Archive for December, 2010

December 2010 Professional Development Ends Year with a Bang!

eXtension Professional Development offers just a few quality sessions this month. Please share this with any colleagues who may be interested!


The second session of the 2010 North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Speakers Series was held on December 2. The recording for “The future of work and it’s impact on Extension systems” can be found at


This month eXtension’s professional development offers 30-60-minute sessions on topics including social media guidelines, CoP evaluation efforts, and encouraging interactivity in your online events. In addition the monthly Institutional Team web conference for January 4, 2011 is listed. eXtension professional development is open to all Cooperative Extension faculty, staff and employees. No pre-registration is necessary. Please share this announcement with others and encourage them to pick a topic and try it out. Give us 30 to 60 minutes and we’ll teach you something useful!

December 8, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EST: Social Media Guidelines and Policies. This session will feature a panel from four state extension services to discuss social media guidelines and policies. Sponsored with eXtension by the ACE Leadership & Management SIG. See all the details at:

December 14, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EST: Markers for Success: Getting Started with Your CoP Evaluation Efforts by Mike Lambur, eXtension. The focus of this session is to provide an overview of the stages of CoP
development and the corresponding evaluation activities that should be conducted — markers for success—to document participation, engagement, and outcomes the CoP has achieved. More details at

December 16, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EST: Interactivity in Online Trainings: Keeping Your Audience Engaged. Janet Sylvia, University of Georgia, will share 20 ideas for keeping your online audience engaged. We’ll
also open the floor for discussion and gather ideas from the audience. The rest of the details at

January 4, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. EST: Institutional Team Web Conference – January. Please join us the first Tuesday of each month for a meetup of state eXtension Institutional Teams. Details at

See complete descriptions and details at

See information for each session, an overview of upcoming eXtension Professional Development sessions, links to historical sessions (and recordings once they are available), and log-in with your eXtension ID to indicate your interest in and attendance of the offered sessions. Check out and let us know what you think. Start including your favorite session links in Twitter, Facebook and
more! If your extension service or CoP has held professional development and has an open recording available, add it at!


Lambur Honored by American Evaluation Association

Michael Lambur, eXtension Evaluation and Research Leader, received the Outstanding Leadership and Service to the Extension Evaluation Profession award from awards chair, Dr. Nancy Franz, of the Extension Evaluation Topical Interest Group of the American Evaluation Association in November. This award is given for leadership and service in creating networks and gaining visibility for Extension evaluators. This award has been given to only nine other individuals since 1988. Congratulations Mike!


Moodle Update: Course Migration

In recent weeks, the eXtension’s Moodle Help Desk staff have been contacting people offering courses at to coordinate the migration of their courses to eXtension’s primary public Moodle site, The “pdc” site was originally created as a place to offer professional development courses to Extension staff with eXtension IDs. However, over time, Moodle course developers increasingly have wanted to make these courses available to others without eXtension IDs, resulting in some professional development courses at the pdc site, and other similar courses at the campus site. Therefore, in the interest of reducing confusion, the decision was made to consolidate all the courses on a single site: That migration should be complete within the next few months.

Other recent changes affecting eXtension’s Moodle sites are the addition of a Kaltura extension for distribution of video, an “activity locking” capability which can be used to direct a learner’s path through a course, a simple feedback module to facilitate learner responses to a course, and the availability of multiple eXtension-approved and branded themes from which teachers can select. Together with the other native capabilities of Moodle, particularly its interactive tools, eXtension is providing a very powerful learning platform for the entire Cooperative Extension System.

Finally, it should be noted that over 6,600 people representing more than 80 countries have created accounts at These people are feasting on a menu of over 130 courses developed by Extension faculty from at least 33 states. For questions about how to use Moodle or how to create courses for your own audiences, contact the eXtension Moodle Help Desk (


Final Word: National eXtension Virtual Conference

A final note about the National eXtension Virtual Conference held this fall: More than 700 people (unique IP addresses) participated in the conference and another 400 people watched recordings of keynote presentations and/or critical conversations.

Not only was it a quality professional development experience (and still is), but it provided a tremendous cost savings to Cooperative Extension nationwide. Consider the cost of physically attending a 3-day conference such as this: the cost could have been as much as $1,500 per person (i.e., airfare, hotel, registration, per diem). So, for 1,100 people to participate might just have saved CES $1.65 million. Now, that’s what one should call a great deal!

The recordings continue to be available online at:


Governing Committee Members Reflect ‘The Value of eXtension’

Members of the eXtension Governing Committee presented “The Value of eXtension” to the Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP) in October. Examples showed how eXtension, through Communities of Practice (CoPs), are:

1) reaching Communities of Interest through collaborative work and social media;
2) changing the way Cooperative Extension works;
3) responding to timely programmatic issues;
4)providing content and programs for use by institutions with limited or no resources in certain subject matter areas;
5) enhancing local resources through Ask an Expert and content feeds placed on local office web sites; and
6) leveraging the investments of member institutions by generating new revenues and partnerships benefiting the Cooperative Extension System.

Keith Smith, Ohio State University Extension, and Karen Hinton, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, described how their institutions are institutionalizing eXtension. The presentation is now being formatted into several webinars and scheduling information will follow.


Stakeholder Evaluation Informs eXtension Progress Review

The eXtension Stakeholder Evaluation Survey, completed in November, yielded a 5.3% return rate based on 14,000 eXtension ID holders. The data are being used by the eXtension Progress Review Panel in their evaluation of eXtension. The survey data and testimony collected from 14 one-hour stakeholder interviews are being summarized and will be provided to the strategic planning team for its meeting January 10-12 in Dallas, TX. This team will update the eXtension Strategic Roadmap, the master plan for managing eXtension’s future success.