Fundamentals in Interpretation Certificate

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Establish a strong foundation in the basics of interpretation. This certificate program explores the history of interpretation as a profession and provides knowledge in roving, informal interpretation, audience identification and engagement, and interpretive talks.


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The Fundamentals in Interpretation Certificate is entirely web-based and consists of four courses each culminating with an applied assignment that relates to your organization or a case study organization. This course of study provides you with the opportunity to receive individualized feedback from knowledgeable instructors who review the elements of your portfolio.

Upon successful completion, you’ll receive a certificate issued by the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University.

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Course Schedule

Each course is self-paced and allows for complete flexibility. You may take a couple of months or up to a year to complete the program. The Eppley Institute recommends that you complete one course and all companion assignments each month to ensure maximum retention and connection of material.

Course Progression:

  • Course 1: Foundations of Interpretation
  • Course 2: Knowing and Connecting to Your Audience
  • Course 3: Interpretive Talk
  • Course 4: Roving and Informal Interpretation

The certificate program includes the following elements:

  • Four self-paced, self-study e-courses
  • Companion assignments, which allow you to apply what you have learned in the courses and are reviewed by course instructors, with substantive feedback provided.
  • A Virtual Classroom site for storage of work and feedback
  • Informational text
  • Interactive activities
  • "Learn More" opportunities
  • Engaging videos
  • Supplemental reference materials
  • Informal assessment quizzes
  • Final assessments
  • Rigorous, field-based assignments

Be able to:

  • Define interpretation and briefly discuss the history of the profession.
  • Discuss how to identify your audience and some specific techniques to engage specific audiences.
  • Explain the basics of developing an interpretive talk.
  • Describe the concept of roving and skills needed to do it effectively.

Recommended Background

Fundamentals in Interpretation is intended for interpreters new to the profession or those who would like a refresher in the basics of interpretation.


Aside from an internet connection, what resources will I need for the course?

No additional resources are required for this course.

Will I get a certificate after completing the course?

Yes! All courses include a final assessment to evaluate your understanding of key course concepts. A certificate of completion will be offered to you if you complete the assessment with a score of 80% or higher. You will earn a certificate of completion for a certificate program after completing all program assignments and the assessments with a score of 80% or higher.

Why should I take this course?

Each Eppley e-course is designed collaboratively among experienced instructional designers, subject matter experts, and our partner organizations and institutions. The course curriculum includes current information and best practices in the field and is recognized by national leaders in parks, recreation, and land management. Not only will this course benefit your career by expanding your knowledge base, but it will also enhance your application and problem-solving skills.

For more frequently asked questions, please visit our Help Center.


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