For this training module, you need the following:
The introduction module is divided into five activities in a strategic order. This module sets the tone for the rest of the training, so it is important to begin on time and be engaging, positive and inviting.
The lead instructor should welcome the students to the classroom. Other instructors should be introduced at this time also. Instruct the students that we will begin class outdoors.
Entrance Inspection Demonstration
Following the welcome, class begins with having all students get up and go outside. The students do not need to bring anything with them – they just need to come outside and observe. Have everyone get up (and get bundled if it’s cold out) and direct them to the boat demonstration area. The trainers do a mock inspection in which one person is the boat inspector and the other is the boater (a volunteer from class or another co-worker can be used for the boater if there is only one trainer). The boater is very nice. The boater is from all negative waters, no live bait, no ballast, and has a clean and dry boat. Be positive - Do not start class with an angry boater or a boater that changes his story mid inspection or a high risk inspection. The mock inspector does a textbook entrance inspection following the step by step procedures perfectly, without commentary, as if no one was watching. The purpose of this is to begin the class by showing the inspectors what you want them to do after the class, and how the final product should look and sound.
Once back in the classroom, go around the room and have each student tell you one thing that they did or did not observe the inspector do. All students need to participate. Do not let them shout out answers, unless the class is really small. Facilitate the conversation so that each student feels safe participating. This first activity will set the stage for the participation in the rest of this course. This also helps the trainer get to know the students and discover which students are already knowledgeable and which ones have no idea what they signed up for.
The trainer needs to write down every student’s answer neatly on a flip chart. It is important to acknowledge the participation to create a meaningful training atmosphere. When the discussion is complete, the flip charts should be posted on the wall. This will serve as an ongoing reference during the class.
The demonstration and discussion activity has allowed the class to open up and have dialogue previously, which enables a safe atmosphere for introductions. At this point that you should have each student introduce themselves, by saying their name, work location, if they are a new or experienced inspector/decontaminator, and an ice breaker item (silly thing about themselves, pets, hometown, etc.). Once everyone is done, thank them for being a part of the AIS network working to protect our waters.
PowerPoint Presentation - Introduction
The introduction presentation includes the basic definitions of an invasive species, the importance of education, the regional history and activities, and an overview of western state programs. The purpose is to give students a basic understanding of the big picture and to convey their importance in the network of people working to protect our waters. It is also important to convey that the WID system has been tested – this is a solvable problem and we can keep invasive species out. The intent is to make them feel they are a part of something very important and instill pride for their role in the success of the program. We don’t have mussels everywhere because inspectors do a really good job!
Students should learn the following in the Introduction module: