Excessive stormwater runoff, generated when rain or snowmelt flow over land without infiltrating, can cause flash flooding, significant water quality degradation, and loss of property. Water resource managers and stormwater professionals need to know how to adopt and maintain proven methods, techniques, and practices to minimize and combat excessive stormwater runoff.
To help ensure stormwater professionals have the training they need to address this issue, the stormwater team, comprised of a collaborative group of stormwater educators from across the country, received funding from the Network and the University of Minnesota-Extension to create a Stormwater Practices Core Curriculum online course. The course, which is comprised of five-modules, provides a publicly available, regionally applicable and comprehensive stormwater training for stormwater professionals to help them meet their community’s clean water goals.
Through early testing of the course, the team saw a need to enhance the curriculum with innovative and engaging course content. With additional funding from the Network in 2017, the team assembled a group of stormwater practitoners to help enhance course content and develop innovative, engaging learning experiences using a variety of methodologies, including enhanced media and technology content. The course enhancement will empower stormwater professional and educator to use the course information to improve their stormwater practices and maintenance.
The stormwater team has hosted several webinars and a 2-day Stormwater Core Course Collaboration Workshop in Lincoln, Nebraska in April of 2018. Workshop attendees reviewed and revised existing course content and worked to develop enhanced multi-media content that will help facilitate learner engagement.
As a result of the workshop, the project team is creating a series of ‘storytelling’ videos to facilitate engagement and they are working to optimize the content and learning interface to ensure all users have a positive user experience.
In addition to helping the team improve the course content, the workshop also served as a professional development opportunity for those involved. 100% of attendees reported they were more confident exploring online course development as a result of attending and are able to apply the knowledge learned at their jobs moving forward.
The team is continuing to implement the suggestions discussed at the workshop and plans to roll-out the enhanced content this fall.