Revamped Online RUP Private Applicator Training Now Available
Nebraska Extension’s newly revamped, more user-friendly online private applicator training program is now open for business.
The online Pesticide Safety Education Program curriculum is one option for first-time or recertifying private applicators of restricted use pesticides (RUPs), to obtain training to become licensed by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. NDA licensing is required for applicators to legally purchase or apply RUPs. Another private training option includes attending one of approximately 200 sessions statewide. (See related story.)
The new streamlined online curriculum has many advantages for private applicators of RUPs. It includes a complete update of 10 modules, each with its own set of topics. Some have short, close-captioned videos and supporting materials such as publications or exercises and an assessment test bank. Most topics are fewer than two pages in length and, to promote better comprehension, have only one to three learning objectives.
Being able to understand the learning objectives is key to passing the state-approved exam. The test bank of questions was completely reworked to ensure the questions align with the new instructional design.
To show mastery of each topic, one must correctly answer three assessment questions. Missing one or more questions means the user is directed to review the topic before again trying the assessment. This allows the user to focus on topics they need to better understand.
PSEP authors of the new curriculum are Jan Hygnstrom, project manager, and Robert Harrison, web programmer. The pair spent hundreds of hours, most in the last year, to collect, develop and update content conducive to adult learning and to revise the assessment process.
Available at https://psep.education/applicator/ , the new curriculum was two years in the making. It replaces a more cumbersome and time-consuming system developed in 2012. The new curriculum has a smoother and shorter work flow; for example, if a user needs to retake one topic, s/he has only to retake that piece of the module. Previously, the user had to restart the entire module.
Many of the approximately 100 topics in the new curriculum include attractive color photographs and art. Multimedia presentations and exercises complement and enhance the content that supports the stated learning objectives.
A new feature is that if users feel they already well know the topic or even the entire module, they can take the assessment without reading the material.
Users set up an account at the website and pay the $75 fee by credit card. NDA licensing is another $25 for private applicators.
Separate training is required to use products with paraquat and the three soybean pesticids with dicamba ― XtendiMax, FeXapan and Engenia ― as they now are registered as RUPs. For information about free training on both dicamba and paraquat, see https://pested.unl.edu/certification-and-training#dicamba beginning January 2 and https://pested.unl.edu/certification-and-training#paraquat as it becomes available.
For more information on pesticide safety, visit http://pested.unl.edu.