Strategically Selecting Behaviors That Impact the Problem: An Approach Drawn from Social Marketing

[Impact × Current adoption levels × Likelihood] = Weight; A social marketing approach to prioritizing potential behaviors for an intervention.

Extension professionals and other practitioners address a wide variety of complex issues by providing education and encouraging behavior change using innovative strategies. The importance of prioritizing potential behaviors and selecting those with high expected impact cannot be overemphasized. However, behavior selection can be complicated because there are many solutions for any problem in a particular context. Using an approach drawn from social marketing to develop activities aimed at changing or maintaining people’s behavior, Extension professionals and other practitioners can prioritize behaviors by mathematically calculating anticipated weights that will help focus efforts around key behaviors with the potential to make the greatest impact. This new 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication provides an overview of a process to collect and analyze the impact and the likelihood of adoption to help Extension professionals decide on behaviors for a campaign or intervention. Written by Laura A. Warner and John M. Diaz.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc375

Considering Participants’ Personal Wellness in Conservation-Based Extension Programs: Opportunities for Integrative Development and Evaluation

Energy efficient living, or living green, is becoming increasingly popular. Thanks in part to UF/IFAS Extension faculty, this home and others are being built to high energy efficiency standards designed to conserve energy, lower heating and cooling bills and increase comfort, as well as save on water use both inside and outside. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

Extension organizations are at the forefront of water resource issues, using educational programs to drive participant behaviors towards water conservation. The effectiveness of these efforts centers on designing programs with considerations of the factors that will change relevant decisions and behaviors among residential landscape water users. We conducted a statewide study to explore the concept of wellness and well-being, and these characteristics’ relationship to water conservation behaviors. Our results show that psychosocial measures influence current and future residential landscape water conservation behaviors differently. Perception of well-being is the more consistent predictor for both current behaviors and future intentions. These results demonstrate an opportunity for those focused on environmental behaviors to pair and embed programs focused on personal well-being to empower communities to work toward achieving conservation goals.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc370

Conducting the Needs Assessment #10: The Delphi Technique

Videoconference in progress. Image by Jagrit Parajuli from Pixabay

Previous publications in the Conducting the Needs Assessment series outlined why, how, and when Extension educators and other service providers should use needs assessments in their programs. The four preceding publications in the series provide Extension educators and other service providers with specific techniques that can be used in needs assessments, and this new 5-page publication provides an overview of using the Delphi technique to conduct a needs assessment. Written by Laura Warner and Amy Harder, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc364

Conducting the Needs Assessment #2: Using Needs Assessments in Extension Programming

Duval County Extension Agent Anita McKinney teaches a "Smart Money" course at the Jacksonville City Rescue Mission in Jacksonville, Florida.

This second publication in the Conducting the Needs Assessment series provides Extension educators and other service providers with a foundational underpinning of how the needs assessment fits within the program planning process. Both formal and nonformal educators seeking to develop and deliver an educational program must first be informed of what their audience lacks in order to develop the right curriculum or training, and therefore conducting a needs assessment is a priority in the program development process. This new publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication was written by Matthew Benge and Laura Warner.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc347

Making Action Easier: Behavioral Economics and Nudges for Extension Professionals

Mae Allen instructs an EFNEP nutrition class to adults.

As Extension turns more to effecting behavior change beyond simply raising awareness or understanding concerns, how do we not only help clientele make a change, but make it easier? Behavioral economics principles can improve the way we present options to clients, increasing the likelihood of them choosing desirable behaviors. This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication offers an introduction to these concepts as well as practical strategies for setting up the environment for change. Written by Laura Warner, Kathryn Stofer, and Hayk Khachatryan.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc343

Conducting the Needs Assessment, Part 1: Introduction

The need is the gap between "what is" and "what should be."

An integral step in the program development process is identifying the needs of a community. Educators seeking to develop and deliver an educational program must first be informed of what their audience lacks in order to develop the right curriculum or training. This initial publication in the Conducting the Needs Assessment series provides a brief introduction to the planning, implementation, and prioritization of needs within a community or specific clientele group. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication was written by Matthew Benge, Amy Harder, and Laura Warner.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc340

Residents' Perceived Landscape Benefits Can Help Extension Promote Good Landscape Management Practices


Households can help conserve and protect water resources through irrigation and fertilizer best practices without compromising the quality of their landscape. UF/IFAS Extension, along with Extension services across the country, conducts programs to protect water quality and quantity by educating communities and individuals about research-based landscape practices. This four-page fact sheet describes the results of a survey that can help Extension promote good landscape management practices. Written by Laura A. Warner, Amanda D. Ali, and Anil Kumar Chaudhary and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc282

Estimating Return on Investment (ROI) for a Behavior Change: An Evaluation Tool for Extension Programs

UF/IFAS Extension sign sitting on peanuts  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS Photo by Amy Stuart

Extension professionals can benefit from knowing the value of a program’s outcomes compared to how much it costs. One way to estimate a program’s value relative to cost is through a series of calculations, known as Return on Investment (ROI). This four-page fact sheet describes ROI and how Extension professionals can use it in their programming. Written by Amanda D. Ali, Laura A. Warner, and Hayk Khachatryan and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc270

Encouraging Landscape Water-Conservation Behaviors #5: Segmenting the Audience Based on HOA Status

John Cisar, a professor of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida's Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, is studying how turfgrass and other landscape plants can help prevent nitrogen from leaching through the soil into groundwater, Wednesday - Aug. 13, 2003. He said three years of research have shown that turfgrass is most effective in reducing nitrogen leaching and should be used in Florida landscapes. Other plants require more time to become established and slow nitrogen leaching through the soil.
The newest article in the Encouraging Landscape Water-Conservation Behavior series, this six-page fact sheet provides Extension professionals with information on segmenting audiences based on their home owner association status. It provides data that shows how HOA membership potentially affects the barriers that households face when adopting conservation measures and explains how Extension professionals should use this information to enhance programming by strategically planning programs based on the similarities between clients.Written by Laura A. Warner, Alexa J. Lamm, Emmett Martin, Joy N. Rumble, and Esen Momol, and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc246

Frequently Asked Questions about Soil Moisture Sensor Irrigation Controllers (SMS)

Soil Moisture Sensor
A soil moisture sensor (SMS) is a device that detects how much moisture is in the soil and prevents an irrigation system from running when it is not needed. This 4-page fact sheet written by Paul Monaghan, Ondine Wells, Michael Dukes, Maria Morera, and Laura Warner and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications explains how the technology functions as well as how to install, program, operate, and maintain an SMS for a money- and water-wise sustainable home landscape that’s lush and beautiful.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc238

Frequently Asked Questions about Evapotranspiration (ET) Irrigation Controllers

Evapotranspiration-controller-michael-Gutierrez

Evapotranspiration is the amount of water that is released into the atmosphere through evaporation and plant transpiration. An evapotranspiration irrigation controller is a device that uses data about the landscape, the type of irrigation system, and local weather conditions to determine when and how much to irrigate. This 5-page fact sheet written by Paul Monaghan, Ondine Wells, Michael Dukes, Maria Morera, and Laura Warner and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications explains how the technology functions as well as how to install, program, operate, and maintain an ET controller for a money- and water-wise sustainable home landscape that’s lush and beautiful.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc237