MSU Extension and Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station invite Michiganians to use online tool to

posted on May 12, 2010 10:15am

Contact:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  517-432-1555, ext. 175

  EAST LANSING, Mich.—Michigan State University (MSU) Extension and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) conduct a statewide needs assessment every five years to ask Michigan residents for input on directing their educational and research resources. This year, that assessment is taking an online format at the website

  All Michigan residents are invited to visit the site and post discussion subjects and ideas and vote on items posted by other visitors. Unlike other online assessment tools, the AdvanceMichigan site was developed to encourage visitors to make frequent visits to share input on a variety of topics in multiple ways. They are also encouraged to share links to other sites, news stories, online videos and photos.

  The site was developed by INgage Networks (a company that specializes in enterprise social software) in partnership with the MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences. It uses a crowd sourcing format, which means that topics rise in popularity through votes and other visitor contributions.

   “People who access this site will be providing us with valuable input we’ll use to make decisions about where to direct our resources over the next five years,” says Tom Coon, MSU Extension director. “We’re reaching out to our constituents—which means everyone who lives in Michigan—using this innovative electronic tool that people can use when it’s convenient for them and provide repeated, thoughtful feedback—it’s not just a one-time-only contribution.”

  The site will be active through June 29. MSU Extension and MAES, both connected through national U.S. Department of Agriculture networks, are the first state organizations to use this type of digital tool to connect to their residents, though all state extension and experiment station systems are required to conduct the five-year assessment.

  “There are many ways that we use to collect information from our stakeholders,  including face-to-face meetings, focus groups, open meetings with the public,  quarterly State of the State surveys and periodic, comprehensive needs assessments,” says Steve Pueppke, MAES director. “The AdvanceMichigan online survey adds one more tool to our information gathering toolbox to help ensure that we are in touch with what matters most to Michigan residents as we think about how we can be of service and how we set our research priorities.”

  The data collected on the AdvanceMichigan site will be analyzed by communications arts and sciences faculty members and the results of that   analysis will then be provided to MSU Extension and MAES leaders. It will be used as they make decisions about how resources are allocated across the state to address Michigan’s most pressing needs.

  To learn more, visit or call any county MSU Extension office toll-free at 888-678-3464.

View News Archive