Creating a practical course for small farmers, particularly women farmers, was the focus of our i-Three Corps project. Jerri Hammonds—she’s the technical wizard of our Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) community of practice—and I devised a re-make of the online Farm Security course.
We planned to make it engaging and interactive, with brief scenarios, short video or audio files reinforcing a specific action called for by the scenario, and quizzes. In addition, fillable forms would be available for learners, allowing each to build and save her/his own flood preparedness plan.
We researched our target audience, reviewed relevant content, and initiated conversations with potential writing partners.
Time. It kept on rolling, ticking, moving toward September and the end of the 2016 i-Three Corps project timeline. We encountered major obstacles along the way to completing the project, including an unsuccessful attempt to recruit writing partners. In addition, an unexpected project in late spring consumed vast amounts of time for the next four months. Finally, my assumption that I could rely on local resources for video and audio production was wrong. The resources were not available. Lessons we learned:
- Stay in regular contact with project partners. It is a prompt to help them follow through on their commitments.
- Beware saying “yes” to a group project. You may end up doing most of the work.
- Learn how to produce your own media files and budget time to write, record, and edit the files.
We have made some progress. We created six scenarios and developed content for each scenario. The scenario format was a result of an idea born while taking the Virtual Communication Camp—an i-Three Innovation project.
The 2016 official i-Three Corps has ended but this project will continue under the auspices of other experts in the EDEN system.
Feature photo by Jocelyn Augustino for FEMA.