An Agent's Guide for Planning and Writing Objectives for Horticulture Programs



An Agent's Guide for Planning and Writing Objectives for Horticulture Programs


Sam Marshall and Katherine McKee


The Agent’s Guide for Planning and Implementing Programs is intended to be used as an instructional guide when planning goals and objectives for educational programs. Based in theoretical and practical applications, this manual will help guide new agents through the process of planning specific learning objectives for program participants. Specifically, this manual is tailored for agents serving the horticulture industry and covers 5 programmatic areas that are the responsibility of agents: 1) commercial horticulture, including green and agricultural industries 2) pesticide education, 3) consumer horticulture, 4) Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, and 5) botanical garden responsibilities. This manual can be adapted by other horticulture agents with the above program area responsibilities. It is primarily meant as a resource for new/beginning agents as they begin to write and develop curricula for their own program areas. It also can be modified so that each section fits their own specific county demographics. This portion is meant to help agents better communicate program purpose and objectives to key stakeholders of Extension. Included in this manual are specific program objectives that are ready to use or can be modified by agents to fit their own needs. Also included are ready-to-use evaluation sheets that also can be modified to meet specific teaching methods, learning objectives, etc.

Learning goals for the item

Learning goals for this item include: 1. Learn to write program goals and objectives that follow theoretical and practical learning models. 2. Gain a better understanding of how to design programs around learning theory that have concrete and measurable outcomes. 3. Provide a resource for new agents who do not necessarily have experience in writing program goals and objectives.

Appropriate audience

New agents (less than 5 years experience) Beginning agents Agents who want to feel better prepared to deliver and measure horticulture programs.

A list of references (key references - cited or suggested)

Caffarella, Rosemary S. 2002. Planning programs for adult learners: a practical guide for educators, trainers, and staff developers. 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

Keywords (separate keywords or phrases with a comma)

Writing program goals, program objectives, new agents, evaluation, learning theory, communicating outcomes and impacts,

Source URL if item is stored online

Review Summary

The Agent's Guide for Planning and Writing Objectives is a how-to guide for developing effective extension programs and developed as a resource for new or beginning agents. It incorporates logic model principles and effective evaluation approaches. It shows how to approach program planning and lesson planning in commercial and home horticulture as well as volunteer training. Clear examples are provided from an actual county extension program. The guide might be more effective if topics were presented in a more generic fashion using a general template for each lesson plan with examples from the North Carolina county inserted. The application of Kolb's Experiential Learning Model is particularly useful and real world examples help to make the concepts applicable. There could be some more "out-of-the-box" program development ideas included. The guide is organized logically and written clearly but includes some typos. More graphics would be helpful. This guide is not too long, but it is comprehensive for the subject matter.

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“An Agent's Guide for Planning and Writing Objectives for Horticulture Programs,” ASHS HortIM™, accessed July 16, 2019,


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.