Considerations in Evaluating Hunter Education Programs

The need for effective hunter education is great and growing. Program effectiveness should be evaluated by agency administrators and external authorities. Administrators can perform a self-evaluation, based on a new model of the ideal program developed by the Hunter Education Committee of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the North American Association of Hunter Safety Coordinators. The model recognizes the role of external evaluation to penetrate the difficult questions of educational effectiveness of the program. Major concepts of educational evaluation, including a discussion on threats to the validity of evaluation research are disussed. The Virginia hunter education program is being evaluated to determine if graduates have sufficient knowledge of safety and ethics and if graduates behave closer to ideal hunters in the field than hunters who have not participated in the program.

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