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Abstract

This article provides insight into how an adequate approach to selecting methods can establish credible and actionable evidence. The authors offer strategies to effectively support Extension professionals, including program developers and evaluators, in being more deliberate when selecting appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods. In addition, several examples of commonly used measures are described to help in determining their applicability for evaluating Extension programs. Benefits and challenges of select methods are discussed as well as pitfalls to avoid that can derail the evaluative process. Lastly, a few cases are shared to present how Extension is aiming to establish credible evidence through state efforts and at the national level. The authors discuss the use of practical designs (e.g., common measures) that offer a more uniform way of evaluating programs. Examples are also included to highlight the effective use of Extension reporting systems that aim to streamline data collection, evaluation, and reporting as a means to ensure more credibility.

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