Developing Metrics for Effective Teaching in Extension Education: A Multi-State Factor-Analytic and Psychometric Analysis of Effective Teaching
To successfully educate the public about agriculture, food, and natural resources, we must have effective educators in both formal and nonformal settings. Specifically, this study, which is a valuable part of a larger sequential mixed method study addressing effective teaching in formal and nonformal agricultural education, provides direction for future effective teaching research in extension education. Particularly, this study assessed 142 behaviors, characteristics, and techniques considered indicative of effective teaching, to reduce the number of competencies and identify constructs of effective teaching in extension education. A total of 1,470 extension educators from 30 states, surveyed in the fall of 2011, served as the population for this study. As a result, 63 effective teaching competencies in 11 constructs were identified. Psychometric evaluation of the 11 constructs resulted in Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ranging from .82 to .93, supporting the reliability of the identified constructs. An expert panel then named the constructs, many of which aligned with those identified in previous teaching effectiveness research. Implications for practice and research resulted from this study, including a proposed three-part framework for assessing effective teaching in extension education, which includes self-evaluation, observation-based assessment, teaching-related output and/or outcome measures.