Research to Practice: Facilitating Evidence-based Programming Through an Undergraduate Cooperative Extension Internship
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Young, Sarah; Maley, Mary
The faculty, educators and staff of Cooperative Extension (CE) programs are at the intersection of research and practice, seeking to deliver the tools and skills needed to address real-life problems in communities across the state. However, the reality of effectively integrating constantly evolving research output into everyday practice is challenging. To address this problem, research staff in a campus translational research program developed an approach to comprehensively identify and synthesize research evidence to answer targeted and timely questions informing key areas of CE programming. The approach draws on systematic and rapid review methodologies and incorporates active engagement with community practitioners and extension staff. In the summer 2015, an undergraduate internship was developed around this approach, to address questions regarding effective volunteer retention and recruitment in 4-H programs covering two counties. The undergraduate intern worked with translational research staff, CE educators and a librarian to develop a targeted research question and comprehensive search strategy to identify the body of evidence on effective volunteer recruitment and retention strategies appropriate to the contextual conditions of state 4-H programs. The student was trained in the effective use of library databases, reference management tools, and the evaluation of scholarly literature. The internship sought to achieve both student learning outcomes in information literacy and translational research as well as to deliver evidence-based guidance to address the critical need for volunteers in 4-H programs around the state. This presentation will focus on the role of the library in supporting this engaged undergraduate research project and more broadly on the potential role of librarians in facilitating evidence-based extension programs.
USAIN 2016 Conference Presentation, Session: Contributed Papers Session 1: Teaching & Learning – Moderator: Amy Shannon
USAIN; Systematic Review; Libraries; Conference; Research