Target Audience Research: Government & University Professionals

Government Agency and University Extension Professionals

Audience Description:

Agency and University Professionals are: planners and outreach educators who work for government or a land grant university and lead water-related outreach initiatives with groups

Findings by Outreach Theme

Findings by Essential BEPs

Study-Specific BEPs

These study-specific Best Education Practices distill findings derived from the studies listed in the References below, which were identified using a meta-analysis technique.

Outreach Themes: BEPs are described by one or more of seven focus areas.

Outreach Themes

Research Recommendations

The Audience

No research available

Message content

No research available

Message delivery vehicle

No research available

Outreach strategy

Test the audience at the beginning of the workshop to improve instructor ability to enhance subsequent learning.

Professionals recommend use of two-way communication methods, particularly door-to-door contact, where possible. These methods are more successful in soliciting participation for watershed planning initiatives than one-way communication (information) methods.

Professionals recommend use of participatory, watershed-based planning as an effective technique for building public awareness and interagency coordination.

Public participation

Professionals recommend that most effective use of public participation is to accomplish watershed plan goals and is less effective with other planning steps.

Watershed-based, participatory planning can be helpful in making watershed data publicly available and in establishing plan legitimacy.

Supporting and motivating professionals

Design communication and professional development opportunities for outreach educators that will motivate them to implement a priority program because:

  • They understand the program.
  • It is clear that they are supported by their organization and resources are made available.
  • They have a choice to participate.
  • The program fits their job description.
  • The program has social significance.
  • The program is part of work in a team.


No research available

Linking Study-Specific BEPs to Essential BEPs

Essential BEPs provide an overview of Best Education Practices derived from education theory and other meta-analysis studies. This table shows which Essential BEPs are highlighted by research about government agency/university Extension professionals as a target audience. The entire collection of Essential BEPs is available on the Water Outreach website.

Education for:

The learning experience:

The Individual

Is learner centered, and consequently:

  • Assesses the learner in order to set appropriately high and challenging standards.

Provides a nurturing context for learning, with attention to: cultural or group background and influences, the physical environment, and the use of tools or practices appropriate to learner skills and abilities.

The Class or Group

Content and delivery is determined in cooperation with the target audience and stakeholders.

Is facilitated by quality instructors who have been trained in effective teaching methods and are supported by the program sponsor.

Web-Based Learning

No relevant research findings

The Community

Evolves from work with a coalition or group.

Builds on locally existing skills and resources.

Reaches people in multiple ways.

Beyond the Community

Builds value for education as part of policy development and implementation.

Builds skills for flexibility and responsiveness to environmental issues and for facilitating community engagement.

Supporting References

Duram, L. A., & Brown, K. G. (1999). Assessing public participation in U.S. watershed planning initiatives. Society and Natural Resources12(5), 455-467.

Gerakis, A. (1998). Evaluating adult groundwater education. The Journal of Environmental Education 30, 1.

Miller, D. R., & Smith, M. F. (1991). Who participates? And why? Journal of Extension, 29(3).