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Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

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Presenting Data Effectively: Communicating Your Findings For Maximum Impact, Nancy K. Franz Dec 2014

Presenting Data Effectively: Communicating Your Findings For Maximum Impact, Nancy K. Franz

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

As program evaluators we aspire to conduct sterling evaluations. However, the value of these evaluations quickly declines if we fail to effectively communicate findings in meaningful ways to stakeholders. In my work presenting data to a wide variety of audiences from elected officials to university leaders, coworkers, academics, and partner organizations, I have put effort into being concise, accurate, and clear in my communications. I have been less intentional about designing the graphics and other elements of data presentation in ways that align with how our brains operate and how we best retain information. So I was very curious about ...


The Role Of Evaluation In Determining The Public Value Of Extension, Nancy K. Franz, Mary Arnold, Sarah Baughman Aug 2014

The Role Of Evaluation In Determining The Public Value Of Extension, Nancy K. Franz, Mary Arnold, Sarah Baughman

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Extension has developed a strong evaluation culture across the system for the last 15 years. Yet measures are still limited to the private value of programs, looking at problems in a linear way and at isolated efforts. Across the country, Extension evaluators and administrators need to step up to help answer the "so what?" question about complex issues and related programming through stronger evaluation that leads to articulating the public value of Extension work.


Benchmarking Professional Development Practices Across Youth-Serving Organizations: Implications For Extension, Barry A. Garst, Sarah Baughman, Nancy K. Franz Jan 2014

Benchmarking Professional Development Practices Across Youth-Serving Organizations: Implications For Extension, Barry A. Garst, Sarah Baughman, Nancy K. Franz

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Examining traditional and contemporary professional development practices of youth-serving organizations can inform practices across Extension, particularly in light of the barriers that have been noted for effectively developing the professional competencies of Extension educators. With professional development systems changing quickly, particularly through online education and blended learning opportunities, benchmarks need to guide new research around best practices in professional development. Although many program providers have not established benchmarks for professional development, a few cases exist. This article examines the current state of professional development practices of youth-serving organizations and offers recommendations for improving Extension professional development practices.


Improving Extension Programs: Putting Public Value Stories And Statements To Work, Nancy K. Franz Jun 2013

Improving Extension Programs: Putting Public Value Stories And Statements To Work, Nancy K. Franz

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Extension has begun to embrace the public value movement that originated in public administration circles. The motivation appears to be driven by external accountability rather than internal interest in improving programming and results. The development of public value statements and stories can be used throughout the program cycle and for other program and professional tasks to help address internal and external cries for the articulation of public value. Extension workers should use public value statements and stories in their work on a daily basis in a variety of ways to enhance their effectiveness and the transformative impact of their programs.


The Data Party: Involving Stakeholders In Meaningful Data Analysis, Nancy K. Franz, Nancy K. Franz Feb 2013

The Data Party: Involving Stakeholders In Meaningful Data Analysis, Nancy K. Franz, Nancy K. Franz

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

A hallmark of Extension includes the involvement of stakeholders in research and program needs assessment, design, implementation, evaluation, and reporting. A data party can be used to enhance this stakeholder involvement specifically in data analysis. This type of event can not only increase client participation in Extension programming and research but also enhance community buy-in, reinforce human and community development, and provide more authentic data interpretation.


Employee Job Autonomy And Control In A Restructured Extension Organization, Mary S. Holz-Clause, Vikram Swaroop Chandra Koundinya, Nancy K. Franz Dr., Timothy O. Borich Dec 2012

Employee Job Autonomy And Control In A Restructured Extension Organization, Mary S. Holz-Clause, Vikram Swaroop Chandra Koundinya, Nancy K. Franz Dr., Timothy O. Borich

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

This descriptive cross sectional census study identified the perceptions of Extension and Outreach employees of Iowa State University in the United States about job autonomy and control after two years of a major restructuring. Employees perceived autonomy and control over expressing views and ideas about their work and spending time on the job but perceived little influence over budget allocations and shaping organizational strategies. They felt administrators and external funding sources influenced programming. They perceived contributing most to program implementation and marketing. The findings from this study have implications for operations and programming in Extension and other organizational settings.


Extension's Evolving Alignment Of Programs Serving Families And Youth: Organizational Change And Its Implications, Marc T. Braverman, Nancy K. Franz, Roger A. Rennekamp Dec 2012

Extension's Evolving Alignment Of Programs Serving Families And Youth: Organizational Change And Its Implications, Marc T. Braverman, Nancy K. Franz, Roger A. Rennekamp

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Extension is experiencing a trend toward closer alignment of its programs serving families and youth, notably Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H Youth Development. Projects are more multidisciplinary and comprehensive than in the past, and, in many states, FCS and 4-HYD are also becoming more administratively integrated. Several reasons for this shift are recent developments in social science intervention theory, Extension budget reductions, and land-grant universities' longterm organizational strategies. We discuss implications for Extension faculty and the need to track and understand the restructuring process. Overall, the emphasis on collaboration and comprehensiveness provide opportunities for more effective Extension programming.


Joe's Niche In The Extension Scholarship Movement, Nancy K. Franz, Celvia E. Stovall Oct 2012

Joe's Niche In The Extension Scholarship Movement, Nancy K. Franz, Celvia E. Stovall

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Extension's sustainability is tied to relationships with academia. Now more than ever, Extension faculty and staff need to integrate their work into the aims of their university to gain credibility, relevance, and support. This requires Extension workers to more deeply and widely document and share the scholarship of their work with academics and stakeholders. Extension workers should look more often to the Journal of Extension as the premier Extension journal in North America to help address this need. The journal provides a number of factors and services that contribute to developing and sustaining a culture of Extension scholarship.


Non-Formal Educator Use Of Evaluation Results, Sarah Baughman, Heather H. Boyd, Nancy K. Franz Aug 2012

Non-Formal Educator Use Of Evaluation Results, Sarah Baughman, Heather H. Boyd, Nancy K. Franz

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Increasing demands for accountability in educational programming have resulted in increasing calls for program evaluation in educational organizations. Many organizations include conducting program evaluations as part of the job responsibilities of program staff. Cooperative Extension is a complex organization offering non-formal educational programs through land grant universities. Many Extension services require non-formal educational program evaluations be conducted by field-based Extension educators. Evaluation research has focused primarily on the efforts of professional, external evaluators. The work of program staff with many responsibilities including program evaluation has received little attention. This study examined how field based Extension educators (i.e. program staff ...


Stories And Storytelling In Extension Work, Scott Peters, Nancy K. Franz Aug 2012

Stories And Storytelling In Extension Work, Scott Peters, Nancy K. Franz

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Deep budget cuts, increased accountability, and the growth of anti-government and anti-intellectual sentiments place Extension systems in a defensive position. In response, we're engaging in organizational change exercises, restructuring, regionalizing, rewriting mission statements, and developing strategic plans. We're spending considerable time counting and measuring our efforts to defend the public impacts and value of our work. In this article we argue that we also need to become better storytellers by learning how to craft and strategically communicate stories that capture important truths about the public value, meaning, and significance of our work.


Tea Time: Raising Awareness And Support For Extension, Nancy K. Franz, Chris Fahey Jun 2012

Tea Time: Raising Awareness And Support For Extension, Nancy K. Franz, Chris Fahey

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

In a time of reliance on electronic media for information, chaotic programming environments, and declining public resources, Extension workers need to find unique ways to connect with stakeholders to maintain and increase support for programming. To address this need, we developed, conducted, and evaluated a series of stakeholder teas. We found this method of communicating with stakeholders builds social, political, and fiscal support for Extension programming.


Extension's Future: Time For Disruptive Innovation, Nancy K. Franz, Ronald A. Cox Apr 2012

Extension's Future: Time For Disruptive Innovation, Nancy K. Franz, Ronald A. Cox

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Extension has been considered change averse by some scholars and practitioners, and they claim this inhibits organizational growth and relevance. Pockets of individuals and teams across the nation have worked independently as entrepreneurs to enhance Extension's relevance by introducing organizational processes and programs that greatly differ from past practices. However, every Extension system, team, and worker has a role to play in the disruptive innovation process. This may include exploring, implementing, or evaluating disruptive organizational innovations, or removing barriers, resourcing, or supporting a culture of innovation to enhance relevance and sustainability.


Determining And Sharing The Public Value Of Fcs Telling The Story, Nancy K. Franz, Margaret Van Ginkel Nov 2011

Determining And Sharing The Public Value Of Fcs Telling The Story, Nancy K. Franz, Margaret Van Ginkel

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Those of us working with publically funded family and consumer sciences (FCS) programs have a dream that we are valued, our work is sustainable, we make a difference in people's lives, and we are recognized for the public value we provide. However, current political forces make this dream a challenge. This article describes a much-needed public value movement for FCS and how to determine and share our public value.


Advancing The Public Value Movement: Sustaining Extension During Tough Times, Nancy K. Franz Apr 2011

Advancing The Public Value Movement: Sustaining Extension During Tough Times, Nancy K. Franz

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Extension must more fully and adeptly embrace the public value movement to be sustainable as a publicly funded organization, or our demise as an organization will continue. The public value steps outlined here and piloted with several Extension systems and national work groups can be informative for others interested in capturing and sharing the public value of Extension work. Overall, the Extension public value banner needs to be held high as we struggle to change the perception of our work by addressing this as a "movement" in our organizational development and not a "response" to the economic environment.


Expanding Bioenergy Opportunities From Working Forests And Rangelands, Karen Potter-Witter, Daniel Cassidy, Nancy K. Franz Dr. Jan 2011

Expanding Bioenergy Opportunities From Working Forests And Rangelands, Karen Potter-Witter, Daniel Cassidy, Nancy K. Franz Dr.

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

As fossil fuel prices rise, so does the interest in developing alternative sources of energy. Working forests and rangelands are a major source of raw material being considered for applications ranging from direct combustion to ethanol production. Across the U.S., woody biomass energy is being studied for its potential to contribute to economic development and the revitalization of forest and range dependent communities.


Nutrition Education Program Assistants: A Leverage Point For Collecting Authentic Program Data, Mary Mcferren, Nancy K. Franz, Michael Lambur Oct 2010

Nutrition Education Program Assistants: A Leverage Point For Collecting Authentic Program Data, Mary Mcferren, Nancy K. Franz, Michael Lambur

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Extension administrators and educators wonder why low-income audiences refrain from participating or underparticipate in educational opportunities. This may be due to a gap between administrator or educator views of program participation barriers versus the lived experience of low-income audiences. Virginia Cooperative Extension worked to bridge this gap in perspectives by using Nutrition Program Assistants as a leverage point for recruiting and gathering authentic data on program participation from low-income individuals. Even though program assistants rarely serve in this role, their connection with low-income clientele and groups that serve them is invaluable for gathering authentic program data.


Farmer, Agent, And Specialist Perspectives On Preferences For Learning Among Today's Farmers, Nancy K. Franz, Fred Piercy, Joseph Donaldson, Johnnie Westbrook, Robert Richard Jun 2010

Farmer, Agent, And Specialist Perspectives On Preferences For Learning Among Today's Farmers, Nancy K. Franz, Fred Piercy, Joseph Donaldson, Johnnie Westbrook, Robert Richard

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

Few studies have examined the types of educational delivery methods preferred by farmers (Eckert & Bell, 2005; Eckert & Bell, 2006). The research project reported here explored the preferred learning methods of farmers in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Virginia. Data on learning methods collected directly from farmers were compared with preferred teaching methods of Extension agents and specialists. The findings should shape agent and specialist perspectives on appropriate educational delivery methods when educating farmers and working towards farmer adoption of new practices.


Evaluating For Impact: Professional Development Educational Content Delivery Through Learning Communities, Sarah Baughman, Mary Arnold, Heather H. Boyd, Nancy K. Franz, June P. Mead, Ellen Rowe, Ben Silliman Jun 2010

Evaluating For Impact: Professional Development Educational Content Delivery Through Learning Communities, Sarah Baughman, Mary Arnold, Heather H. Boyd, Nancy K. Franz, June P. Mead, Ellen Rowe, Ben Silliman

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

The National 4-H Council Learning Priorities team developed educational content for professional development to increase evaluation capacity and evaluation skills for 4-H educators. Extension specialists in Oregon, Vermont, and Virginia piloted Evaluating for Impact curriculum through learning communities. Lessons learned from the pilot project include the overall success of content in increasing individual participant evaluation skills, reflection on the comprehensive and academically rigorous nature of the curriculum, a need for an experienced evaluator to lead the circles, and an ability to customize the curriculum to the evaluation levels of participants.


Evaluation Of A New Nutrition Education Curriculum And Factors Influencing Its Implementation, Justine R. Hoover, Peggy A. Martin, Ruth E. Litchfield Feb 2009

Evaluation Of A New Nutrition Education Curriculum And Factors Influencing Its Implementation, Justine R. Hoover, Peggy A. Martin, Ruth E. Litchfield

Extension and Outreach Research and Scholarship

The study reported here evaluated a nutrition education curriculum through examining participant behavior change. A previously used curriculum (April - September 2005 and 2006) was compared to a new curriculum (April - September 2007) using pre- and post-program 24-hour dietary recalls and food behavior surveys. Participant, educator, and program variables were explored relative to behavior change. The new curriculum elicited behavior change similar to that elicited by the previous curriculum. Factors influencing behavior change included participant and educator race and educator experience. Participant and educator variables should be considered in future program/curriculum implementation.