Together we can achieve more
The current extensionAUS™ platform was born out of the Australian Government Rural R&D for Profit Program Extension and Adoption for Australian Farmers and Fishers project and a pilot program based on the USA eXtension model. Tried and tested over a five year period, the model has evolved in the Australian context and today is led by three partner organisations; AgriFutures Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and Agriculture Victoria.
In practice, each partner organisation hosts a Community of Practice (CoP) network of subject matter experts who share knowledge with a member base of interested parties. It is a learning space, aimed at building skills and fostering collaboration.
extensionAUS™ Relationship Manager, Gavin Beever has been with the project since its inception and has seen the platform transform into what it is today.
“extensionAUS™ has come into its own and is growing from strength to strength. We have a dedicated network of experts who are connecting regularly and our users are reaping the benefits,” said Mr Beever.
“The platform has become a go-to resource for industry, as users know they can get timely and relevant expert advice at the click of a button, packaged up in an accessible format.
“We know that until a farmer does something different on farm, the return on investment is zero. extensionAUS™ is a trusted tool Australian agricultural industries are using to share research and development (R&D) knowledge and make better farming decisions.”
A powerful online learning network
The extensionAUS™ difference is the ability to widely share knowledge and leverage the wisdom of the masses. By harnessing collective expertise in subject areas, the platform fosters creative solutions to complex problems and can maximise outcomes in a cost effective way. Working in the digital space makes the identification of knowledge experts simple and offers a way to quickly communicate, collaborate and respond to industry opportunities, issues and challenges.
While it may look simple on face value, it’s what happens behind the scenes that makes extensionAUS™ so valuable. A key feature is the Google-based space for collaboration and discussion. Experts come together to create and peer-review research and scientifically based content with the end goal of fostering practice change through the CoPs.
The ‘Ask an expert’ feature allows users to ask Community of Practice experts questions and receive tailored, one-on-one responses. Regular newsletters are shared by the CoP members to keep users up to date with the latest program activities, news and events, and each CoP has a social media presence to distribute and promote the latest expert information.
By joining the platform, each CoP has access to dedicated support services, tutorials, webinars and professional development programs to make the most of the collaborative space. A technical working group meets regularly to offer web assistance and ensure CoPs are making the most of the platform functionality.