Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Cecil E. Carter Jr.

Committee Members

Robert Dotson, Frank Bell


This descriptive study was concerned with the problem of determining the present situation in Tennessee regarding the practice checklist approach to establishing Extension educational priorities and evaluating progress. Data were collected from 28 selected Tennessee county Extension leaders located across the state. Interviews with the leaders were conducted using an interview schedule prepared specifically for the study. All interviews were tape recorded and transcribed into typewritten form. For the purpose of analysis, leaders' responses to interview questions were coded and grouped according to pertinent aspects of practice checklist surveying. The data were then organized into tables. Tables were classified into five basic overall areas of practice checklist surveying. This was done in order to describe and analyze the survey approach used by Tennessee Extension leaders. Two summary tables were compiled to show the extent to which leaders were following recommended procedures for conducting practice checklist surveys. Numbers and percents were used to show majority practice usage.

Major findings of the study are briefly stated as follows:

1. The majority of Extension leaders were following recommended Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service procedures for conducting practice checklist surveys, to the extent that the deviations found were not critical to the successful completion of a valid and/or reliable survey.

2. The majority of Extension leaders felt that the survey data obtained were accurate. The majority expressed no ideas for improvement and recommended no change be made in the present sampling method or in sample size. Also, a large majority of the leaders felt that the survey could be justified in terms of additional or side benefits resulting from conducting the surveys.

3. The majority of Extension leaders recommended no change in the survey instrument content and felt that change in practice use by producers was a good criterion measure for purposes of planning and evaluating the county Extension program.

4. The majority of Extension leaders felt that practice checklist data were useful for purposes of Extension planning and evaluation.

5. The majority of Extension leaders considered the overall practice checklist approach to planning and evaluation as practical, as pertinent, as functional, as accurate, as valid, and as reliable.

Implications and recommendations were also included.

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