University of Florida

Frequently Asked Questions: Workload

What is a clientele or Extension contact?
Who should be reporting in Workload?
Should I report the clientele contacts made by my program assistant, volunteers or other support personnel?
How does Workload relate to my ROA?
How often should I report clientele contacts?
Can I view or change my Workload numbers after the reporting year has ended?
How can I log into Workload with a firewall?
How do I maintain an accurate count of my clientele contacts?
How do I count educational materials?
How do I report diagnostic events such as the identification of pests and diseases, and testing of soil samples?
Do I count In-Service training that I conduct for other extension professionals and paraprofessionals?
I am speaking at clientele training events in several other states. Do I record this as a multi-state activity in the programs section (only viewable to Extension faculty)?
new How do I count social media such as Facebook and Twitter?
new How do I count blogs and wikis?
new How do I report subscription (SMS) emails?
new How do I count newsletters as an author and as an editor/facilitator?
new How do I count webinars, web-based courses (synchronous or asynchronous) and other types of online learning, including educational events using Polycom?
new Many times group participants (in person or online) stay after the workshop ends and we have lengthy discussions. Can I count these as consultations?
Where can I get more information about how to track and report clientele contacts?
How do I calculate the number of volunteer hours?

WHAT IS A CLIENTELE OR EXTENSION CONTACT?

Florida Extension defines a contact as having an intention to convey educational information (Taylor and Israel, 1994). In Workload, we restrict this further to include only the general population or non-academic audience. In other words, do not include contacts with, or publications for, other faculty and staff (e.g., In-Service Training) or the UF student-credit population.

WHO SHOULD BE REPORTING IN WORKLOAD?

All faculty who transfer educational information to the community through face-to-face interaction, individual correspondence, a group presentation or interactive video conference, or written documents should report clientele contacts and/or educational materials.

SHOULD I REPORT THE CLIENTELE CONTACTS MADE BY MY PROGRAM ASSISTANT, VOLUNTEERS OR OTHER SUPPORT PERSONNEL?

Yes, you should report the clientele contacts made by others on behalf of your program or research. This includes program assistants, support personnel, and volunteers that you supervise.

HOW DOES WORKLOAD RELATE TO MY ROA?

The clientele contacts data you enter in Workload should be the totals that you reported in your ROA. You will have more information in your ROA than you will have in Workload (i.e., direct mail, in-service trainings, etc.)

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REPORT CLIENTELE CONTACTS?

We recommend that clientele contacts and group attendance be recorded monthly in some fashion. You may enter the information into Workload as often as you'd like but you will need to keep track of the totals yourself. The Workload application does not calculate a cumulative total each time you enter data. We have added a "Last Updated:" field to help you remember where you left off.

CAN I VIEW OR CHANGE MY WORKLOAD NUMBERS AFTER THE REPORTING YEAR HAS ENDED?

Yes. Select the appropriate reporting year using the drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the Workload application. Workload reporting is based on calendar year and may be updated at any time.

HOW CAN I LOG INTO WORKLOAD WITH A FIREWALL?

If you are unable to get into Workload application because of a firewall, please contact your local network administrator.

HOW DO I MAINTAIN AN ACCURATE COUNT OF MY CLIENTELE CONTACTS?

A very useful tool for Extension faculty to use to keep track of clientele contacts is a Clientele Contact Log (in MS Excel) created by Doug Mayo of Jackson County Extension. Simply print it off and keep it near your phone or computer so you can jot down the contact information as it occurs. Then, enter the monthly totals into the Excel sheet itself to calculate your annual total contacts for Workload and your gender and ethnicity breakdowns required for your ROA.

For more information about affirmative action requirements, visit the District Extension Directors (DED) website on Affirmative Action Basics.

HOW DO I COUNT EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS?

You should only count the original work, not the distribution of that work. For example, an article or press release is counted one time regardless of how many newspapers, magazines, or newsletters in which it is published. A modification to an existing publication should be counted as an original work if the changes are significant. Updating a few simple statistics or data is not a significant change.

Include refereed publications but do not include EDIS publications as we collect that information directly from EDIS.

HOW DO I REPORT DIAGNOSTIC EVENTS SUCH AS THE IDENTIFICATION OF PESTS AND DISEASES, AND TESTING OF SOIL SAMPLES?

Count it as an office consultation if the diagnostic service is performed in your laboratory and as a field consultation if the diagnosis takes place at the client's location. Simply sending a sample to another site is not an office consultation. To be counted as an office or field consultation, a diagnostic service should provide educational information in additional to the factual data.

DO I COUNT IN-SERVICE TRAINING THAT I CONDUCT FOR OTHER EXTENSION PROFESSIONALS AND PARAPROFESSIONALS?

Do not include In-Service Training group participants in Workload but do include it in your ROA.

I AM SPEAKING AT CLIENTELE TRAINING EVENTS IN SEVERAL OTHER STATES. DO I RECORD THIS AS A MULTI-STATE ACTIVITY IN THE PROGRAMS SECTION (ONLY VIEWABLE TO EXTENSION FACULTY)?

No, multi-state activities are limited to collaborative efforts between faculty. This includes developing curriculum, hosting a multi-state activity that has been developed by the multi-state group, collaborating on a research project, providing information to other state fact sheets or newsletters, and developing shared Web sites.

Do include the out-of-state training attendees in the Clientele Contacts section under Group Learning Participants.

HOW DO I COUNT SOCIAL MEDIA SUCH AS FACEBOOK AND TWITTER?

You may count Facebook and Twitter activity if you are providing educational information, rather than simply pointing to a website or providing details about an event (i.e., time and place).

In most cases, social media should be counted as a social media contact. If you have a created a Facebook post that is an extensive piece (or a series of substantive posts on a specific topic) then you may want to count it as an educational material. Educational materials include EDIS publications, fact sheets and newsletter articles, so weigh the time and effort you put into these posts relative to those types of materials when considering whether or not to count as an educational material in Workload. As always, if you are posting the same item in multiple websites, blogs, and/or social media sites, it should only be counted as a single educational material.

There are many metrics available through Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics. For Workload, we count Facebook post views, likes, comments, shares, and clicks and Twitter favorites or retweets. We do not count Facebook "friends" or Twitter "followers" as a clientele contact for the same reason we do not count newsletter subscribers or a TV/radio audience. It is a form of mass communication, whereby the potential audience is known but not the actual number of users. Use the following guidelines for reporting social media contacts in Workload:

[For 2015 we recognize this guidance is coming late. Please estimate annual numbers based on the past few months since annual data is not available in all cases.]

Facebook Insights

Use this method if you don't post often and want to collect data once a year:

  1. Log into the Facebook page that you manage and click on "Insights" at the top of the page.
  2. Scroll down to "Your 5 Most Recent Posts" and click "See All Posts" at the bottom of that section.
  3. For the appropriate posts (i.e., contains educational information) you should report the numbers under "Reach" and "Engagement" (sum Post Clicks and Likes, Comments, Shares) as social media contacts.

Use this method if you post often:

  1. Log into the Facebook page that you manage and click on "Insights" at the top of the page.
  2. Click Export and set Data Type to "Post data" and the date range. For exporting, your range must be less than 180 days so we recommend you run this report on a monthly or quarterly basis.
  3. In the first sheet, Key Metrics, report numbers under "Lifetime Post Total Reach" (col H) and "Lifetime Engaged Users" (col N) for appropriate posts (i.e., contains educational information) as social media contacts.

Twitter Analytics

  1. Go to Twitter Analytics and log into your account and click on "Tweets" at the top of the page.
  2. Select date range. Twitter does not show data for an entire year so you must record your numbers at least every four months.
  3. Click on Export data.
  4. Count the "engagements" (col F) for the appropriate Tweets (i.e., contains educational information) as social media contacts.

One of the greatest benefits of using social media is that you can monitor and measure success frequently and easily. So while we recommend that you capture your social media clientele contacts on a regular basis, it is best to review the analytics (beyond what we ask for in Workload) more frequently so you can measure your success and make any necessary adjustments to improve your reach and programs. There is a wealth of information provided by Facebook and Twitter beyond what we discuss here. For more information about using social media, visit UF/IFAS Social Media Services.

HOW DO I COUNT BLOGS AND WIKIS?

The content you produce for a blog or wiki is considered an educational material.

If you exchange information on a particular issue or problem with an individual using the comments section that can be counted as a social media contact.

If your blog is re-posted by another blogger or "trackbacked" (i.e., when another blogger includes a reference to your blog posting in their own article and shows this to you by filling out the trackback section, and typically displays in your blog comments section) that should also be counted as a social media contact.

If you provide educational information on another person's blog or wiki that can be counted as a social media contact or as an educational material, depending on the amount of information and work that goes into the response. You will need to make that call.

HOW DO I REPORT SUBSCRIPTION (SMS) EMAILS?

For Workload we only include the content as an educational material and do not include the subscriber base as a clientele contact since we don't know for sure who is actually reading it. Same as TV or radio - count the program but not the potential audience. However, if the article generates an inquiry from a reader then count that as a clientele contact (email, phone, etc.). Or if someone requests information and you send them this subscription email then you may count this as an email clientele contact.

When the email is a newsletter or contains multiple articles whether it is counted as a single educational material or multiple ones is a gray area. When the articles are lengthy or detailed and/or there are multiple authors then it should be broken out to its individual parts. It really is a judgment call only author/editor can make based on how much new work and information went into the article.

HOW DO I COUNT NEWSLETTERS AS AN AUTHOR AND AS AN EDITOR/FACILITATOR?

Whether it is a printed or web-based publication, newsletters should be counted as an educational material in Workload. Each author should report their own work and the faculty member who assembles and organizes an issue should also count their work as an educational material. The same article should only be counted once regardless of how many times or where it is published (e.g., website, SMS email, hand-delivered). If you provide the newsletter as a response to an inquiry from a client then it is counted as a clientele contact (i.e., email or phone consultation).

HOW DO I COUNT WEBINARS, WEB-BASED COURSES (SYNCHRONOUS AND ASYNCHRONOUS) AND OTHER TYPES OF ONLINE LEARNING, INCLUDING EDUCATIONAL EVENTS USING POLYCOM?

If you have a registration process and/or require a log in to view content, or have an assessment at the end of the course or program, then you simply count attendees like you would any other group learning participant. If you do not have a way to track attendance or logins, use Urchin or Google Analytics to count unique visitors to the class URL for the calendar year (or more often if you add or change the content on a regular basis, have an advertised schedule of when they should complete certain sections, etc.). See the FAQ on counting web visits for more information about setting up an Urchin account or using Google Analytics.

MANY TIMES GROUP PARTICIPANTS (IN PERSON OR ONLINE) STAY AFTER THE WORKSHOP ENDS AND WE HAVE LENGTHY DISCUSSIONS. CAN I COUNT THESE AS CONSULTATIONS?

If you are addressing individuals one-on-one count those as an office or field consultation. If you are addressing the entire group in a Q&A where everyone hears the question and the answer in most cases it would be considered a continuation of the same group learning event. As always, this is a judgment call. For example if the discussion goes 1-2 hours in much greater depth or covers an entirely new topic then you may want to consider it an additional group event with just those who stayed longer.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW TO TRACK AND REPORT CLIENTELE CONTACTS?

Read EDIS Publication WC058-Reporting Clientele Contacts in Workload.

HOW DO I CALCULATE THE NUMBER OF VOLUNTEER HOURS?

Unfortunately there is no easy formula for calculating volunteer hours. For example, a New Mexico study of adult 4-H leaders1 found the annual volunteer hours ranged from 7.5 hours to more than 2000 hours. The median number of adult volunteer hours was 369.5. The study does provide some valuable insight as to how 4-H leaders spend their time. An Ohio study2 in 1998 found that adult 4-H volunteers averaged about 150 service hours per year.

Many agents request that their volunteers keep track of their hours. Volunteer hours should include time spent on training and travel. Master Gardeners are expected to report their working and learning hours as instructed by the county Master Gardener Coordinator.

1 Hutchins, J. K., Seevers, B. S., & Van Leeuwen, D. (2002). Value of Adult Leaders in the New Mexico 4-H Program. Journal of Extension [Online]. 40(2). Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2002April/rb4.html.

2 Culp, III, K. & Schwartz, V. J. (1998). Recognizing Adult Volunteer 4-H Leaders. Journal of Extension [Online]. 36(2). Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/1998april/rb3.html.