Are you interested in learning how to make your communication pleasurable, relevant, organized, and thematic? According to Freeman Tilden, information, as such, is not interpretation.  Interpretation is revelation based upon information. Interpretation involves translating technical language into terms that people can readily understand.  Interpretation stresses the importance of ideas and relationships rather than facts and figures.  

This course is designed to give West Virginia guides, educators, and anyone interested in increasing the effectiveness of their communication the knowledge and skills needed to engage people in a positive and constructive way with West Virginia resources. The course will provide training on effective interpretation techniques, which will contribute to more effective communication with the visitor.

The online portion of the course consists of five units.  Upon completing the online portion of the course, you will have a working plan for a 10-minute interpretive talk. You will give your interpretive talk during a half-day, in-person workshop held shortly after the online course. The in-person workshop will be led by WVU faculty.

A $50 fee is required to participate in this course which goes to cover travel costs for the instructors for the in-person workshop.  Once payment has been received a code will be sent to the participant to receive access to the online course.  It is recommended that a group of guides take the course together to increase the effectiveness of the in-person assessment.  

Please contact Doug Arbogast, Rural Tourism Specialist for the WVU Extension Service, at doug.arbogast@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-8686 for more information about this course.   

The way in which we welcome guests to our state is a symbol of our homestyle hospitality. You hold the key to success in this process. Guests have many choices and your warm welcome, friendly conversations, and helpful ways will let them know that we enjoy their business and are anxious for them to return with their family and friends.

Each guest comes to West Virginia with their own set of expectations for their stay. The West Virginia Welcome program will assist you in understanding how to satisfy and even exceed those expectations for everyone’s benefit – including yours! If guests enjoy your outstanding service, they may choose to return soon. Return guests are more profitable for our state and, in general, easier for you to take care of. You benefit because you have presented yourself as a representative of excellent customer service.

You have the opportunity to put people at ease, to be personable, to proactively solve problems and to welcome guests to our state. The impressions formed by West Virginia guests, good or bad, will last for years to come. Therefore, the state’s image depends on you!!! Every guest should be treated like a V.I.P.

After all, isn’t that how you would like to be treated?