The Journal of Extension (JOE) is the official refereed journal of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System. It seeks to expand and update the research and knowledge base for Extension professionals and other adult educators to improve their effectiveness. JOE is an electronic journal, available only on the Internet.
Reporting & Impact
Part of the Program Evaluation process is reporting of our efforts and our impacts. The following resources outline the reporting system for Arkansas Extension, as well as information on conveying program impacts.
The Arkansas Information Management System (AIMS) is Extension's reporting web application. Data such as time and contacts are collected within AIMS for various purposes, including impact reporting, resource accountability, and federal reporting. All Extension employees who conduct and assist with educational programming for our clientele should be reporting their efforts in AIMS.
Need assistance getting started in AIMS or maybe have a specific question? See the resources below for tips sheets, guides, and FAQ answers.
If you still need assistance with AIMS, contact Diane Mashburn at 501-671-2351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basic AIMS Information:
- Video Instructions on Creating an IPOW
- Creating an IPOW (Plan of Work)
- Approving an IPOW (for supervisors)
- Multistate Activity Reporting- Ag Production & Processing
- Multistate Activity Reporting- Environment, Energy & Climate
- Multistate Activity Reporting- Access to Safe & Nutritious Foods
- Multistate Activity Reporting- Increasing Opportunities for Families & Youth
- Multistate Activity Reporting- Community & Economic Development
- Reporting Twitter Contacts
- Reporting Facebook Contacts
- Reporting Pinterest Contacts
- Reporting Website Contacts
County Impact Templates:
- 4-H Program Impact Template (2016)
- ANR Program Impact Template (2016)
- CED Program Impact Template (2016)
- FCS Program Impact Template (2016)
- SNAP-Ed Program Impact Template (2016)
Impact Report Examples:
- Junior Beef Experts
- Row Crop Production Meeting
- N-ST*R: Nitrogen-Soil Test for Rice
- Growing Local Farmer's Market
- Living Healthy Lifestyles
AIMS Frequently Asked Questions
- When is AIMS Due?AIMS is due monthly on the 5th of each month. The regular monthly deadline cuts off at midnight. The year end deadline of October 5th will cut off at 4:30 p.m. each year.
- How Many Working Days are There in Each Month?
Total number of working days in FY16- 249 (1992 hours)
As you start reporting for the FY2016 year, keep in mind how many days you should report each month. The chart below should help you make sure you are reporting the correct number of days each month.
* Note- Actual reported numbers will vary due to annual leave, sick leave, or working nights/weekends, etc
**November's total reflects the Governor declaring Friday, November 27, 2015, a state holiday.
Total number of working days in FY17- 247 (1976 hours)
As you start reporting for the FY2017 year, keep in mind how many days you should report each month. The chart below should help you make sure you are reporting the correct number of days each month.
* Note- Actual reported numbers will vary due to annual leave, sick leave, or working nights/weekends, etc
**November's total reflects if the the Governor declares Friday, November 25, 2016, a state holiday.
- Why are Reports Not Showing Up or Running for Me?
Most likely it is your internet browser's pop-up blocker.
Here are a few images to outline how to turn off your pop-up blocker depending on what internet browser you are using. Click on the image to enlarge.
- Google Chrome:
- Multi-State & Integrated Time- How/What Do I Report Here?
As you keep working through this year's reporting, you may be wondering about these two lines on your My Reporting page in AIMS:
These two boxes are commonly overlooked when reporting on AIMS, but carry a lot of importance.
- Integrated time reflects work done that supports both Extension and Research work, such as assisting with research trials. Extension receives funding to carry out these integrated activities and must report back to NIFA at the end of the program year.
- Multi-State time reflects work done that crosses statelines. One example would be the Four State Fair or National 4-H Congress. This time also must be reported back to NIFA at the year end.
Things to remember when you have done any work that falls into these categories are:
- Report your Integrated or Multi-State time in BOTH the Program Planning & Delivery Time and the respective box (Integrated or Multi-State). For example, if you spent four hours in a committee meeting for a multistate program, report those four hours in Program Planning & Delivery box, as well as in the Multi-State Extension Activity box.
- Multi-State Activity time must also be tied to a named program (i.e. eXtension or Mid-South Entomologists), so please select the program from the pre-populated drop-down menu that will appear once you enter in your time. If your program is not listed, please select "Other" and name the program in the text box.
- If you forget to enter in your Integrated and/or Multi-state time, do not worry. You can add it in now to catch up. Just keep in mind, the Program Planning & Delivery Time must be GREATER or EQUAL TO the amount you place in Integrated and Multi-state. So if you are catching up and you forgot the enter two hours in Integrated, make sure you have two hours to report in that same objective area. Do not duplicate your hours you have already reported.
- What Programs/Subject Areas are Reported Where?
In an effort to streamline our Extension Plan of Work with our Division of Agriculture Strategic Plan and our federal plan of work, we have renamed the planned program areas in AIMS. The content of our programs has not changed, but where goals and objectives are located has. You will find the content of each planned program area below:
Access to Safe & Nutritious Foods
GOAL# 1- Foods & Nutrition
GOAL# 2- EFNEP
GOAL # 3- Food Safety & Food Preservation
Agricultural Production & Processing
GOAL#1- Animal & Animal Products
GOAL#2- Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
GOAL#3- Plant & Plant Products
GOAL #4- Agricultural Awareness
Community & Economic Development
GOAL# 1- Business Development
GOAL# 2- Community, Regional & Leadership Development
GOAL #3- Public Policy
Environment, Climate & Energy
GOAL# 1- Natural Resources & Environment
Opportunities for Families & Youth
GOAL# 1- 4-H Youth Development
GOAL# 2- 4-H Volunteer Development
GOAL #3- EHC
GOAL #4- Health & Aging
GOAL #5 Arkansas LIFE
GOAL #6- Family Life
GOAL #7- Family & Consumer Economics
GOAL# 1- SNAP-Ed
- What is the Current Value of a Volunteer's Time?
Per Independent Sector's website (http://www.independentsector.org/volunteer_time ) the current value of a volunteer hour is $23.56.
- What do you mean by .....? AIMS Terms & Definitions
Audience type. Typically 19 years of age and older, unless 4-H members which can include those 19 years of age.
Age is collected for youth contacts.
Arkansas Information Management System (AIMS) is the online accountability database for the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture - Extension.
“Just in Time” informational UAEX web page for AIMS users
The clientele group you target your program towards (i.e. youth, SNAP recipients, farmers)
Supervisor link which allows a supervisor to view reporting by each of the employees they supervise
Civil Rights Audience (Category)
The program audience under which the educational efforts would best fit.
A contact made in which a person can be certain the educational message was received and processed. All Face‐to‐Face contacts are direct. Phone, email, mail, and social media engagement are also direct contacts when they are in response to a question or request.
A contact made in which a person CANNOT be certain the educational message was received and processed. Indirect contact methods include: newsletters, radio, TV, print articles, Social Media post reach, and Website visitors.
A self-identified group connected to specific groups of people who share a common linguistic, religious and/or cultural heritage. (AIMS categories- Hispanic/Latino, Non-Hispanic/Latino)
Utilized mainly with SNAP-Ed, events allow you to schedule an event within a specific objective and then report your time and contacts at a later time
Frequently Asked Questions
Fiscal Year - AIMS uses the Federal Program Year which runs from October 1 to September 30. Identified by the year it ends in (i.e. FY16 started Oct. 2015, ended Sept. 2016)
Male or Female
A more specific area within a broader program area (i.e. “4-H Youth Development” is a goal within “Increasing Opportunities for Families & Youth”)
Hours Accountability Report
Supervisor’s Report- View the hours reported by each of the employees under the supervisor
Impact (as a term)
Long term changes for individuals, groups, communities, organizations, communities, or systems which relate to economic, social, or environmental conditions
Impact (button within AIMS)
Location in which county employees are able to upload their completed County Program Impact Report
Includes both Output and Outcome indicators. They are indicators of program effort and program success.
Integrated Extension & Research Time
Time spent working on programs in collaboration with Arkansas Experiment Station (AES) researchers
Internal Division of Agriculture Contacts
Contacts with Division of Agriculture employees (these contacts are NOT reported within your program contacts)
-These numbers are for the reporter’s purposes only and will not be utilized on the state or federal level.
Individual Plan of Work
Shows a summary of all the program areas in an individual’s Plan of Work, including planned audience numbers and types, months of the year, and educational methods.
Direct, real time delivery of educational information/material (you know the person received the information)
Methods in which a person CANNOT be certain the educational message was received and processed. Indirect contact methods include: newsletters, brochures, radio, TV, print articles, Social Media post reach, and Website visitors.
Multi-State Extension Activity Time
Extension Activity Sponsored by Arkansas Extension in collaboration with other states
Page for Creating/Modifying an Individual Plan of Work. Contains a detail list of the content for each Planned Program.
Page for reporting time and effort.
myReporting - Notes
This allows you to leave yourself notes related to the events you are reporting about. NOTE: When you pull a Notes Report, it will NOT include the contact or hour information you entered. If you will need that information, please include it in the text of your note.
An educational contact, direct or indirect, made in support or as a result of educational efforts.
This is where you report the contacts you have had with volunteers and the number of hours your volunteers contributed to that objective. Remember, these do not have to be “official” volunteers, but can include the time of someone who has just assisted you in the program.
National Institute of Food & Agriculture Plan of Work- State POW updated and submitted yearly
National Institute of Food & Agriculture Report of Accomplishments- State accountability report submitted yearly
A sub-category of a program area’s goal.
The organizational number assigned to your primary work location/department.
Results or changes for individuals, groups, communities, organizations, communities, or systems in response to Extension’s educational efforts/programming
Activities, services, events and products that reach people who participate or who are targeted (thing WE do)
These are the over-arching programs that we collect time and effort towards.
The department or county in which are housed. Reports pulled by the planning unit will include data reported by all individuals in the unit.
Program Area Impact Report (PDF)
These impact report templates are formatted to include an overall view of the program area as well as a program highlight impact story.
Program Investment Report
Supervisor’s Report- View the hours and contacts reported by each of the employees under the supervisor, as well as the option to see statewide investments
Program Planning & Delivery Time
All time spent on activities and tasks in support of educational efforts.
A group identity historically related to a local geographic or global human population traditionally distinguished as a group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics, i.e. skin color, facial characteristics, color, and texture of hair, etc.
Page for results reports, including programmatic, planning, civil rights, and SNAP.
Time frame in which you would like the reports to reflect
Total Number of Direct Contacts by Method
The TOTAL number of contact made for that method (i.e. you held 2 meetings with 8 participants and 15 participants for a total of 23 direct contacts for meetings)
Total Number of Times the Method Is Used
The number of individual instances of that methods (i.e. # of individual meetings conducted)
Volunteer Audience Type
Categorizes the type of volunteer for reporting purposes.
Volunteerism- Boards/Commissions/ Advisory Councils
This includes unpaid support for any extension program through those members of boards, committees, commissions, & advisory councils.
Volunteerism- Direct Service
This includes unpaid support for any extension program through hands-on, face to face, client service such as tutoring, mentoring, visiting the elderly, distributing food, 4-H project leader, 4-H club leader, camp counselor, etc.
Volunteerism- Indirect Service
This includes unpaid support for any extension program through drives, collections, fund-raisers, clean-ups environmental projects, construction, etc. through means other than face to face.
Volunteerism- Service Learning
This includes volunteer participation in subject matter seminars or other self-directed learning to meet 4-H or Master Gardener commitments or to support the delivery of other CES programs. This can include monthly meetings, self-study, content research, etc.
Audience type. Divided into groups 5-8 years; 9-13 years; 14-19 years.
If you have a question that should be answered in the FAQ, contact Diane Mashburn at email@example.com
NIFA Reporting Process Resources
For those involved in the NIFA reporting process, here are a few resources:
- January 13, 2016- NIFA Reporting Webinar Recording
- January 13, 2016- NIFA Reporting Webinar Presentation Slides
- 2016 NIFA Reporting Timeline
- 2015 Arkansas Division of Agriculture & UA-Pine Bluff Plan of Work
- 2014 NIFA Report of Accomplishments
Other resources we think may help you:
- CDC Evaluation Working Group: Framework for Program Evaluation (Steps & Standards)
- CDC Evaluation Working Group: Resource Directory
- National Science Foundation: The User Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation
- American Evaluation Association: Guiding Principles for Evaluation
Want to stay informed about the latest "best practices" in program evaluation for Extension across the country?
Check out these resource treasure chests.
This site provides over 87 tipsheets that provide practical information for planning and conducting Extension program needs assessments and evaluation including the following subjects:
- Creating Questions
- Data Collection Methods
- Needs Assessments
- Program Objectives
- Reporting Results
- Research Design
- Special Audiences
- Validity & Reliability Issues
Provided by the University of Kentucky, Extension, Program and Staff Development, the site provides useful tip-sheets and educational resources for the following topic areas:
- Program Development
- Integrating Research & Extension Programming
- Program Determination/Needs Assessment
- Program Plan Development
- Program Delivery
- Program Evaluation
- Accountability & Writing Program Impact Statements