This report provides a summary of responses to the questions included in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) Distance Education survey conducted from January 26, 2010, to February 8, 2010. The survey included questions for two studies sponsored by the Division of Education Outreach (DEO) at the NCTC. The first study identifies the topics of interest to FWS employees on which training could be provided via distance education. The topics were limited to the area of conservation and environmental education, outreach, and partnerships because these topics are within the scope of the DEO. The second study focused on characterizing the relation between onsite course enrollment at NCTC and distance education offerings. Because there were only a few questions on the survey for the second study and because the target populations were the same for both, the two surveys were combined.
Our preliminary conclusion, based only on frequencies of responses and averages, is that our survey respondents appear to prefer traditional instructor-led training. However, they would still enroll in distance education courses. The distance education technologies of audio conferencing, computer-mediated training, and written resource provision are the technologies respondents reported being most familiar and accessible to them. For four of the five topic areas-creating and maintaining partnerships, technology, program planning and development, and outreach methods-the response frequencies and averages indicate that the topics were viewed as both relevant and important. Respondents were more neutral regarding the relevance and importance of the topic of evaluation methods. Respondents reported preferences for different types of information on different topics and also reported preferences in delivery mode of training for each topic area. Detailed results and conclusions will be included in the completion reports for the two studies.