Expert Assistance Reporting

What (and why) to report

Expert assistance services is defined as the provision of expertise, education, and information in response to a specific request.  This type of educational outreach has specific qualities that differentiate it from direct education and other outreach activities and make the provided information likely to be of particularly high value to our audiences.  

  • Information is provided to an audience with high levels of motivation as demonstrated by their initiation of the inquiry.  
  • Information is directly relevant to the audience’s situation.  

Expert assistance represents a significant part of public outreach for many educators.   In the 2019-2020 reporting year, Extension educators provided over 11,000 expert assistance services.  In 2021, Extension started piloting a quick feedback survey for expert assistance provided by email. (Request your personalized feedback survey links here.) Upcoming efforts include the design of a survey instrument to gather feedback on medium-term outcomes for expert assistance services.

How to report

  • Report in PEARS Direct Contacts module
  • Report monthly
  • Include all contacts in which information based on expertise was provided in response to an inquiry.
  • Do not include questions answered as part of a direct education activity
  • Do not include non-expertise information such as registration information or logistics about time or place.
  • Report in PEARS even if you are using the email evaluation survey.

Keeping track of expert assistance contacts

There is no single right way to log contacts.  The right way is the way that works for you and that you will use. Some strategies used by educators to log their expert assistance contacts include

  • Contact information noted in physical calendar
  • Outlook-based tracking using a folder or color-coded category tags
  • Hard copy log (Sample log sheets for download)
  • Spreadsheet
  • Google form entry linked to spreadsheet
  • PEARS Community Relationships module (CRM)

Level of detail

Various levels of detail can be tracked.  Choose the one that is workable for you and provides information you can use.

Simple count.  Simplest.  Single number of email, phone, and face to face inquiries each month.

Topic count.  Define 1 or more topic that you want to track.  Be sure to have an “other” category for inquiries that don’t fit.  Track using log sheet, outlook categories, or another technique.

Rich detail.  Log notes for each call to see which topics emerge and to have information for return callers.

Client-based. Track repeated engagements with the same client.