Tag Archives: liz wells

Michigan State eXtension shines nationally

Michigan State University Extension came off a winner at the 2011 National CoP (Communities of Practice) Workshop in Louisville, Ky., June 29, earning both a team award and an individual award for work with eXtension, the nationwide collaborative web presence for Cooperative Extension.

 The Institutional Teams from MSU and the University of Missouri received the first ever Be Grow Create awards for outstanding work in advocating for and integrating eXtension into their respective institutions. The award recognizes outstanding teams for planning, creativity, organized activities, web conference attendance, director interaction and institutional engagement.

 Team members are Wayne Beyea, Ruth Borger, Erica Ciupak, Kathe Hale, Michelle Rodgers, Chris Skelly, Lela Vandenberg and Liz Wells. Glenn Pape and Erica Tobe were also team members the first year the team was organized in 2009.

 The Institutional Team, known as the I-Team, has made significant strides in the two years since its inception. Most notable are the increases in eXtension IDs, Ask an Expert (AaE) resolved questions and CoP membership. An eXtension ID allows an educator or specialist to contribute to eXtension by answering questions or collaborating with CoPs. Given the strength and commitment of the team’s members and their ongoing effort to promote eXtension involvement, these increases should continue.

 Lela Vandenberg, senior MSU Extension specialist, was one of three recipients of eXtension’s first Be Grow Create Outstanding Institutional Team Member award. The award recognizes her responsiveness and engagement with MSU on behalf of eXtension, her role in institutional team development and sustainability, and eXtension advocacy.

 As chair, Lela has been the driving force behind the eXtension I-Team. She created a series of how-to handouts that have been shared widely. Her online AaE experiential training has dramatically increased staff involvement. More than 150 people have taken the hands-on course. After training, staff members feel competent and excited to answer questions on AaE.

 Lela has shown herself to be a tremendous advocate for eXtension. She’s presented at professional association meetings and statewide conferences to introduce eXtension to the MSUE community, encouraging participation. Lela has worked with the marketing and promoting subcommittee to recruit faculty and staff involvement. Through her leadership, MSU eXtension IDs have gone from 30 in 2008 to 223 in the first six months of 2011.

 The I-Team with Lela at the helm is helping to carry out two of the principles of our redesign – increasing responsiveness and adopting emerging technologies. Clearly, we are doing both with eXtension and winning awards in the process.

 Read more about the I-Team’s win here: http://about.extension.org/2011/07/03/michigan-state-missouri-honored-as-outstanding-institutional-teams/

 Read more about Lela’s win here: http://about.extension.org/2011/07/03/hunnings-hurt-vandenberg-honored-with-be-grow-create-awards/

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eXtension earns an ‘A’ on report card

We have some exciting news to report regarding one of our principles of the redesign, “enhancing technology.” While there are many ways to measure our use of technology in carrying out our mission, one metric is the use of eXtension, the Internet-based collaborative environment where land-grand university content providers exchange research-based knowledge solving problems in real time. The 2010 report is out, and we’re surprised and encouraged by the progress we’ve made since our eXtension Institutional Team was formed in October 2009. This progress is thanks to many of YOU who are answering questions through Ask an Expert, leading and participating in Communities of Practice (CoP) with colleagues across the country, and offering national webinars to colleagues and the public. Here are some of the highlights of the most recent report comparing 2008–2010 data.

Metric 2008 2009 2010
Total Site Visits (number of individual sessions initiated by visitors to eXtension from Michigan) 25,626 54,069 66,589
Total Pageviews (number of pages viewed while at the eXtension site) 59,708 116,248 138,505
Answers to FAQs (frequently asked questions) Published by MSUE (peer reviewed and part of CoP) 35 17 58
Total Number of Questions Resolved by MSUE 152 264 723
eXtension IDs (total number of participating MSUE staff) 30 131 188

 Additionally, Michigan State University is represented by 146 eXtension members in 29 of the 47 approved Communities of Practice. And there’s more! To see the total state and institutional report for Michigan for the year 2010, go to the following website: http://tinyurl.com/eXtensionreport

 Also note that the Ask an Expert feature is now on the new MSU Extension website and Lela Vandenberg and Liz Wells are training an increasing number of individuals to respond to questions that come in through this feature as well as the Ask an Expert feature on the national website.

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Oil and gas leasing experts answer questions using widget

In last week’s Spotlight, I mentioned that the oil and natural gas boom in northern Michigan has created both opportunity and concern for landowners. Michigan State University Extension educators have been instructing landowners about their leasing options in face-to-face seminars. Extension educators Dean Solomon, Curtis Talley and Stan Moore are also currently aiding folks online by receiving and answering questions through an Ask an Expert widget on the MSUE Oil and Gas Information site at http://www.msue.msu.edu/portal/default.cfm?pageset_id=580675. (Scroll down to the bottom right to view the widget.)

 According to Lela Vandenberg, Extension specialist, the trio is the first MSUE group to pioneer the Ask an Expert widget in this topic-focused way. (See her comment on my blog.) She encourages other groups to follow their lead. If you’d like more information about using an Ask an Expert widget on your program area Web page, contact Lela at vanden34@msu.edu, Liz Wells at wellselz@msu.edu or Dean Solomon at solomon@msu.edu.

 Also feel free to add comments to any story on my blog as Lela and others have done.

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