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Submission Guidelines for Certification Review

Module 220: Prepare and Present an Interpretive Demonstration or Other Illustrated Program

Competency description:
Requires the interpeter to be able to plan, prepare and effectively present a specialized program that uses illustrations/objects/media and/or demonstration to provide opportunities for the audience to make their own intellectual and emotional connections to the meanings/significance of the resource; and integrates the media, activity or demonstration with the interpretive narration in a way that cohesively develops a relevant idea or ideas.

What you will submit:
A videotape recording or DVD** (see important warning below) of a complete illustrated program or interpretive demonstration, developed and presented by the interpreter before an on- or off-site audience.

Before preparing your submission, it is to your advantage to review the Module 220 curriculum and certification standard.

Key submission points:

  • When selecting the illustrations, objects or other media to use for an illustrated program, it might be helpful to identify the intangible meanings and universal concepts that each potential illustration/object may represent or portray, and then select those images/objects that best complement/enhance the meanings and concepts in the narrative. It may be difficult to locate illustrations/objects that accomplish this -- time spent researching, acquiring and carefully integrating meaningful images/objects is important to this competency.
  • There are MANY ways in which a program becomes "illustrated," with many "things" (either two-dimensional or three- dimensional).
  • Demonstrations need to go beyond providing a technical and factual description of what is being demonstrated. Consider the intangible meanings that are associated with the demonstration. Provide context and connection to larger meanings by skillfully using your introduction and conclusion and a meaningful thematic development.
  • The obligation for accuracy, topic choice and appropriateness, delivery mechanics, etc., remain the responsibility of you and your supervisor, and are not measured in this review.
  • A self-assessment worksheet is available for this module -- it is recommended that you review this worksheet before you submit.

Preparing your submission:

1) For this competency, you will submit a either an illustrated program or a demonstration recorded on or copied to VHS videotapes or DVDs, preferably between fifteen and sixty minutes in length. It is not necessary to include warm-up orientation or question/answer portions of a program unless their content is somehow pertinent to the interpretive focus of your program. Please indicate the exact length of your program on the tape labels.

2) The program should be performed in a park setting with a "real" visitor audience. Off-site programs that interpret park resources are also appropriate. Please submit a program that was intentionally designed/prepared as an illustrated program or demonstration. (A portion of some other presentation, such as an education program, will likely not certify unless it clearly functions as an illustrated program or demonstration.)

3) Since each competency has unique characteristics that are important to demonstrate, it is not to your advantage to submit the same program for more than one competency. Therefore, please do not submit the same program for more than one competency without prior approval by the Certification Program Manager or Training Manager.

4) Submit three copies* of your program on VHS tapes or DVDs. Record and duplicate your tapes or discs at normal speed. All copies of the tapes or discs you submit must have clear, discernable audio and clear views of the illustrations or demonstrations. If this is not the case, the certifiers will not be able to assess the integration of illustrations/demonstration with the narration, and the submission will be returned without a determination.

**Important guidelines for DVD submissions: We have experienced many problems with submissions on DVD -- the only media playback software that is standard on all government computers is Windows Media Player. Therefore, all DVD submissions must be able to play in Windows Media Player in order to ensure that the certifiers can view the DVD. Please convert your program to play in Windows Media Player as the default. Please check all three copies of your DVD submission to make sure the audio and video play all the way through in Windows Media Player. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in your submission being returned to you without being reviewed.

5) Do not interrupt the flow of your program to make close-ups of your objects/illustrations. You may send along copies or facsimiles of objects and illustrations used if they are not clear on the videotape.

6) For a demonstration, the video camera should focus primarily on the interpreter, although it is helpful if it can also show the degree of any visitor participation. For a slide show, the camera should focus on the slide images, but the voice of the interpreter should be clear.

7 ) If at all possible, use a lapel microphone and mount the camera on a tripod when making your tape. For additional tips on preparing a video, see the attached "TIPS," prepared by Tom Davies, NERO.

8) Be aware that some states prohibit the videotaping of minors. If this is the case where you work, do not include video of the group, simply submit a one paragraph description of the audience, and note the legal restriction on the tape.

9) Complete and submit one copy of the attached "Product Submission Registration Form" with your submission. (Download in a Word format (43KB) or a PDF format (36KB).

When reviewing the video, certifiers will assume good faith effort, and that accuracy and authenticity of the program have been verified at the park level.

*It expedites the process if you can submit three copies of your tape. If not possible, be sure to keep one copy for yourself and submit at least one tape for review. If you are submitting on DVDs, you must submit three copies of the discs.

Where to submit:
Once you have reviewed your project with your supervisor and agreed that it is ready to submit, send to:

Always check your work against the certification standard(s)  before you submit the product for review.Certification Program Manager, Interpretation
Mather Training Center
P.O. Box 77
Fillmore St. and Storer College Place
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

Attn: Product submission

You can request a "delivery confirmation" from the post office. Leave your videos in their protective boxes or cases, and pack them carefully. All videos will be returned. Keep the original video yourself, in case something happens to the package in transit.

NOTE: Certification in this competency serves the overall development of employees in Ranger Careers positions, and meets the NPS national standard for interpretive demonstrations and illustrated programs. Certification in this competency is a point-in-time assessment only. Long-term performance is measured at the park level. Eligibility for promotion is determined by the supervisor and park. Learn more about the peer review process.


Last module update: August, 2003
Editor: STMA Training Manager Interpretation

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