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Methods and Techniques for Effective Teaching in Extension and Advisory Services

The content of this module is based upon nine Technical Notes that were developed for the Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services project. The authors are faculty members at the University of Florida: R. Kirby Barrick, Hannah Carter, Brian E. Myers, and Andrew C. Thoron in Agricultural Education and Communication, and Michael A. Gunderson in Food and Resource Economics.

Content Area: Planning and Delivering Extension Programs


This module is focused on building the educational capacity within extension and advisory systems by strengthening teaching and learning competencies. Extension and advisory service personnel in developing countries typically have technical knowledge and skills, but very often lack preparation in the necessary teaching and learning skills that enable them to be successful extensionists. Neglecting to ensure that extension and advisory services field agents have the competency to prepare and deliver educational programs in developing countries will limit the potential for those professionals to effectively address the needs of farmers.

Target Audience:

The technical notes on teaching and learning are designed to assist local field staff  in extension and advisory services as well as Ministry of Agriculture, college and university, non-governmental organization, and other organization directors who facilitate the training of field staff working directly with small-scale farmers in Feed the Future countries. 

Curriculum Overview:

Extension and advisory services efforts are the key non-formal learning environment for delivering technical information to farmers and others all settings, including developing countries. While most field agents have a background and experience the technical fields of agriculture, few have had the opportunity to participate in training programs designed for them to develop and enhance their teaching skills. Obviously the technical content presented to farmers is important; however, without adequate skill in planning an educational program or workshop and delivering the content effectively and efficiently, the technical expertise of the field agent may be lost. This series of technical notes on teaching and learning address the concepts of preparing for and delivering educational programs in non-formal settings for farmers and others in the Feed the Future countries.

Program Objectives:

After completing the nine technical notes on teaching and learning, the participants will be able to:

1.      Articulate and utilize the principles of teaching and learning in non-formal and adult education settings.

2.      Plan instructional activities that are appropriate for audiences in non-formal settings.

3.      Describe and utilize various teaching methods and strategies in delivering educational programs in non-formal settings.


Introduction and Overview

The effort to modernize the extension and advisory services programs throughout the world requires well-trained field agents and supervisors who know and can practice effective planning, delivering and evaluating teaching and learning. This module includes nine components that can be utilized as self-study or group study to assist the deliverers of technical content in addressing the needs of agricultural producers and business men and women as they strive to improve the production and marketing of agricultural products. The topics of this module include the following:

1.      Principles of Teaching and Learning

2.      Writing Instructional Objectives

3.      Presenting Workshops to Adults

4.      Engaging Learners to Assess and Clarify Learning

5.      Effective Lecture and Discussion Techniques

6.      Developing and Using Case Studies

7.      Creating Concept Maps

8.      Using Groups and Teams Effectively

9.      Planning for Instruction in Field Settings and Laboratories

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