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Program Innovations

We have been working on a few innovations for the Georgia MGEV Program that you might find interesting! Since most of you reading this post are beyond the training phase, you might not know about these projects unless I tell you here.

Did you know about our new program application? For the last year and a half, agents and program coordinators, as well as the MGEV Advisory Panel, have made great contributions to the creation of a standardized application to the Georgia MGEV Program. This helps everybody ensure that the best message is conveyed and that the right information is gathered and managed properly. To make sure that our application helps us get to know the applicant, we asked local agents and coordinators to share the questions they found most helpful. We then put together a draft document and had the Advisory Panel look over it. This team of agents and MGEVs gave the document a thorough review, and adjustments were made. We had HR take a look at it, and this fall, about a dozen counties had opportunity to use the application as they were recruiting trainees. Agents and coordinators have been sharing their feedback on the document, and we are making some great improvements. Now, we are in the process of integrating the application with MGLOG, our recordkeeping system. In a few months, we should be ready to accept applications to the Georgia MGEV program via an online link. We are excited to have a consistently branded application for use in all county programs in the state.

This fall, we also piloted an online testing system. For a while now, agents have requested the option of a standardized midterm and final exam that they did not have to write. We can now deliver that for them, customizable for the order of training modules completed. We also can offer the option of automatic grading if trainees complete the exam online. This saves the agent a LOT of time grading exams and ensures that trainees get prompt results. We got a chance to test the experience and the system this fall with a class of MGEV trainees in Fayette County. These new MGEV trainees were so helpful! They took their midterm and final exams online via a new training system that is in the works for the Georgia program. For those of you panicked by the thought of an online testing experience, rest assured that everyone passed and the class average was impressive! They gave terrific feedback about their experience, and as nearly every MGEV does, volunteered to help the development process!

When we make innovations like this, we work hard to make sure that local input and experience is considered. We develop and test, pilot, adjust, and revise before the final product is launched. So, while you are just hearing about these innovations now, we’ve been working on them a while and will continue to tweak before they are finalized. We value your input and contributions to the project at every stage. It keeps improving our program!

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sdorn

About sdorn

Sheri is the State Coordinator for the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program and Extension Specialist for Consumer Ornamentals. When she is not traveling about the state of Georgia admiring the work of Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, she spends time in her own (real and virtual) gardens.