Audience Centered Experience Interpretation Workbook


This course of self-study can take you from novice to Audience Centered Experience ACE!

The Audience Centered Experience (ACE) approach to interpretation allows parks to become places where visitors can not only learn and enjoy, but also gain skills in critical thinking, problem solving, innovation, global awareness, and scientific literacy. Rather than traditional one-sided presentations, many park interpreters are using ACE techniques to adapt how they prepare and deliver programs and media products to invite audience co-creation, and meet the needs of our modern publics. 

Sample pages from the ACE workbookDownload a complete PDF of the workbook, print yourself a copy and work through it at your own pace [updated Fall 2020].

Additional Resources

You can find many more resources on the fundamentals of ACE interpretation and helping audiences form their own deep connections with resources in the sections below, which mirror much of the ACE Workbook’s structure and offer you space to discuss with your peers:

Looking For More on Audience Centered Experiences?

Interpretive Leadership button - a pictogram ranger leading a group of other rangers higherYou can find links to seasonal lesson plans which support this emerging skill set in the Audience Centered Experience Trainers’ Guide.

Write a Review

  1. I stumbled on this a while back and have only finally been able to work on my own workbook. I’ve been (almost desperately) wanting to attend the in-person ACE course for quite some time but various things have prevented me from doing so. But at least with the workbook and resource materials, I can do some self-study and explore the ACE concepts as I’m able to.

    This is definitely for someone who can learn and study from printed/digital materials and doesn’t need classroom instruction. I haven’t looked yet, but if a group exists for ACE discussions, it might be useful to have a link to that forum so if someone needs to, they can get feedback as they work through the materials.


  2. This workbook and the associated lesson plans are great tools to use while putting together seasonal training. It walks through everything you need to introduce the new ideas and principles and make the shift from traditional interpretation to more audience-centered interpretation with your staff.


  3. We used this workbook and the trainer’s guide to help build the audience centered aspects of our seasonal training in 2017. We provided specific pages for staff, built sessions around the 4 truths, changing interpretation, and knowledge of self.

    In addition, staff watched the great Pop-up example from Corinne at DEWA and used the pop-up development pages to start creating their own, during a training session.


  4. Great resource! I have been trying to take the ACE Forging Connections course but have not been able to find a class that worked with my schedule. This helped quite a bit to gain a better perspective of what ACE is and how to best use these techniques. I am recommending this for all of my staff to look over and we plan to utilize it more for annual seasonal training.

  5. I just went through the online Dialogic Questions exercise and can easily relate it to the recent training I took at Harper’s Ferry as well as using the ACE workbook that really backs up these online lessons. The workbook is a great tool to refresh your memory for techniques, the purpose of 21st Century Interpretation, and getting your team to start brainstorming.
    I plan on using this workbook with my team so that we can refresh our current programs and make them more inclusive with our visitors. What’s really great is that you can put any subject line in the workbook exercises to achieve a meaningful tool for your audience. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about history, resources, culture or any other subject. The workbook leads you through ideas that expand the options for whatever program you are trying to update, refresh or newly create. I am really grateful for this tool that we can use over and over again for every program, pop-up or theme we want to work on.


  6. In printing the Workbook, the many worksheets were appealing to me and of interest. I think that there are probably plenty of good ideas and excellent activities for the audience. In teaching children and adults for 23 years, if I have learned else, I have learned that you have to gain their attention in some way. I found that activities are the big draw, sharing is also most often acceptable for most. In even the smallest of audiences, you can have Heinz 57 variety standing or sitting in front of you. You have to be on your toes and quick to change gears when there is no response from the group. So here we go, to root through this long list of resources.

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