
 Inspirational thoughts and quotes
 Gee-whiz information in terms they understand (over 4 million bathtubs full of water go
over the falls every hour)
 Things that evoke emotional or physiological responses (scary things, beautiful things,
sad things, happy things, etc.)
But don’t really care much about:
 Ordinary scientific data (this waterfall averages 3.69 million cfs)
 Doom and gloom predictions or rehashing of catastrophes (the ozone layer will be totally
depleted, and the Earth will burn up in x number of years)
 The same thing they’ve heard or read at every other interpretive site or talk they’ve been
to (65 million years ago, this area was covered by a vast inland sea)
Find the Connection
Overview: This section will familiarize participants with three elements associated with presentation
planning: utilizing themes and organization, finding relevance, and making it
enjoyable (Approximately 1.5 hours)
Themes and Organization (Approximately 30 minutes, dependent on time spent on activity)
This section will familiarize participants with the elements of an effective interpretation presentation:
Theme, introduction, body, and conclusion. Following this activity, participants will have the
beginnings of an outline for an interpretation presentation to be created during the rest of the
Ask: What is a theme? How is it different than a topic?
(A topic is a category, a theme is more specific and answers the “Who cares?”)
Activity: Distribute Sam Ham’s Three-step Guide to Writing Themes handout and ask participants to
fill it out.
Deliver talk about the organization of an interpretation presentation and what should happen in each
section. Emphasize the need for structure, transitions, and digestible amounts of information.
 Introduction:
o Attention grabber: Start with an activity, an anecdote, an artifact, etc.
o Tell them what you’re going to tell them: Include topic, theme, and approximate
duration (ensure Maslow’s basic needs are met: water, comfortable temperatures,
snacks, etc.)
 Body:
o Magic number of points (3-5)
o Telling them what you’re telling them: the importance of place markers and
 Conclusion:
o Tell them what you told them: restate main points and tie them together
o Call to action: incite the audience to further action (further thought, donation,
support, etc.)
o Questions
Distribute outlines and instruct participants to fill them out.
--------20 minute work break to fill out outlines------
Finding Relevance (Approximately 15 minutes)
This section will detail methods for connecting the audience to the presentation: Tangibles and
intangibles, personalization, and finding meaning.
Tangibles vs. Intangibles
Ask: What intangibles can you tie to the tangible object of this artifact (any artifact)?
Discuss the importance of these connections and give examples.
 Self reference and association (Think of a time you…., Picture your favorite childhood
memory…. Etc.)
 Eye contact
 Use of names
Finding Meaning
 Universal values (love, death, loss, freedom, etc.)
 Analogies
 Stories
--------EXAMPLE INTERPRETATION PRESENTATION------Remainder of afternoon will be spent filling out presentation outlines.
Day Two: Building and Delivering Interpretation Presentations
 Presentation rough drafts will be completed
 Practice presentations in small groups and prepare for the afternoon
 Communication techniques will be shared
 Final presentation will be delivered with time for feedback
Review: Start the day with a brief review of yesterday’s main points (15 minutes)
Worktime: Collaborate, complete outlines, and prepare for practice presentations. (30 minutes)
Communication techniques
This section will share some basic communication tips in order to deliver a more effective
presentation (25 minutes)
Engage: Good vs. bad communication techniques activity. Give a brief “Bad” presentation and
encourage participants to list them.
Explore: Collaborate in order to generate a list of tips for communicating a message.
Explain: Share list and ensure all elements are present:
 Presentation of self
o Smile
o No sunglasses
o No coffee mugs
 Presentation of information
o Speak clearly
o Repeat questions so all can hear
o Speak slowly
o Don’t go over on time without allowing for some to leave
Presentation of questions
o Introduce upper and lower order questions
o Pause longer than may seem necessary to encourage quality responses
------BREAK-----Split into groups of four and spend the rest of the morning working together and practicing
presentations. Encourage peer and self-feedback through feedback handout.
The afternoon will be spent presenting interpretation and seeking feedback.