Category: Methods & Tools

Design Thinking and Innovation

Design thinking is a five step method for innovating to solve complex (“wicked”) problems and is being used successfully in agricultural extension. It approaches challenges by understanding the needs of users and then developing insights to meet those needs. It proposes that only by contact, observation and empathy with end […]

Stimulating Private Sector Extension in Australian Agriculture to Increase Returns from Research and Development

This ground-breaking project is providing valuable research information and professional development modules to inform and build the capacity of the extension sector in Australia.  A key output is the development of eight professional development modules for early and mid-career advisors and extension professionals:

Social media in agriculture innovation
Targeting farmers? Segmentation and […]

Using Benchmarking and Performance Indicators in Extension

The use of benchmarking and performance indicators in extension helps users better understand and question their situation and generates useful quantitative and qualitative information and data for consideration against any goals or objectives.
For farm businesses, the benchmarks and performance indicators typically cover financial and physical indicators of farm performance and […]

Needs Analysis

Needs analysis is an important component and often the first step for the planning, implementation and evaluating of extension programs. By identifying the stakeholders and their needs, outcomes and activities can be tailored to suit.
Evaluation can occur against stakeholder needs and an extension program can continuously improve overtime to ensure that […]

Using Short Videos in Extension

Using short video clips (2 to 4 minutes), is a great way for Extension Professionals to get key messages across. With modern smartphones, video clips of suitable quality are simple and easy to produce. This post and accompanying video provides key steps on how to do so.
Why use video?

Through video, people […]

Action Learning

(Image source, Wendy Brooks, 2016)
Action Learning is a theory and process developed by Professor Reg Revans (Revans, 1982). It is an excellent tool and process for Extension Professionals to facilitate groups (Action Learning “sets”) to tackle key problems or tasks that are complex in nature and don’t already have a solution. “Action […]

Ice Breakers for Group Extension

Ice breakers are an important component of group extension. They help build rapport, establish some common ground and make group members feel comfortable. They can be used to:

Effectively introduce a facilitator
Introduce and set the tone for an activity
Introduce people to each other
Set the scene for the day
“Warm up” participants
Break down barriers
Help […]