As of today, approximately two-thirds of the district focus group sessions identifying community needs and issues have taken place. Participation has been high and the preliminary feedback has been very positive. There are a few focus groups still scheduled for November, but most of the remaining sessions will take place in January.
Back in August, we asked assistance from all Michigan State University Extension staff to help promote our online Issue Identification (Issue ID) Survey, which we launched in September. As you know, the survey is designed to collect input from Michigan residents 18 years and older. Like the information collected through the district focus group sessions, this input will be used to shape future MSU Extension educational programming and MSU AgBioResearch research.
Earlier this month, we released multiple language versions of the survey. It is now currently available online not only in English but also in Spanish. In addition, it’s available in hard-copy form in English, Spanish and Arabic. Originally, the survey deadline was set at Nov. 15; however, we’ve decided to extend that deadline to Jan. 31, 2016, in part, to promote the multiple language versions but also to increase input from others throughout the state as well, making sure we collect data from a broad audience.
We know you’ve done your part, because responses from the survey are continuing to come in. However, we ask that you continue to promote the survey. Some ideas to further promote the survey follow:
- Share on Listservs: Share information about the survey with Listservs and include it in your communication. Include the link to this MSU Extension article about the survey.
- Share with partners and friends: Identify organizations that can help MSU Extension reach target audiences who might not already be receiving information from MSU Extension. Often, partner organizations and friends are happy to help push the survey to their contacts.
- Share the link directly to the survey when appropriate: msue.edu/focus
- Share through your email: Add this sentence to your Outlook signature and embed the link: Take the MSU Extension and AgBioResearch Survey to Sharpen Our Focus.
- Share through social media: Look for messages you can share on the MSU Extension Facebook and Twitter Also, please encourage partner organizations to use their social media accounts to help spread the word about the survey.
- Share with media contacts: While Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications is pushing out information about the survey to print, digital, radio and television media, you are encouraged to share with any personal media contacts. That extra push may result in more media placements.
- Share the Issue ID handout provided on SharePoint: You can find it located in the Survey Promotional Materials folder by going to MSUE All Staff ‒ FEC Action Teams ‒ Issues Identification Team ‒ Survey Promotional Materials.
We’ll all look forward to seeing the results of our efforts!
I’m excited to let you know that Keith Smith, director of the Ohio State University (OSU) Extension, OSU associate vice president for agricultural administration and associate dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, has just agreed to speak on the organizational culture of Extension at Fall Extension Conference (FEC), which takes place Nov. 5-6 at the Kellogg Center.
This is great news, not only because Dr. Smith is an excellent speaker, but also because we have the opportunity to help shape his message specifically to Michigan State University Extension. How is that possible? As you know from emails sent out from my office and from human resources director Nancy Axtell, MSU Extension is working with the other states in the North Central Region to take part in the North Central Region Extension Organizational Culture Survey. Dr. Smith heads that very survey and he will use the keynote address at FEC to give us direct results on the Michigan portion of the survey. Our level of participation in that survey will influence the relevance of the talk. What we put in will determine what we get back. We need to do our homework to make sure the response is representative of a wide cross section of our state. Your responses will be very useful as we move forward. Don’t miss this opportunity!
We need your participation! This includes not only educators but also clerical staff, specialists, communication managers – anyone with a 25 percent or greater Extension appointment or equivalent responsibilities.
The survey takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. It presents a set of 60 statements that describe various aspects of an organization’s culture. Statements cover making decisions, working in teams, working with others across the organization and creating change, among other things. You’ll be given the chance to indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each statement by rating each on a scale ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” You can select “neutral” when you neither agree or disagree. You can also select “N/A” when an item is not applicable. When complete, you will have a chance to review your answers and make changes if necessary.
Look for another email on Friday from Nancy Axtell containing the survey link. The email will contain additional information about the survey.
The survey closes on July 30. Please take advantage of this exciting opportunity.
Thanks to those of you who took the time out from your important work to attend the 2013 Fall Extension Conference. I’m asking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes of your time to complete a survey that contains questions about your overall conference experience. You’ll find specific questions related to the conference content and objectives.
Of course, the survey is optional and results are confidential and are not tied to your name.
Help us to continue improving your conference experience in future years. We take your honest and constructive feedback seriously.
Click on the following link to take the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FallExtensionConference2013
Thank you for your time!
What do you get when you mix –
- 22 hosts
- 120 presenters
- 33 calls to the library help desk
- 123 teaching hours
- 334 people simultaneously online
- nearly 600 total participants
- 3834 person hours of education
- 4294 visits to a Facebook page (last week alone!)?
That would be Fall Extension Conference 2010 (FEC10), our first major online conference. Not long following fall Extension conference 2009, we began discussing the possibility of an online conference for 2010. Consensus was that we should give it a try, though I’m not sure we knew what we were asking for at the time. We had a great experience last week and want to thank all those who helped make it possible – and that’s all of you!
Michigan State University Extension is leading the way by creating a model for the virtual conference. We’ve been given support and encouragement from Dean Armstrong, Provost Wilcox and President Simon. In fact, Dean Armstrong was moved to adopt Adobe Connect for an important meeting he is holding with the CANR College Advisory Committee tomorrow regarding college restructuring.
If you’d like to go back and view a session that you missed – and that’s one of the positive aspects of having a virtual conference, go to http://fec.msue.msu.edu/fec/proceedings. Scroll through and click on the presentation of your choice.
We are conducting a comprehensive evaluation of FEC10, and you can participate by completing the survey available at http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BCNAP3KY5. Your feedback will be key not only to future conferences here in Michigan, but to the Extension system as we intend to share what we’ve learned with other Extension professionals across the nation. Please take the time to give us your thoughtful feedback. And I’ll share some of what we learn with you through Spotlight and other outlets.
The Facebook discussion is ongoing, too, with a couple new questions on technology and FEC 2011 for your input. Please continue to visit there. Meanwhile, if you didn’t take the opportunity to evaluate any of the concurrent sessions you participated in, there’s still time. Please visit the FEC Sessions Survey to provide this important feedback.
See you next year at Kellogg Center, October 11–13, for FEC 2011!