Assessing the Effectiveness of Audience Response System Technology in Pesticide Applicator Training

This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of audience response system (ARS) technology in enhancing pesticide applicator safety training provided through the NC Cooperative Extension Service in five geographical districts of North Carolina. The project includes the purchase of a complete set of ARS technology (hand-held response cards and receiver) for each of the five NC districts. Twenty Cooperative Extension county pesticide education coordinators, representing all five districts, have been invited to participate in the project through implementing ARS in their pesticide applicator re-certification programs.

In February 2013, two full-day workshops, led by Dr. Catherine LePrevost, were held in Raleigh for the Enhancing Pesticide Applicator Education through ARS Technology Workshop. Participants received technical training in using ARS, learned best practices when teaching with the technology, and practiced creating and delivering ARS presentations in small groups. The pesticide education coordinators will collect data on their trainees' learning and receptiveness to the technology, as well as their own teaching practices. Through this pilot project, the potential for statewide expansion of ARS implementation in pesticide applicator training programs will be evaluated.