Select a topic above to sort by content name, or use Ctrl (⌘) + F on your keyboard to search the entire page.
Exploration and Conceptualization
The first step in the program development process uses exploration and conceptualization processes to identify the economic, environmental and societal issues that extension programs can and should address.
Program analysis uses a variety of tools and techniques, including:
- Needs assessments with engaged stakeholders:
- Extension councils and other advisory boards.
- City, county, state and national legislative bodies.
- Community groups, commodity groups, partners (within MU and external), funding agencies, etc.
- Situational analysis and environmental scanning using secondary state and national databases and literature reviews.
- Market analysis to identify
- Potential audience(s) that will participate in the program.
- Potential revenue streams, as well as the likelihood that the audience or another funding source will be able to financially support the program.
- Potential new partnerships and resources within the university, our external community partners, investors and stakeholders.
- Potential competitors.
- Resource analysis to identify
- The research base or evidence base for the content that will be delivered through the educational program.
- Current curriculum/publications/resource material/educational experiences available in-house, through partnerships or through purchase to support this program’s development or implementation.
- The financial implications related to designing, developing, implementing and evaluating this program.
- Total costs including faculty and support unit time, infrastructure, education resource development, ISE training costs, evaluation strategies, etc.
- Revenue streams (grants, contracts, partnerships, core/cost funding, fees, etc.) to fund the program.
- The intellectual property rights, i.e., who owns the content.
- Priority ranking of the program fits in the priority list.
Extension administration, directors, faculty, staff and councils must work through an objective process to clearly define program priorities at all levels in the organization. It will be important that everyone involved continually evaluate each phase of the process and that adjustments are made to ensure optimal effectiveness and program impact.
The use of a standard program development process should result in a clear situation statement with a defined target audience; identified economic, environmental and/or societal issues; desired changes and/or outcomes for stakeholders and audience and all be clearly aligned with MU Extension mission, vision, and priorities. Once all of these items are recognized, it will then be important for all involved to determine if the need is adequate to commit the necessary financial resources.
For more information and resources for the analysis phase, see Program Analysis
Practice Continuous Improvement
Excellence in education isn’t an end-state, but rather evolves through iterations of implementation and improvement over time. This means we continually monitor, reflect, adapt and innovate to better serve our learners.
Program evaluation should be an ongoing process throughout all phases of the ADDIE model. Program evaluation can include instructor reflections, learner feedback, peer review and impact data. Ultimately, you need to ask "Did you accomplish what you set out to do?"
Program Outcomes and Learning Experiences
All steps in the program development process should be continually monitored and evaluated to improve effectiveness and efficiencies. Evaluation strategies should be implemented at the designated steps in the process to determine the effectiveness of the learning experiences and measure the program outcomes — learning (short-term), action (intermediate) and condition (long-term) outcomes.
Program-outcome evaluation strategies may vary based upon the program. Ensure that evaluation strategies measure when participants acquire specific learning and to what extent they have applied these skills or changed their behavior. Evaluation strategies could include:
- Pre and post surveys.
- Student response systems (collect data during a presentation).
- Follow-up surveys (electronic or hard copy).
- Observations of practices (trends, data if available).
The faculty involved in program development must determine how evaluation data will be reported to faculty, staff, participants, councils and administrators. The communication plan may include a wide variety of communication and marketing strategies as well as traditional reporting methodologies.