Several traditional print extension resources have been published on program evaluation, including Evaluating Impact of Extension Programs, by R. Rennekamp, P. Warner, and R. Maurer, 1996, Univ. of Kentucky; and Evaluation for Accountability, by B. Sawer, 1992, Oregon State Univ. Additional resources from other agencies, such as the Minnesota Department of Human Services' publication Measuring the Difference Volunteers Make can aid in the evaluation of extension programs. New reporting methods are now being used to present information and program evaluation such as Minnesota Impacts http://www3.extension.umn.edu/mnimpacts/index.asp, and Oregon Invests. This workshop session will define terms important in evaluation reporting, suggest resources to use, and propose a method of reporting evaluation information of similar projects in environmental horticulture programs throughout the United States.
Mary Hockenberry Meyer
B.V. Pennisi and P.A. Thomas
In an effort to expand and improve the agriculture curriculum, the Georgia Department of Education set standards for new greenhouses to be built at high schools. These modern greenhouses are to serve as teaching facilities for new horticulture classes. However, current teachers had little or no background or experience in teaching greenhouse or nursery management courses. In response to the GDE needs, a summer workshop “Managing Crop Production and Equipment in the School Greenhouse” was held at CAES Griffin Campus and at Pike County High School. Faculty from UGA departments presented topics such as water quality, irrigation and crop nutrition, cultural guidelines for major floricultural crops, IPM, pesticide safety, and marketing, business planning and fund raising. Included in the program were numerous hands-on activities designed to cover the essential practical skills needed for a greenhouse employee—proper handling and planting of plugs, watering, calculating fertilizer rates, fertilizer injector maintenance and calibration, soil pH and fertility monitoring, scouting and pest identification, and proper pesticide handling and spraying techniques. Twenty-two teachers from schools with horticulture curriculum attended the training. The workshop evaluations indicated high satisfaction with the material presented. Teachers pointed out that the practical skills had not only been very useful but also the manner in which they were presented would be easily applicable to students. The knowledge acquired will be incorporated into the fall and spring curriculum. Through the effort of the floriculture specialist, a high-quality educational program was delivered to Georgia High School teachers, which in turn translate into attracting student into joining the growing ornamental horticulture industry.
Kathryn Gunderson, Steven A. Sargent, Daniel J. Cantliffe, Steven G. Jacob and George J. Hochmuth
To remain competitive for federal and state funding, state cooperative extension services must proactively incorporate issues programming and performance-based budgeting. State major program (SMP) design teams, which provide linkages between clientele groups and the research base, must conduct needs assessments to adjust to this new atmosphere of accountability. A case study illustrates how one Florida SMP (FL107, vegetable production, harvest, handling and integrated pest management in Florida) restructured its design team to become more flexible and proactive to target a wider range of outcomes. While still in the implementation phase, this model has already resulted in improved communication within the organization, better addressing extension needs at county level while facilitating reporting at the state level.
Aaron Steil and Robert E. Lyons
proposed and they all contain similar components ( Madaus et al., 1983 ; Patton, 2002 ; Rossi et al., 2004 ; Scriven, 1981 ; Stufflebeam, 2001 ; Weiss, 1998 ). However, for the following study, the following definition for program evaluation will be
Anish Malladi, Tripti Vashisth and Scott NeSmith
study. The mechanical shaker developed here can have multiple potential applications for blueberry research programs evaluating fruit production. It may be useful for blueberry breeders to perform a simple, rapid, and reproducible analysis of the fruit
Melanie M. Migura and J.M. Zajicek
Quantitative evaluation of horticulture vocational-therapy programs is becoming more and more critical as professionals in the area of people-plant interactions try to document the value of their programs. Evaluation tools to assess self-development of individuals studying such factors as self-esteem, life satisfaction, and locus of control have long been used in the social science disciplines. Many of these tools, either in their original forms or with some adaptations, can be successfully used to measure changes in self-development of individuals participating in horticulture programs.
Gary W. Knox, Fred Burkey and Christine Kelly-Begazo
The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program (FYN) provides special educational and outreach activities directed at the community to help Floridians reduce pollution and enhance their environment by improving landscape management. The Commercial Landscape Industry Professionals program (CLIP) was developed to provide training in FYN principles to Florida's landscape professionals. CLIP was pilot-tested from 1997 to 1999 in the six-county Indian River Lagoon area of coastal east-central Florida. Teaching resources, audiovisuals, teaching outlines, and reference materials were developed to create an FYN/CLIP curriculum, which was delivered to landscape maintenance personnel through a series of training programs. In addition, the pilot program developed marketing approaches, incentives, and recognition programs for landscape professionals to encourage their participation in CLIP training programs. Evaluations of training programs and results of pre- and post-test questionnaires demonstrate the effectiveness of the FYN/CLIP program.
Amy Dirks and Kathryn Orvis*
Research has shown that hands-on, experiential learning is very effective in the classroom and school gardening utilizes this method of learning. Gardening has been shown to have many positive effects on children including in academic areas. Of the youth gardening programs that exist, little research has been done with the Junior Master Gardener® program to evaluate it for its use in the classroom. JMG® is a youth gardening program designed to teach aspects of horticulture and environmental science through hands-on activities in both informal and formal learning environments. A case study of one particular classroom evolved from a larger evaluation study of the JMG® program in Indiana third grade classrooms. Research with this classroom utilized a mixed approach to acquire quantitative and qualitative data of knowledge and attitudes toward science, horticulture, and the environment. Quantitative measurements were made pre, post, and post-post (after summer break) the program. Qualitative methods included weekly classroom observations during the study, student post and post-post program evaluations, and post program teacher evaluations. Results indicated that students had significant levels of knowledge and positive attitude gain from pre to post tests. Observations and evaluations supported the quantitative results showing that the students and teacher found the JMG® program to be valuable in the classroom, as well as enjoyable which may lead to more student interest in science. Through this case-study post-post program assessment showed that the students retained a significant amount of positive attitudes toward science, horticulture and the environment.
T.E. Thompson and L.J. Grauke
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service conducts the largest and oldest pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] breeding program in the world. This program evaluates thousands of nut and kernel samples each year using a standard nut and kernel evaluation system developed and refined for more than 70 years. This report relates the effectiveness of these evaluations to commercial shelling efficiency by direct comparison of these data to commercially shelled samples from the same clone performance test. Visual ratings of shelled kernel samples (1-5, with 1 = best) were correlated with time required to hand clean kernel samples (r = 0.55). As percent kernel increased, visual ratings of shelled kernels improved (decreased) (r = -0.73). More intact halves were recovered from shelled samples with the best (lowest) visual ratings (r = -0.67). Conversely, fewer pieces of any size were present in samples with the best visual ratings. Visual ratings improved as nut density decreased (r = 0.33). Samples with the lightest kernel color also had the best visual ratings (r = 0.38). These data show that the standard U.S. Dept. of Agriculture pecan nut and kernel evaluation system needs to be refined by modifying selection pressure placed on various standard evaluation traits.
Mary E. Olien, Jere A. Brittain and Brenda J Vander Mey
“Garden Experiences in Youth Development” is a two-credit, (one lecture, one lab) 400-level course offered each spring semester by the Dept. of Horticulture at Clemson Univ. For the past 3 years, the course has met the following specific needs: 1) requests by horticulture students for more experiences related to horticulture and human well-being; 2) opportunities for other majors whose careers will or may focus on children to learn and to use horticulture with children; 3) a source of adult leaders for an after school children's gardening program at the South Carolina Botanical Garden. The lecture portion addresses issues related to children in horticulture, planning nature and gardening related activities with children, as well as a general background in gardening for nonmajors. During the lab, the students gain hands-on experience working with children who participate in Sprouting Wings, an after school gardening program offered by the South Carolina Botanical Garden. A multi-source evaluation of the effectiveness of the course and the youth program is being conducted. The poster will present the course syllabus, copies of selected course readings, outlines of student generated projects, and the results of the program evaluation.