Informal Visitor Contacts

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Gain the knowledge and skills you need to realize effective Informal Visitor Contacts and ensure enjoyable experiences for your visitors.




As the first of the ten benchmark interpretive competencies identified by the National Park Service, informal visitor contacts are a key element of enjoyable visitor experiences and provide the most personalized service in a park. Through interactive chapters, activities, and site-based assignments, this course will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to conduct successful informal visitor contacts.

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Course Schedule

This course is self-paced, allowing learners the flexibility to complete the course as quickly or slowly as they need. While exploring course content, learners can investigate topics in greater detail through enrichment activities that link to real-world examples, original source materials, and policy documents. Learners can easily move from section to section as they navigate through the course, revisiting concepts as needed.

Elements of the course:

  • Informational text
  • Interactive practice activities
  • Learn More opportunitites
  • Informal assessment quizzes
  • Supplemental reference materials
  • Final assessment

After completing all course activities, you will complete a brief assessment to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Course Chapters

  • Customer Service
  • Know Your Audience and Site
  • Appropriate Techniques
  • Pull It All Together

Be able to:

  • Identify critical elements of effective customer service.
  • Identify visitor needs based on visitor cues.
  • Select appropriate types of service based on visitor needs.
  • Select appropriate interpretive techniques to help visitors connect to resource meanings.
  • Describe strategies interpreters can use to assess the effectiveness of their visitor contacts.

Recommended Background

Successfully completing the free Foundations of Interpretation course provides essential background information for this course.


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