The eXtension Governing Committee has hired Socient Associates to conduct an evaluation designed to measure the value and effectiveness of eXtension. The evaluation will help to answer whether eXtension has been developed in accordance with strategic plans, whether the current 2011-2014 eXtension Strategic Roadmap addresses the right strategies and activities moving forward, and if not, why and what needs to be done differently.
Key questions to be answered include:
● Is eXtension using appropriate technologies to support its mission?
● Is eXtension effectively modeling the use of new technologies for Cooperative Extension?
● Are Communities of Practice (CoPs) producing outcomes and impacts that are effectively reducing duplication, improving audience engagement and reach, and supporting the information and educational needs of online audiences?
● Are Communities of Practice effectively developing content and programs for CES?
● Are Communities of Practice modeling effective knowledge management strategies to nurture and facilitate learning networks?
● Is eXtension addressing the expectations and needs of Cooperative Extension? If not, what are the gaps with particular focus on technology implementation and use, cost/benefit, content development and delivery, and future goals?
● Is Cooperative Extension effectively integrating eXtension products and services into state and local programs?
● Is eXtension strengthening Cooperative Extension programming at the state and local level?
● Is eXtension integrated locally into faculty and staff evaluation processes?
● Does Cooperative Extension understand the work and efforts of eXtension in terms of impacts and outcomes?
● Is progress being made toward developing new partnerships and funding opportunities?
● Are Cooperative Extension employees being provided access to educational programs that position the system to work differently so as to better meet the needs of online audiences?
Sohel Karim, Managing Director and Co-founder of Socient Associates, will lead the evaluation. Sohel has experience with Cooperative Extension having been a member of the leadership team responsible for the ECOP Brand Value study conducted by Copernicus Marketing and Research a few years ago. The eXtension evaluation should be completed in early summer.