Left to our own devices, most of us aren’t big risk-takers. Humans, by nature, like routine. And once we’re in our routine, it can be challenging to think differently. The thought of coming up with a new idea or launching a new “something” might be hugely intimidating. Fear not!
The work of Extension needs to embrace – and mirror – the changes we see in our communities, in our economy and in the environment. Innovate Extension 2017, produced by OSU’s eXtension iTeam, is organized in a way that will ignite and develop your talents for innovative thinking.
How awesome would it be for you to work with a team of fellow innovation-minded colleagues and have a great idea funded? Pretty awesome! How amazing would it be to create the next great opportunity for Extension to build community vitality and capacity? Pretty amazing! How great would it be to amplify, reignite and reinvigorate your gifts for innovation in an atmosphere of collaboration! Outstanding!
When & where is the 2017 OSU Innovate Extension event being held?
Tuesday May 23rd
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The LaSells Stewart Center on OSU Campus in Corvallis.
Who is invited to participate? ALL Extension employees are highly encouraged to participate. Please check in with your supervisor before signing up to ensure release time and travel expenses. Registration is limited to 100 participants.
How much does it cost to attend?
This year’s event is free thanks to the generosity of our sponsors: OSU Extension and the eXtension Foundation. Travel expenses to Corvallis are not covered by the sponsors.
What does the agenda look like?
The day starts at 8 a.m. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Participant teams will form up and meet their Creative Coaches. Teams will be coached on and practice idea generation, project design, budgeting, and will develop a short pitch for the team’s idea. Each team will present its idea pitch to a panel of judges and other participants. Your team’s idea could be selected for funding!
Do I need to sign up with a team to participate? Nope! Anyone who is interested in innovation in Extension is encouraged to apply. You may sign up as a team or you will be assigned to a great team.
Register now! Participation is limited to the first 100 to register. Registration deadline is April 10.
How often do you find exceptional, customized advice for free?
If you, family members, or friends have a gardening question, there are two ways to get free, reliable advice. No, it’s not an Internet search! Email a question to Ask and Expert, or pick up the phone and call a Master Gardener. Both resources are courtesy of OSU Extension Service.
Kym Pokorny, news writer for OSU Extension and part of the Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC) news team, recently wrote an article about Master Gardeners. Below are a few highlights of the article; the full article can be found here.
Twenty-eight county Extension offices host Master Gardeners. Novice or experienced gardeners with questions are encouraged to bring samples or send photos of the plant or insect into the local Extension office. Then let the Master Gardener go to work to comprehensively research your question.
It takes almost 70 hours of intensive training to become a Master Gardener, then every year thereafter additional training for recertification is required. After certification, Master Gardeners are asked to donate 70 hours of their time for community service. (In my experience, quite a few volunteer many times that amount of time!) Manning the phones and having office hours in an Extension office are ways to fulfill their volunteer commitment. Master gardeners also work directly with the public at farmer’s markets, plant sales, garden shows, county fairs, demonstration gardens, schools, and correctional facilities. Most counties offer a seasonal slate of classes, too.
Gail Langellotto, associate professor in the Department of Horticulture, College of Agricultural Sciences, is the statewide master gardener coordinator, a program that encompasses more than 3,000 active volunteers. Training is essential. “A lot of times people call wanting verification of something they’ve looked up on the Internet,” Langellotto said. “We use that as a jumping off point for a conversation. We make sure a person knows the questions to ask to get the answers they need.” And that’s why scientific advice, customized to situations in Oregon are so important.
You may also want to check out OSU Extension’s Gardening Community Page for information on a variety of gardening topics. The site includes gardening tips, videos, podcasts, monthly calendars of outdoor chores, how-to publications, and information about the Master Gardener program.
Every day I learn something new. Today I learned that Oregon State Ecampus launched a podcast on research literacy in higher education. The “Research in Action” podcast is hosted by Katie Linder, Ecampus research director.
(Ecampus is part of Extended Campus, which rolls up to Educational Outreach, and then to the Division of University Outreach and Engagement. The Division has a full and flourishing family tree!)
If asked, I would guess that the podcast focuses on research related to online learning. But no, its purpose is broader than that. “Research in Action” addresses topics and issues facing researchers across the nation with goals to increase research literacy and build community among researchers.
For those in the Division conducting research, there is much to learn and contribute. For those of us curious about the scientific process and research conducted at universities, accessible information is also available.
Podcasts are recorded and are available on the Ecampus Research Unit website and on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.
“No researcher has all of the skills or expertise, and it’s incredibly valuable to have researchers come in with a diverse range of experiences and talk about these niche areas,” Linder said.
“Research in Action” has already published four episodes and has received more than 500 downloads. Over a dozen guests have been pre-recorded and more than 10 episodes are in production.
Upcoming “Research in Action” episodes include:
Jim Kroll, Office of the Inspector General, National Science Foundation, discussing research misconduct.
Nina Huntemann, researcher at edX, learning new research skills at mid-career.
Joshua Weller, psychology researcher from OSU, discussing psychometrics.
Written by Heather Turner, April 4, 2016, for Summer Session, Extended Campus —
Editor’s note: This post is about OSU’s Natural Resources Leadership Academy (NRLA), which is part of Summer Session. Summer Session is part of Extended Campus, which is part of the Division of University Outreach and Engagement. The NRLA brings together professionals and graduate students from across the world to learn from experts. Its hands-on education at its best for natural resources professionals.
Climate change is often a heated topic, no pun intended. Many have different ideas and beliefs, and sometimes the issue can cause a passionate debate.
John Matthews, however, isn’t interested in discussing whether or not climate change is real. His goal is to create a collaborative environment where people of diverse backgrounds work together to find sustainable solutions to climate change and climate adaptation.
“I believe this topic is important because it is the central problem of our time,” he says. “It’s a hard problem, it’s an important problem, it’s an ongoing problem, but it’s also a tractable problem.”
“This course is going to focus on sustainability as a moving target, especially the aspect of climate change and how we relate to ecosystems and to economics,” he says.
John’s track will be held during the second week of the NRLA, June 20-24, along with a track titled Environmental Water Transactions. Week 1 of the academy, held June 12-17, features three tracks: Natural Resources and Community Values, Collaborative Governance, and Water Conflict Management.
John was the ideal person to lead this track on resource management. He serves as secretariat coordinator and co-founder of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) – a global network of more than 800 professionals who are focused on mainstreaming the process of climate adaptation in their work.
“Having someone of John’s caliber and experience here at OSU is a real boon to the academy and to the campus community at large,” says NRLA Academic Director and Instructor Aaron Wolf. “He works globally at the highest levels and will bring vast expertise into the classroom. Moreover, given the structure of the academy, those interested in the tracks offered the first week can supplement their training with John’s track and vice versa.”
The track will use global case studies to approach climate adaptation from several perspectives, including how the eco-hydrological landscape responds to climate shifts, how built and managed aspects of the landscape interact with climate change, how a variety of institutions engage with non-stationary management, and how governance frameworks and management agreements encompass dynamic institutional and hydrological relationships.
“This is the time, this is the topic that young people really need to begin to consider what the implications are for their work going forward,” John says. “I cannot stress enough that our generation, the next generation, my great-grandchildren are really going to be worried about how is it that we respond to ongoing climate impacts.”
John, an aquatic ecologist, will be taking a holistic approach to his NRLA track, where he will co-teach with experts from a wide range of backgrounds, including an economist, an engineer and a geographer.
“No single discipline has all of the answers,” he says. “The state of the science is moving so rapidly now that if we’re not engaged in a full conversation between researchers, practitioners and the policy world, then we won’t come to an effective solution in time.”
Having completed postdoctoral studies at Oregon State almost a decade ago and living in Corvallis for 10 years, John is a neighbor, member of the community and now colleague at Oregon State.
“What I’m most looking forward to from the Natural Resources Leadership Academy is seeing not just our class working in isolation, developing its own insights by itself, but interacting with all of the other classes,” he says. “Having a broader conversation, a family of conversations that are coming together, feeding and building on each other.
“I hope participants come out of this class with a very positive attitude toward climate change. It’s something they can successfully integrate into their work and develop useful and sustainable solutions for.”
The Division of Outreach and Engagement is playing the pivotal role in offering a free online permaculture design course. The development of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is a joint effort of Open Oregon State, Professional and Continuing Education (PACE), Ecampus and Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC). Very exciting!
So exciting, in fact, that more than 6,000 people already have registered for the four-week course (myself included). You are invited to register, as are your friends, family and community. Help spread the word. Registration is open now through May 1, and the course is May 2 through May 30.
Intro to Permaculture, is a public education project that will enable students worldwide to learn about and design sustainable landscapes and ecosystems in a highly interactive way. The course is designed to benefit everyone regardless of learning style, time commitments, or available technology. Expect to spend between two to four hours each week on coursework.
The course isn’t teaching specific techniques as much as a system and process of design.
Andrew Millison, instructor for OSU Department of Horticulture, is teaching the course. He’s been involved in permaculture practice, design and education for 20 years. He’s also founder of Permaculture Design International (PDI), a full service design and build firm specializing in custom ecosystem development.
What is Permaculture?
The PDI website says: “Permaculture is the art and science of designing [human] systems in harmony with Nature.” Said another way, courtesy of Permanent Culture Now, permaculture “is a design system that intentionally creates a harmonious integration of the natural landscape and people as a means of providing food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. It is also the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability and resilience that is found in natural ecosystems.”
The beauty of permaculture is that its principals can be applied to everything from home gardens to communities.
And the beauty of this course is that the learning experience will include video, images, animation, text, resource lists, links, and interactive activities. When students complete all of the interactive assignments and content quizzes, they will receive a ‘digital badge’ which verifies their participation.
“I’ve seen exponential growth in permaculture in recent years because it directly addresses many of the issues that are on people’s minds, such as climate change, food security and the alleviation of poverty,” Millison said. “Permaculture offers solutions to these issues, and this course gives people a way to make a positive impact.”
Who should take this course?
The course is for the novice and the professional alike, with no prior experience necessary (the class assumes no prior knowledge). For the person new to design and land stewardship, the course will provide a foundation from which to build upon with subsequent training, and introduce a new perspective that can be applied in many careers and facets of life.
For the gardener, farmer, nurseryman, architect, landscaper, land manager, developer, engineer, aid worker, planner or activist, the course provides a grounding in the permaculture process that can be applied to current endeavors.
Four health factors contribute to how long we live and how well we live according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Health outcomes are a snapshot of today’s community health. Health factors are a view to the future health of our communities.
HEALTH OUTCOMES: Length of Life, Quality of Life
HEALTH FACTORS: Health Behaviors,Clinical Care,Social & Economic Factors, Physical Environment
“The County Health Rankings illustrate what we know when it comes to what is making people sick or healthy. The Roadmaps shows what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work, and play,” states the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps website.
The Division of University Outreach and Engagement (Division) is positively impacting the future well-being of those living in Oregon by directly impacting its health factors.
Healthy People. Healthy Planet. Healthy Economy.
For seven years, the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, has been an important tool for counties striving to build a culture of health. It’s a tool to benchmark community efforts and also to identify how investments in healthy living factors—or lack thereof—are changing health outcomes. Health factors and gaps are tracked annually for almost every county in the U.S.
The work being done by the Division makes a dramatic difference in the lives of Oregonians, from today’s youth to tomorrow entrepreneurs and farmers. A presence in every county in Oregon and responsiveness to local concerns magnify the Division’s impact.
Let’s take a closer look.
Moving from Awareness to Action
Using the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps model, how long and how well we live are impacted by four major health factors (80% of which are not related to healthcare): Health behaviors (30%), Clinical Care (20%), Social & Economic Factors (40%), and Physical Environment (10%). Programs and services offered through the Division of University Outreach and Engagement—Extension Service, Ecampus, and PACE—directly improve the factors and measurements that move the gauge on better living.
The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program offers an action model similar to our outreach and engagement work. The online action model provides guidance to move from awareness to community action; identifies effective, research-based policies and programs; and a coaching resource is available to advance a culture of health (Raquel Bournhonesque is the community coach located in Oregon and serving the Northwest).
Here are a few examples of how Division efforts correspond directly to the action model advocated by The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program (quotes are from the program website):
“Better educated individuals live longer, healthier lives than those with less education, and their children are more likely to thrive.” OSU Open Campus, Ecampus and PACE support this area of individual and community health.
“Lifelong health habits, such as good nutrition, physical fitness and stress management, are developed in childhood.” 4-H tackles this head-on.
“A county’s health greatly affects its economic competitiveness. Achieving lower health care costs, fewer sick days, and increased productivity are all critical to economic growth.” SNAP-Ed and Family Community Health are devoted to healthy living education.
“The Community Development sector…shares a common focus on improving low- and moderate-income communities.” Extension helps agriculture, marine fisheries and other industries improve productivity, safety, and profitability with research-based and community supported initiatives.
“State and local government officials can…identify the barriers to good health in their communities, and mobilize community leaders to take action – investing in programs and policy changes that help residents lead healthier lives.” OSU Extension works hand-in-hand with county commissioners and other community leaders to identify needs and develop programs to meet those needs. State and county funding ensures Extension is integral to state and county efforts to nurture healthy communities.
“Clean air and safe water are prerequisites for health.” Poor water quality sickens people, threatens wildlife, and diminishes recreational opportunities. Needless to say, OSU Extension is at the forefront of supporting healthy, sustainable environments.
And that’s just the tip of the Division’s programs and actions.
“The Rankings data are only as valuable as the action it inspires and the lives it improves,” said Bridget Catlin, PhD, MHSA, co-director of the County Health Rankings. “…targeting resources to the people and places in greatest need is essential to building a Culture of Health. The Rankings are an important springboard for conversations on how to expand opportunity for all to be healthy.” And the Division is at the heart of addressing the root causes of health risk factors in Oregon’s 36 counties.
Editor’s Note: Sam Angima shared with me his Scholarship of Engagement Summary, written January 25, 2016, and agreed to let me post it in its entirety on the O&E blog. As Communications and Marketing Manager for University Outreach and Engagement, I am immersing myself in community engagement information to gain a comprehensive understanding of what it is, the role it plays at OSU and other land-grant universities, and how OSU delivers on its outreach and engagement promise.
Sam’s summary clarified my understanding. Because engaged scholarship is integral to the work of the Division and the university, it is worth sharing with you. Thank you, Sam! [The emphasis is mine.]
Ann Marie Murphy, Communications & Marketing Manager, University Outreach and Engagement
Scholarship of Engagement Summary
Scholarship is all about creating, synthesizing, and apply knowledge to address community issues. Scholarship of engagement (also known as engaged scholarship) is as rigorous as traditional academic work, but it cuts across the categories of academic scholarship and outreach in a reciprocal, collaborative relationship with the public or a specific interest group or community. The scholarship of engagement incorporates reciprocal practices of civic engagement into the production of knowledge. Through instruction, discovery, and outreach, educators communicate and work with communities. This approach encourages public participation in the production of scholarship and creates scholarship that addresses public issues.
Here are different ways of looking at scholarship of engagement:
It broadens access to information. The scholarship of engagement is a challenge to mainstream academic scholarship, which tends to favor specialization of academic knowledge into discrete disciplines, each of which produces highly complex and technical knowledge that is not effectively communicated to the public. Service learning and experiential learning are two well-known practices that incorporate civic involvement in teaching because they emphasize scholarship rather than just learning. These two practices as well as outreach and Extension work incorporate community involvement.
It enhances research. By working with communities in the research process, engaged scholars can generate research questions, widen the field of potential data sources, and test findings as well as (and sometimes better than) colleagues practicing traditional academic work. Engagement requires not only communication to public audiences, but also collaboration with these communities in the production of knowledge. Instead of seeing the public as passive recipients of expert knowledge, engaged scholarship stresses that the public can contribute to knowledge creation.
It’s integrated. Community engagement is not just charity or volunteer activities that educators do on their own time in addition to their work. Rather, collaboration with the public should constitute scholarly practices. These reciprocal and collaborative elements should be explicitly and consciously cultivated in the scholarship of engagement.
Engagement, especially for Extension educators, is easily recognized in many routine, ongoing practices and programs. The challenge is to be deliberate and intentional about developing a greater sense of rigor and clarity in the production of knowledge through engaged scholarship.
Here are some areas in which Extension educators can exemplify engaged scholarship:
Public scholarship is academic work that incorporates deliberative practices such as forums and town meetings to enhance scholarship and address public problems. Public scholarship generally emphasizes deliberation over participation. An example is an open forum held to address an issue of wide concern to the community, such as regional development, environmental health, or race relations. This approach is used in situations where the public good is not well understood. By aggregating preexisting interests, solutions are generated through collective knowledge and action. Deliberative practices enable participants to gain a greater understanding of the complexity of public problems as they benefit from encounters with fellow citizens, professionals, and scholars. At the same time, public scholarship practices can help scholars generate new research questions, verify hypotheses, and generalize conclusions as knowledge is produced in the course of deliberation.
Participatory research (participatory action research) stresses the active role members of communities can play in the production of knowledge. The emphasis here is on participation rather than deliberation. Participatory research tends to respond to problems of exclusion by reaching out to marginalized or previously excluded groups. An example is where an oppressed group of people or a community identifies a problem, collects information, analyzes, and acts upon the problem to solve it—therefore promoting public transformation. The educator’s role is to be a convener and trusted entity who can oversee the processes while developing scholarship that can be shared with others.
Community partnerships, where partners are engaged as equals, tend to focus on power, resources, and social transformations. Community partnerships do not have to operate through deliberative forums or other direct contact with the public. Instead, scholars typically engage through contact with public agencies, local schools, activist groups, and community organizations. Engaged scholarship developed through this process helps strengthen the community as well as partners’ relationships with Extension and the university.
Public information networks help communities identify resources and assets by providing comprehensive databases of locally available services. Although development of these networks is not as deliberative as other forms of engaged scholarship, the creation, maintenance and use always involves engagement with groups who are not fully aware of available resources. This is often due to a lack of organization or communication. Extension educators realize the importance of accessing and contributing to these networks.
Civic literacy (civic skills) enables communities to make educated and informed decisions. Through teaching, research, and outreach, engaged scholars help enhance community processes by ensuring that their academic disciplines are providing the public with the knowledge necessary for reflective judgements on public issues and problems. This approach deepens engagement with the specific aim of reducing the separation between experts and the lay public. It also emphasizes skills that facilitate participation and democratic decision-making. Civic literacy approaches focus on relatively broad and long-term trends in public knowledge rather than specific, immediate problems.
“Outreach and engagement is that aspect of teaching that enables learning beyond the campus walls, research that makes what we discover useful beyond the academic community, and service that directly benefits the public.” – Ohio State University
Charles Robinson and Liddy Detar join Scott to talk about Dr. Timothy K. Eatman, our keynote presenter at the April 12 Outreach and Engagement Colloquium. The Colloquium celebrates and explores different pathways to community engagement. Click here for event details and to register.
And let Scott know what your favorite day is in March by using the comment section of the blog (his is Employee Appreciation Day).
You won’t want to miss the April 12 Colloquium awards celebration; fast-paced Ignite-style presentations by Nicole Strong (Forestry and Natural Resources Extension), Mark Farley (Hatfield Marine Science Center Cyberlab), Chinweike Eseonu (Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering), and Mike Miller and Mark Stiffler (Ecampus Course Development and Training); keynote “Beware Shrinking Imagination”; and poster session.
Help OSU Open Campus to expand the Juntos program to more school districts throughout Oregon with the second annual Create fundraising campaign. Funds from the campaign are dedicated to providing needed resources for Juntos programming in the state, resources like transportation for college visits, meals, childcare, and hosting the 2017 Juntos Family Day. Share the fundraising campaign with friends and family, or consider making your own tax-deductible contribution.
University Outreach and Engagement enters the world of social media! Join us at #OSUengage before, during and after the Colloquium on Twitter (@OSU_O&E) and on Facebook: OSUOutreachandEngagement.
Video produced and edited by Jill Wells, University Outreach and Engagement Administration
In Spring of 2013, Ecampus launched its Quality Matters Course Design Initiative. We chose the Quality Matters (QM) organization for several reasons: the program’s maturity (over 10 years); wide adoption (over 700 subscribing institutions); the student-centered philosophy; the collegial and collaborative nature of the program; its ability to establish clear standards while still allowing academic freedom and plenty of options; and finally, its research-based foundation.
Our goal was to improve the quality of our online course offerings by using the QM program and rubric to focus on course design. Courses that have been QM-certified provide online students with an orienting course overview and introduction; clear navigation; learning outcomes that are aligned with weekly objectives, assessments, and learning materials; effective uses of technology; learner support and engagement; and accessible course content. In short, QM-certified courses are student-centered in their design.
One year into the initiative, we couldn’t be more pleased with the results so far. We are excited to share this QM progress report:
41 Faculty/Staff Members trained in QM standards
23 Certified QM Peer Reviewers, who have served on 14 peer reviews here and at other institutions
Interested faculty can get involved with the QM initiative in two primary ways—by having a course reviewed, or by serving on a peer review team. Ecampus provides plenty of support for faculty opting to have a course reviewed and certified by QM, and training and stipends are offered to those who serve as peer reviewers or master reviewers.
A funny thing happened to me on my way to hear Sebastian Thrun speak in October. Thrun, you’ll remember is the (former) Stanford Artificial Intelligence professor, whose free online course went viral last year, starting the frenzy over Massive Open Online Courses, known by the acronym MOOCs. These are super-large enrollment non-credit courses offered for free. Thrun’s AI course attracted around 160,000 enrollments. What is seldom added to that fact is that around 133,000 dropped out of the course. Nonetheless, 28,000 students are more than Thrun would ever reach with his in-person lectures during his lifetime.