Master Gardener Programs

Master Gardener program evaluation and reporting guide

Who should use this guide

Extension staff involved in coordinating or providing programs related to the Master Gardener program should use the Master Gardener program reporting and evaluation guide and self review guide for MG/MN coordinators.

What is covered in the guide

Educational programs

Core training

  • Program for volunteers generally following the Master Gardener standard curriculum.
  • Reporting and evaluation for core training formats are handled differently depending on the course format.  See core training reporting and evaluation page for detailed guide depending on training format (traditional, hybrid full, hybrid part, online only, online + local).
  • In all cases, individual presenters do not enter individual sessions that were part of a core training series.
  • Report as MG/MN program type = “core training” on the custom data page.
  • Total participants = number enrolled in whole course.  Extra attendees at specific sessions should be reported using guidance for “extra” attendees below.

Extra attendees at core training

  • Occasionally Master Gardeners who have already completed training, or others, attend core training sessions.  We want to count these participants but make sure they are differentiated from participants enrolled in the whole series.
  • If a session has extra attendees who are not enrolled in the series, enter a separate program activity for the session and list the number of session-only participants using this naming format: MG core training/Extra/topic.
  • Report as MG/MN program type = “core training” on the custom data page.

Continuing education

  • Programs designed for continuing education and expected to be reported as continuing education hours.
  • Report as program activity using naming format MG/CE/Program name.
  • Report as MG/MN program type = “continuing education” on the custom data page.

Other education delivered to volunteers

  • Programs or meetings delivered to Master Gardener volunteers/trainees/interns that have planned educational content but that are not designed to be continuing education or expected to be reported as CE hours.
  • Report as program activity using naming format MG/Program name.
  • Report as MG/MN program type = “other education for volunteers” on the custom data page.

Meetings

  • Meetings, planning sessions, and recognition ceremonies are generally NOT considered educational programs and should not be entered in PEARS.
  • Report a meeting only if it includes planned educational content (e.g. an expert speaker), in which case it would be “other education delivered to volunteers” (above)..

Volunteer-led education for the public

  • Volunteer-led educational programs are entered in PEARS if Extension-staff are present and have helped coordinate or facilitate in any way.
  • Report as program activity using naming format MG/Program name.
  • Report as MG/MN program type = “volunteer-led education for public (with staff present)” on the custom data page.
  • The current plan is to roll out reporting of all volunteer-led direct education activities in PEARS in 2022-2023 reporting year.

Help desks/answer services

Reporting

  • Report number of information services provided (# of responses to inquiries) if tracked locally.  Report monthly or for the calendar year.
  • Link: https://go.illinois.edu/HelpDeskLog.

Evaluation

  • An optional email-based evaluation tool is available to evaluate local information services.
  • Request your custom links.  Summary results will be provided biannually.

Extension-supported gardens

Report on all gardens that receive some Extension staff or Master Gardener support during a reporting year. Gardens may be used for demonstration, education, food donation, pollinator support, life skills training, community garden plots, and many other uses.  See the Garden reporting webpage or Garden reporting guide for information.

Give back gardening home produce donation

  • For counties where Master Gardeners donate produce from home gardens, they should report the pounds of produce donated at each donation time.  Reporting survey can be set to notify coordinator as well on request.
  • Link: https://go.illinois.edu/GiveBackGardening.
  • NOTE:  Volunteers only report donations from home gardens here, not from Extension-supported gardens.

Volunteer hours reporting

Volunteer hours reporting is currently in VCMS.