Mary partners with Extension agents and other cooperators to co-create education programs that are built upon the latest science of how adults learn in order to foster skills in instructional design and powerful teaching. Working collaboratively with grower communities we identify the key challenges and opportunities where new and actionable information can contribute directly to achieving intended outcomes. Implementing practical evaluation plans provides valuable feedback on progress towards stakeholder-defined goals and learning about our own impact. Through this process we explore the application of learning theory, advances in cognitive science and curriculum design in order to deepen our knowledge of the role that education can play in fostering change and developing resilience to further sustainable agriculture.
She is a member of the USDA NIFA Regional IPM Centers Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Impact Assessment Workgroup
Over the past decade Mary has focused on the design of outcome-based education and the use of impact evaluation to improve the effectiveness of Extension outreach. The Adaptive Learner-Centered Education (ALCE) approach provides a framework for responsive education partnerships with stakeholders that integrate the latest science in novel ways. ALCE combines essential conceptual knowledge with skill building in the adoption of new forms of data to provide learners with the necessary experience to reduce uncertainty in their future choices and actions.