“eXtension has helped my programming by bringing it into the current century. While I still do what has been considered traditional extension work such as news releases, workshops and publications, I also think how I can adapt those into decision making tools that will fit into other formats for those that seek information in a variety of formats, such as mobile device apps and online videos,” says Carl Pedersen, Energy Educator in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at North Dakota State University.
Pedersen has developed and is using an online course, Home Energy 101. The course uses 17 videos about home energy to provide a look into the issues that affect residential energy use. The goal was to combine short clips of the various aspects of home energy to allow homeowners and prospective home buyers to make informed energy-related decisions. A partnership with Gate City Bank was developed to provide an incentive of $50 off closing costs to those that complete the course.
Since the course went online in July, 2011, 29 people have enrolled. Of those, 15 received the Gate City Bank certificate. Seven enrolled participants have received the NDSU Extension certificate. Ninety seven guests have viewed the course materials.
In addition to the Moodle course, the videos are available in YouTube and the links can be embedded into various web pages and the home energy Community of Practice articles. Public access stations in North Dakota were provided a DVD of the home energy videos as well. These have been used in their programming throughout the state.
Pedersen is active in the Home Energy and Farm Energy eXtension Communities of Practice. He says eXtension has changed his job because working with colleagues from around the country enables him to use resources others have developed and adapt them to fit the needs in North Dakota.