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ERIC Number: EJ956100
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1042-0541
Getting to the Bottom Line: How Using Evaluation Results to Enhance Extension Programs Can Lead to Greater Levels of Accountability
Lamm, Alexa J.; Israel, Glenn D.; Harder, Amy
Journal of Agricultural Education, v52 n4 p44-55 2011
Extension has enhanced the lives of U.S. citizens through adult education in a myriad of ways. However, as budgets get tighter, accountability becomes increasingly more important. Over the years, Extension has reported low level impacts rather than the long-term successes that those working within the system know are occurring. Without enhanced evaluation-driven environments, Extension systems will continue to inadequately report programmatic successes, resulting in a lower perceived public value of Extension programs. The use of evaluation can create an atmosphere which encourages organizational thinking resulting in the types of accountability reports which are adequate for decision making. This study examined how Extension professionals' perceptions of evaluation use related to their evaluation behaviors. The findings suggest a substantial percentage of Extension professionals are doing just enough evaluation to complete mandatory reports. It also showed that Extension professionals who valued their own personal use, but not necessarily organizational use of their evaluations, were more likely to conduct in-depth evaluations. Recommendations for enhancing evaluation driven work environments include clearer communication from administration demonstrating the value of evaluation beyond the role it plays in accountability and working directly with Extension professionals to promote evaluation-oriented conversations rather than just delivering state-led in-service trainings. (Contains 5 tables.)
American Association for Agricultural Education. P.O. Box 7607, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, Raleigh, NC 27695. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A