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March 16, 2010

Reminder: March train-the-trainer registration open

* To register for the March 2010 "Building Extension's Public Value" train-the-trainer course, go here. The registration fee is $100 per participant. To encourage institutions to send teams of staff to the training, the maximum total registration fee for any institution is $500.

* The training will be conducted online, via UMConnect, and will consist of two, two-hour sessions, with all participants attending both sessions. The training sessions will be Monday, March 29, and Wednesday, March 31, 2010, at 2:00-4:00 Eastern; 1:00-3:00 Central; 12:00-2:00 Mountain; 11:00-1:00 Pacific; 9:00-11:00 Hawaii.

* Prior to the beginning of the sessions, participants will receive an email notifying them of how to participate in the two online sessions and how to download the training materials, including the Building Extension's Public Value Presenter's Guide, the Building Extension's Public Value Workbook, and accompanying Powerpoint™ presentation.

* Questions about registration? Contact our help desk at shopext@umn.edu or 800-876-8636.

* Questions about program content and relevance to your work? Contact Laura Kalambokidis at kalam002@umn.edu.

* Other questions? Contact Diane McAfee at dmcafee@umn.edu.


October 9, 2009

Follow up to Train-the-Trainer

Last week about 60 Extension professionals from seven states participated in an online train-the-trainer course for the "Building Extension's Public Value" program. If you were one of the participants, you should have received an email containing a link to an evaluation survey for the course. It should take only a few minutes to complete the survey, and I really appreciate your feedback. Also, if you participated in the training and would like to listen to the recording, it is available on the permanent BEPV course web page. I apologize for failing to record the second day of training (doh!), but feel free to listen to "part 2" of any of the earlier trainings posted on the course page. The content will be largely the same.

If you missed the email with the survey link and the instructions for accessing the permanent web page, email me at kalam002 (at-sign) umn.edu.

Finally, I am eager to hear how you are using the BEPV training. Feel free to share your plans in the comments here or via email--or even a phone call!

July 17, 2009

Announcing September 2009 train-the-trainer course for BEPV

You know how your Extension programs benefit your participants, but your programs also create public value when they benefit the rest of the community. Nationwide, participants in "Building Extension's Public Value" workshops have learned how their programs create public value and how to communicate this value to stakeholders whose support is crucial to Extension.

Now, you have an opportunity to learn how to conduct these workshops for Extension scholars at your own institution by participating in an online train-the-trainer program for "Building Extension's Public Value."

With your registration fee, you get:

• Four hours of instruction in how to conduct "Building Extension's Public Value" workshops from the creator of the workshops, Dr. Laura Kalambokidis, Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota.

• Access to the Building Extension's Public Value Presenter's Guide, the Building Extension's Public Value Workbook, and accompanying Powerpoint™ presentation to download and print for your use in conducting workshops for University and Extension scholars at your institution.

• To register, go here. The registration fee is $100 per participant. To encourage institutions to send teams of staff to the training, the maximum total registration fee for any institution is $500.

• The training will be conducted online, via UMConnect, and will consist of two, two-hour sessions, with all participants attending both sessions. The training sessions will be Tuesday, September 29, and Thursday, October 1, 2009, at 11:00-1:00 Eastern; 10:00-12:00 Central; 9:00-11:00 Mountain; 8:00-10:00 Pacific.

• Prior to the beginning of the sessions, participants will receive an email notifying them of how to participate in the two online sessions and how to download the training materials, including the Building Extension's Public Value Presenter's Guide, the Building Extension's Public Value Workbook, and accompanying Powerpoint™ presentation.

• Questions about registration? Contact our help desk at shopext@umn.edu or 800-876-8636.

• Questions about program content and relevance to your work? Contact Laura Kalambokidis at kalam002@umn.edu.

• Other questions? Contact Diane McAfee at dmcafee@umn.edu.

October 2, 2008

Teaching with web conferencing

I have taught BEPV workshops and the BEPV train-the-trainer course with web conferencing programs, such as UMConnect and Breeze. Here are a few quick thoughts about teaching this way:

*With 50-200 participants in the train-the-trainer course, it is not feasible to allow two-way audio. We have employed one-way audio (participants hear my voice), and have participants type their questions and comments into the comment box on the screen. It can be hard for me to keep up my end of the presentation while also tracking the comments, so I usually dedicate a few spots in the presentation as question periods, and I read and respond to the questions then.

*I appreciate having the assistance of a second presenter who can siphon off participants' technical questions (problems with audio, problems with downloading documents, etc.). He/she will answer those questions and send the content-related questions to me within the presenter chat, which only the presenters can see. That way, I can ignore the ongoing technical "chatter" in the general chat, and focus on the content-related questions passed on to me in the presenter chat.

*The BEPV workshops include a lot of small group work, which is hard to accomplish in an online training. I will encourage groups of people from the same Extension Service and the same program area to "attend" the training together--even viewing the presentation together in a conference room. That way, they can discuss the material among themselves during the Q&A periods. Also, I try to spread the training over two or more days and give participants an "assignment" to work on between sessions. Teams who attend the training together can do their small group work during that time.

*We record the presentations (audio, slideshow, and chat) and post them on a permanent web page for participants to access after the training. People completing the train-the-trainer course can then consult the recording, if they wish, when they prepare to teach their own BEPV workshops.

* I post the documents participants will need on the UMConnect web page, and we open the page ahead of the meeting time so the documents can be downloaded.

*I do not yet have a web camera in my office, so I haven't yet taught with a live shot of myself on the UMConnect page. I wonder how important it is to participants to see me as I talk. What do you think?

*I wish UMConnect had a mechanism for participants to download pictures of themselves to the meeting space. I can see the names of participants, and I can ask them to list their affiliations, but it would be nice to put faces with names. It's fun to run into people at conferences or meetings who have taken one of my trainings, but it would be nice to be able to recognize them by sight!

Have you ever taken a training with UMConnect? Have you taken one that I have taught? What works well? What should I do differently?