S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws is a lower level course designed for first to second year wildland fire fighters. In addition to the course, each year fire fighters go through a refresher on chainsaw use. There are 3 progressive certifications for chainsaw operations; faller A, faller B and faller C.
This course trains wildland firefighters to operate chainsaws safely. The advanced organizer, or precourse work, provides the opportunity for students to learn terminology before coming to class and provides a common level of understanding for the class.
The current Pre-course work is a 35 page PDF that students are expected to print from the internet, read and bring to class. There are appox 175 term that are organized alphabetically.
During the needs analysis phase, it was identified that the pre-course work should be a more interactive online product that would provide advance organization for the course and also review for fire fighters each season.
In looking for a project for this class I approached Wendell Welch, our distance learning group leader. Wendell and Christine needed help converting the Chainsaw pre-course work to an online format and asked me if I would be willing to do it. I am fortunate to have the support of the NWCG Training team on this project.
During the week of May 17 we met with the SME’s and reviewed photos, videos and animations that have been created so far. This gave us an idea of what kind of media still needs to be produced. Roland and Jason are working on identifying the photos and videos that should be attached to the specific story boards for each term.
Taking the alphabetized glossary and grouping the terms into 4 topic areas was the first task that was accomplished. I have continued to “chunk” the terms within each topic area into related groups that provide more bite sized chunks of learning. Previously there were no objectives for this advanced organizer. After I get approval from the SME’s for the “Chunks” I have created I will complete the objectives and will work with Mark from the “Standards” shop for approval and development of the evaluation tools. I have been checking in with the distance learning staff for guidance.
Using Assembla and creating the gannt chart helped me to organize my part of the project and I really appreciate getting to work with these tools during this course. I will continue to use some kind of project management for my work in this course, even though the training development group does not use any kind of project management. It is frustrating that the government security regulations prohibit me from using many of the open source applications and tools that are available.
There is a lot of work left to do before the Pre-Course work will be placed on the NWCG Website. Using Weebly to create a mock website gave me an opportunity to visualize how the finished product might be organized. It also allowed me to view some of the photos on line and realize that we may need to get some other photos.