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Course Description

A group of people hiking in a forest with the sun shining through

This course explores communication and experiential learning theories and their application to natural history interpretation and environmental education program design and delivery. Students will develop interpretive materials, plan an interpretive walk and deliver the interpretive walk to a community group.
Note: This course can be taken individually or as a part of a certificate program.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  • Apply interpretive theories related to communication, learning styles, and critical thinking to the development of interpretive activities
  • Apply effective communication when conducting a nature interpretation activity
  • Discuss the theory of the experiential learning cycle and apply the cycle to the development of interpretive programming
  • Apply the steps of the planning process, including inventory, objectives, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation to the design of an interpretive walk
  • Employ values development in the creation of learning objectives for interpretive activities
  • Create interpretive written and electronic media
  • Assess the role of nature interpretation in ecological conservation and sustainable tourism
  • Justify the value of on-going assessment of interpretive activities
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches to nature interpretation in the field

Course Topics

  • Experiential Learning; Nature Interpretation
  • Learning Styles and Communication
  • Communication and the Planning Process
  • Developing Interpretive Objectives: Critical Thinking
  • Leading Interpretive Walks
  • The Role of Interpretation in Environmental Conservation
  • The Role of Interpretation in Sustainable Tourism

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): BIOL*2060

Equate(s): ENVB*3000


Assessment Item Weight
Interpretive Trail Guide 20%
Interpretive Walk Plan 20%
Interpretive Events (x2) 40%
Self-Directed Workshop Contributions 20%
Total 100%


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

*Course details are subject to change.


Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in

Section Title
Nature Interpretation
January 06, 2020 to April 03, 2020
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,504.99 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes
Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.
Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Signs, Trails and Wayside Exhibits by S.Trapp. Edited by M.Gross and R.Zimmerman. UW-SP Foundation Press ISBN 0932310168
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Teaching the Trees: Lessons From the Forest by J. Maloof. Athens Georgia: University of Georgia Press; 2005 2005 edition ISBN 0820327433
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) The Interpreter's Guidebook by K. Regnier, M. Gross and R. Zimmerman UW-SP Foundation Press 4th edition ISBN 0932310176
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