Connecting consumers with experts online
Ask an Expert is a streamlined system that allows Michigan residents to get important questions answered.
October 1, 2017 - Author: Maddie Curley
Michigan residents have easier access than ever to get important questions answered through Ask an Expert, an online question and answer portal available on the Michigan State University Extension website.
Ask an Expert is part of the national eXtension network. Through the process, Michigan residents ask questions and receive expert answers quickly on a broad range of subjects, regardless of local staffing. Experts provide university research-based information that helps residents improve their quality of life, family, garden, business and community.
The system allows MSU Extension staff to deliver educational information and increase engagement with new and existing audiences using easily accessible online communication methods.
In 2016, 116 MSU Extension staff members and specially trained MSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers answered 2,784 questions. While experts received questions on numerous topics, more than 90 percent of them were related to plants and pests, which included identification, pest management, general plant culture, and soil and fertility management. Other question topics included zoning and land use, canning and food safety, equine, and human nutrition.
- 80% said Ask an Expert answered their question.
- 76% said the answers had enough detail and were understandable by users.
- 62% are considering changing a practice or have changed practices based on the answer they received.