Evaluating NASBLA-Approved Boating Education and Improving Compliance with the Navigation Rules

This grant proposal was a combination of three separate, but related projects. For the first project, researchers completed an evaluation of NASBLA-approved boating education by completing a risk-based analysis of the National Boating Education Standards. Two of the three original contractors who worked with NASBLA to create the National Boating Education Standards back in the mid-90s returned to conduct this risk-based analysis. Dr. Stuart Cottrell of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University was the lead researcher on this project. The main goal of the project was to determine if the National Boating Education Standards are still effective in reducing accidents and fatalities, with special emphasis on the Navigation Rules Standards. The final report for this project can be found here along with Appendix A, Appendix B, Appendix C, Appendix D and Appendix E to the final report.

The second project was lead by Richard Deatz of Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) who conducted the first part of a two-part retention study to determine if distance (online) boating safety courses are as effective as classroom courses at getting the student to learn and retain the information after a specified period of time. The first part of this two-part project studied classroom boating safety courses in order to establish baseline data for a future study of online boating safety courses that will be completed in FY-2011. The results of the first part of the study are available in the final report.

The third and final project was lead by Dr. Joi Moore of the University of Missouri Information Experience (IE) Lab. The staff in the IE Lab conducted an Expert Review, User Performance Evaluation, Focus Group sessions, and distance learning research to determine the efficacy of the online boating safety courses. The recommendations from the research lead to the creation of a set of delivery and presentation standards for NASBLA-approved boating education courses. These delivery and presentation standards were incorporated in the National Boating Education Standards as Standards 9 and 10 effective in 2012. The final report for this project can be found here.