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Tuesday, December 1 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
From Content to Community: Programming Shifts and Strategies Across the MFLN

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The Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) uses online formal and informal programming to connect military family service professionals (MFSPs) to each other and to research and disciplinary experts in Extension and at the Department of Defense (DoD). MFLN is in its fifth year of funding, and has grown to include seven concentrations area teams spanning nine disciplines across eleven land grant universities and the Department of Defense. MFLN's success over the past several years can in part be contributed to the network's ability to embrace complexity amid dynamic expectations and environments: social, political, and economic factors cogent to DoD; advancements in technology and educational delivery opportunities; and the evolution of eXtension. Tracking and demonstrating growth and success over these past several years has also required fluidity and a willingness to embrace complexity, learn from our challenges as well as our successes, and constantly revisit the practical connections between our day-to-day work trajectories and our programming vision.

In this presentation we will discuss a recent and ongoing shift across the MFLN: moving from programming strategy based in content and resource sharing to one grounded in experience and community. We know that engaged adult learners have unique needs in the context of both informal and formal education: they are problem-centered (experiential) rather than content-oriented; they are self-directed; and they are most interested in learning activities that have immediate relevance to their work (Knowles, 1984). MFLN leadership has recently been revisiting our programming efforts in the context of these key tenets of andragogy. MFLN programming has long aspired to advance these tenets; however, current reflection and evaluation cycles have shown that we still have work to do. During this presentation we will share our approaches for innovating our ongoing programming in several areas: shifting programming from content delivery to experiential sharing; using social media to support and enhance programming rather than emphasize marketing and communications; and developing evaluation plans that emphasize program innovation and impact.

avatar for Karen Jeannette

Karen Jeannette

Military Families Learning Network
avatar for Brigitte Scott

Brigitte Scott

Military Families Learning Network, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech

Tuesday December 1, 2015 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Attendees (2)