Value and Evaluation : A Case Study of Interdisciplinary Green Infrastructure Continuing Professional Education Trainings Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6969z531j

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  • The practice of green infrastructure is synonymous with collaborative partnerships. Expertise from engineers, land care professionals, planners, and natural resource consultants are often required for successful project implementation. Traditionally, these professionals perform their responsibilities in their disciplinary “silos,” but this evolving area of sustainable development is creating a demand for professionals who can think analytically and work across disciplinary boundaries. Interdisciplinary Continuing Professional Education (CPE) trainings provide opportunities for professionals to learn alongside one another, conversing and negotiating new knowledge about emerging practices. This study applies a qualitative approach to gain insight into the motivations, instructional design processes and evaluation mechanisms utilized for interdisciplinary green infrastructure CPE trainings. A variety of green infrastructure CPE providers in the Pacific Northwest United States participated in the study, offering perspectives from agencies, nonprofits, consulting firms and academic institutions. Qualitative software was used to code patterns and themes; and a content analysis on survey evaluation tools was completed. Findings suggest that provider organizations aim to increase worker competency and advance the field of green infrastructure by designing trainings that facilitate communication skills, enhance networking opportunities and exploit social learning activities. These three priorities are supported by the literature and appropriately foster communal environments shown to support the diffusion of innovative technologies. While training evaluation was found to lean heavily on standardized formal survey evaluation tools, several other informal evaluation approaches were found. A discussion of successful instructional design strategies for interdisciplinary audiences are presented for CPE provider organizations to adopt for future green infrastructure-related trainings.
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