To What Degree Do Extension Educators Self-assess Their Needs for Building Evaluation Capacity? A Case Study of the North Central Region of the United States

By Nav R. Ghimire and Robert A. Martin.

Published by The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 25, 2015 $US5.00

The purpose of this study was to determine to what degree extension educators self-assess their knowledge and skills on competencies related to program evaluation and their needs for further training. A total of 752 extension educators from twelve states of the North Central Region (USA) Cooperative Extension participated in this study through an online survey. The instrument for the study included eleven competencies that were tested using a five-point Likert-type scale. Results indicated that participants reported primary needs of training for building evaluation capacity in the following competencies: “assessing impact of a program,” “developing and implementing surveys,” “analyzing and interpreting survey results,” and “using impact data for further planning.” Findings have implications for designing competency development programs. Therefore, training focused on program evaluation is recommended at all levels of the North Central Region Extension system. The problem faced by the developing world for building evaluation capacity of extension agents is similar to that in the United States. Therefore, implications of the findings in international extension settings are also discussed in this paper.

Keywords: Program Evaluation, Extension Educators, Self–assessed Training Needs

The International Journal of Adult, Community, and Professional Learning, Volume 21, Issue 2, February 2015, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 25, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 720.330KB)).

Dr. Nav R. Ghimire

Agriculture Agent (Extension Educator), Green Lake County UW-Extension, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service, Green Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Robert A. Martin

Professor, Department of Agricultural Education, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA