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Discussion: OUSA Coaching Course Survey

in: Orienteering; General

Jul 7, 2020 5:57 PM # 
Are you interested in becoming an OUSA certified orienteering coach, or looking for some formal technical orienteering training? Members of OUSA’s Youth Coaching Working Group have been transitioning workshop content from the Level 1 Coaching Certification and Zero to Orange courses into an online, blended education model.

As we prepare our proposal to launch the blended version of the Level 1 Coaching Certification (and the unit that contains the Zero to Orange content), we would like to get a feel for the interest level in both courses so we can make sure we have the teaching staff and resources to meet demand. Even if you are already a certified coach, please respond to this survey and provide your input.

Take the Survey

If you are a club leader, a Scouter, JROTC or ROTC instructor, or an educator, please pass this survey on to others who might be interested.

We greatly appreciate your input. We will close the survey on July 19th. Thanks!

Tori Campbell
OUSA VP Youth Initiatives
Jul 7, 2020 7:12 PM # 
Thanks, Clint!
Jul 8, 2020 4:05 AM # 
I started the survey then bailed...

The first question (and only one I saw) asked if I would be interested in "taking Zero to Orange". Does this mean being the student (kind of ridiculous for pretty much anyone here), or training to teach it? The context suggests the latter, but phrasing suggests the former. Also "Yes" was already selected when I saw the page, so it's possible there might be a skew toward "Yes" responses.

If the rest of the questions are similar, this survey might need some reworking...
Jul 8, 2020 12:23 PM # 
Agreed. The mandatory question on "price for the training" also didn't have a full range of choices - I had to select the one I found least repulsive (as opposed to one I actually agreed with) because I couldn't continue without selecting one of them, but there was an opportunity to add additional comments at the end.

Creating a quality survey is an art and a skill - you can't throw one together in 5 minutes (not saying that this one was) and expect that it will generate meaningful results.
Jul 8, 2020 12:44 PM # 
I also bailed on the survey because it was unclear what it was for based on the questions.
Jul 8, 2020 4:36 PM # 
Well, gee, everyone. I really appreciate your support and interest in meeting the needs of everyone who might want to orienteer. As per Attackpoint standard procedures, you've leapt to conclusions, disparaged volunteers in their efforts, and generally reminded me why I was taking a break from AP. Thanks for that.

The survey helps quantify anecdotal demand for both basic orienteering education and Level 1 Coaching Certification and determine interest in taking these courses in a blended version rather than by the existing weekend workshop model.

@Guy, if you're not interested in Zero to Orange, just mark No. It will move you on to the section on the Coaching Certification.

There are both fixed and variable costs to the blended courses, just as there are for a weekend workshop. We have created the content and are working on the pricing model to make this project break even, but we need to know if we're going to be outside of people's expectations. We also need an idea of the interest level to make our model more accurate.

For perspective, other sports' Level 1 Coaching Certifications cost about $10 per student-hour of work (except for Weightlifting...$499 for an 18-hour weekend course. Yikes). The Orienteering Level 1 Coaching Certification ranges between 26 and 64 hours of content, depending on the experience students bring.

Thank you very much to the 30 people who have responded in the <24 hours that the survey has been live. Your support and interest make the effort that has gone into this project worthwhile, and we look forward to meeting your needs.

Anyone who would like to join the team in this work is welcome to do so and should provide their contact information in the remarks to the survey or email me personally (vpyouth at orienteeringusa dot org). We appreciate everyone who's testing our content and helping us to refine it.
Jul 8, 2020 4:45 PM # 
Tori, don't take the comments personally - I think everyone who commented above wanted to respond, and supported the idea of a survey - but were frustrated by the way questions were phrased or the limited choices available. Certainly my comments were offered only as suggestions for improvement to this (and future) survey.
Jul 8, 2020 4:48 PM # 
Sorry, I should have been more specific in my feedback. I got to the end the survey and wasn't sure what the information was going to be used for. I wanted my submission to be anonymous but couldn't remember whether I had been asked for an email address. It would just be nice to have a note at the top that it is anonymous, or have an option to submit an email address if you want information on the topic in the future.
Jul 8, 2020 7:11 PM # 
Suppose this was called a "questionaire" rather than a "survey", would that address the concerns.?
Jul 8, 2020 8:47 PM # 
Eric, I don't know that "survey" or "questionnaire" makes a lot of difference. It might have helped to have a little more clarity on the objectives and target market. On the cost question, you never want to leave a numerical range uncovered; (in this case, options for "less than $50" and "more than 200" , OR an open ended "other" option with an opportunity to explain your answer.) People do not like it when there is a mandatory question that doesn't offer their ideal answer. Generally they just quit, and the survey result overlooks that percent of the population.

In this case, we all care about OUSA and coaching, and we were all trying to be nice by reporting back to the survey designer: "your survey has flaws, if you want a complete result, you should add some options or explanations". If we didn't care that much, we'd just have quit and never bothered to communicate why we didn't respond. If this was a shopping or political survey, I'd just have said "forget them, they don't know how to write good questions". As it was, we tried to provide polite (mostly) feedback on how to make it better.
Jul 8, 2020 9:40 PM # 
Mike, we can't cover our costs at the price you would like to see. Sorry. There's a reason that wasn't an option.
Jul 8, 2020 10:19 PM # 
My experience was that the survey was very quick and easy. But that's probably just me.
Jul 9, 2020 12:08 AM # 
could there be an option for continued education credits/hours instead of certification with OUSA for any school teachers who might want to take Level I, or will there be a separate module at some point for teachers? I can see Module 1 being something that a PE teacher also might get good use out of, but they may be happier with the continued education credits - unless of course that has to be negotiated separately with every state.
Jul 9, 2020 12:28 AM # 
I'm not involved in secondary ed, but it seems to me that if one were to get Level 1 certified in a given sport by that sports national governing body, that you should be able to gain continuing education credits by virtue of having taken that level of training. But I could be wrong.
Jul 9, 2020 2:35 AM # 
Tori, the question I had was Is "covering costs" a goal? If yes, then I'm fine with a $50 or $100 price. Alternatively, this could be a marketing "missionary" effort where expenses are expected to exceed revenue. Finally, it could even be a goal to make this a revenue-generating enterprise. I don't object to any of the 3, but the objective of "covering costs" was not clearly stated, and rightly or wrongly, I assumed that this was a "missionary" effort, about maximizing number of new people exposed to orienteering. (although if it actually costs $50 per participant to put this together, then perhaps we need to look at ways to reduce that cost... even if we are charging double or triple that)

Certifications, especially CEUs do have value, but we need a marketing / promotional plan to go with this, if we want to get a significant number of people to pay a significant amount to take the class.
Jul 9, 2020 4:19 AM # 
@Tori: I took your suggestion about Zero2Orange and retook the survey with no problems; everything was clear and it took very little time. I thought there would be a specific place to optionally enter name + contact, but I guess I was supposed to include it in the open-ended response at the end (I'm the respondent who said a weekend-long course was an "obstacle")
BTW, when I saw the Z2O question now, "Yes" was not preselected, so perhaps I had accidentally selected it the other night; my apologies for the unjustified comment. :-/
Jul 9, 2020 12:56 PM # 
Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. Very helpful context. And thanks for giving the survey a second chance. It's admittedly focused on what we want to know at this moment rather than the more open survey of the membership that we did with the Strategic Planning Committee. I learned from that effort that too many free text / other answers makes it really, really time-consuming and challenging to analyze aggregate data.

Professional Development / Continuing Education credit depends on the state, and there's a wide range of what states give credit for just in the northeast, alone. In the past, we've had Zero to Orange accredited, I think by a community college, and that's a possibility to explore for the Level 1 Coaching Certification. It sounds like we should add a space in the registration for educators to articulate what they need to get credit so we can be sure we can meet their needs.

As we analyze cost, I'm not completely comfortable proposing the course(s) as a wholly "missionary" effort due to the challenges OUSA already faces in budgeting, along with some uncertainty with revenue during COVID-19 restrictions. Hosting an online course, especially one that involves controlling access and different levels of access to content, isn't cheap. That's part of the reason that some universities have not ventured into digital education, and why some are pushing back about lowering tuition while simultaneously going fully online. My goal is to be revenue-neutral, but that requires some guesswork about how many people will participate annually.

We didn't expect the appetite for an online / blended version of beginner to intermediate level education, and we're headed back to think how to best support that demand for a variety of audiences.

Good stuff, keep it coming!

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