The Google Earth Pro Pilot

We would have contracted a videographer to blend b-roll together and complete the final videos. Video production is time-consuming. Contracting this work out can free up capacity for Extension experts to focus on their content while the videographer produces necessary video for the project.

Assumptions Going into the GEP Onl ine Extension Curr iculum Project

Our assumption was that an instructional designer would have contextual understanding of the content and might be able to enhance the content beyond what we imagined. We thought that an instructional designer could take our basic thoughts and recreate an elaborate and incredible video course worthy of Pixar Studios. The reality is that our curriculum may be addressing a topic or issue that the instructional designer has little or no familiarity with. Instructional designers have strengths and niches, but content-area expertise may not be something that the instructional designer can contribute. Understanding an instructional designer’s strength from the beginning of the project — and working with that strength — is critical .

Important Things to Know Before You Begin

Prior to beginning this kind of project, Extension Service professionals should consider and answer the following:

Does your Extension appointment include creating innovative and online curriculum?

Does your institution have a learning management system, such as Canvas, to host a course? If so, does the university provide Extension Service personnel with technical assistance, including instructional design?

If the university provides instructional design services, it will be important to learn about that in dividual’s strengths and weaknesses and try to play to their strengths.

What is your timeframe? Innovating curriculum with team members tends to take longer to develop that traditional curriculum. Allow time for the process of experimenting, sharing, consolidating, and testing. Furthermore, consider whether your project can be expanded to include Extension colleagues from other states. With the reality of limited Extension funding, expanding our work may enable us to bring more resources to bear on a particular issue. We can work collaboratively across broad regions among states to develop and share Extension course impacts. We can also use this model to reach broader and perhaps more diverse audiences. Consider revenue generation. You may want to consider structuring your course in a way that any revenue generated can go back to support the program. At OSU, we have a profit-sharing program, 70/30 split, between the Extension Service and PACE. Any funds generated can continue to sustain additional course development. Consider how to frame the value of online programming for marketing, which may be able to help with program participation and access. We can’t always offer workshops throughout the year for many reasons: seasonal demands; the schedule of Extension personnel. Online programming may make it possible for individuals to access the knowledge sooner.

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