Historically, the Extension service was created to expand research-based knowledge gained at land grant universities to improve the everyday lives of citizens. The vision and goals of the Innovative Media Research and Extension department is built on this service, and has evolved to using digital media as a way to expand the education and outreach work of New Mexico State University and its research partners to all of our learners, at any age, and with any content.
We’ve been developing educational media for more than 25 years. Our portfolio offers examples of the products we’ve created. Our team is staffed with professionals who have degrees in their field, and bring professional learning design experience to help you create beautiful and engaging learning tools.
See our work at: innovativemedia.nmsu.edu.
We produce digital learning tools which reflect the most recent research: that includes the content of the tool (what the user will be learning) as well as on the design of the product (how the user will be learning it). Our products include website creation and maintenance, communications planning and social media, events registration, video and animation production, and development of interactive programs such as games, apps, virtual reality and interactive labs.
All of our websites are managed by our professional web team, meet federal 508 compliance for accessibility guidelines, and are checked regularly for broken links or other issues.
Innovative Media, Research and Extension
Departments, County Offices, Experiment Stations and other programs within the college should work through us to create their websites. Using the official NMSU templates in the NMSU-approved web management system, Cascade, we can help you set up, manage and maintain your site. If you’d like assistance or resources in managing your own site, we are happy to support you in learning how to use Cascade. If you’d prefer that we create and update the site, we are happy to do that as well. All official departments and units are requested to use this template, and we provide this support free of charge to everyone in our college.
Grant-funded and special project websites may choose not to use the NMSU templates, particularly if the project involves multiple institutions and is larger than just NMSU. For example, many grants require the team to have a website that explains the goals and missions of that project, and some PIs choose to create sites as an outreach tool to share the results of their research or deliver educational tools to learners. We offer this website development as a paid service. We are able to create a basic design for you, and can update the content for you or allow you access to maintain it yourself. We are also able to secure a specific url for you if desired, and provide maintenance of the site for 3 years after the close of funding. Talk with us to get budget estimates if you have a grant or special project.
To manage or create a website, contact:
Connie Padilla, ACES college webmaster
To make changes to an existing page, consider dropping into the always-open Zoom Room (8-5, M-F). Someone on our web team can work with you to make a change immediately, and see the results go live. Visit https://nmsu.zoom.us/my/aceswebsupport.
Social Media and Communications Planning
We can support your efforts in promoting your work. You might simply want to share news and events in social media, or create a larger communications plan uniting your web, social media and other key messages. For example, you may want to articulate 3 key educational messages around a given topic, or convey broader ideas such as the validity of your findings, or the value of your funding.
If you manage your own social media accounts, contact Jeffrey Buras to join our college social media group to meet others and share tips, tricks and posts.
Even if you don’t manage social media yourself, we can work with you to develop a set educational media campaign around your presentations and research. For example, we work with specialists to convert their presentations to a variety of social media posts, extending their reach.
Our newer grant-funded outreach programs often include a social media toolkit, including posts that are instantly shareable by clientele. These can be placed into a social media toolkit, or just released gradually over the course of a few months or a year.
Our social media support is free for Extension specialists and agents. Work with us to create a budget for a larger grant-funded program.
Jeffrey Buras, Extension Social Media Specialist
Events Online Registration Systems
If you are hosting a smaller outreach meeting or a larger conference, we can help you provide online registration for these events. We offer services for free events, and help you collect registration costs for paid events. This is a free service offered by our college. To learn more, view our blog post on Events Online Registration Support or contact:
Laura Ramirez, Events Registration Coordinator
We create videos for Extension, as well as for other clients within the college and the land-grant system. Video projects vary: from a simple interview with a specialist, to a quick video for social media, or a longer-form scripted series. Our video team can work with you to design the right type of video for your audience, and either work with you to create Extension Outreach videos, or develop a budget and timeline for your grant-funded project. They can also support you in creating your own videos improving their quality or posting them to social media.
If you are interested in animated videos, our team of professional artists can help you design an ideal learning tool, and discuss when it’s best to use videos to reach your audience, and when animations may be more effective.
To learn more about video work, contact:
Tomilee Turner, Lead Instructional Designer for Video
Interactive Learning Tools
Games, virtual reality programs, apps and interactive labs provide several learning affordances other learning environments don’t offer. These digital tools, unlike humans, have infinite patience, giving users the opportunity to practice repeatedly. They offer safe failure and exploration, where learners can learn from mistakes without a great cost. They give learners the opportunity to explore on their own, and view their progress over time. Because this kind of development is more complex, it requires more significant design work between our learning specialists and content experts. Also, the teams developing these interactions are almost entirely funded by soft money, so they are often created with grant funds. Partnering to develop these grant-funded products allows our team to serve New Mexicans with high-quality, accessible digital tools for agriculture, family & community, natural resources, and STEM learning.
Our faculty are doing research on how best to design learning programs, including interface design, user testing, and making games representative and accessible. They also research how best to use these tools in many fields, with current emphases in food safety, food science, genetics and bioengineering, climate resilience, nutrition and human health, and agricultural literacy. Reach out to our faculty or department head for more information.
Write a Grant with Us
Because so much of our work is funded by grants, we are excited to partner in your grant work. We can help you in science communication, developing outreach plans, or collaborating with any of our previous partners. We often help new grant writers develop budgets and draft their first proposal as a partner. Let us know if we can help, or if you are interested in collaborating!
Funding and Costs
Our department is unique in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences in that we are funded half by ACES resources (primarily Extension funding), and half by grants and contracts obtained by faculty in the department. That is why some of our services are offered free of charge, and some are offered for a fee. Our primary goal is to expand the outreach capacity of our college — and we want to collaborate with you to meet your outreach goals as well.
Please reach out to me if you have ideas, questions, or concerns.
Barbara Chamberlin, PhD Department Head
Written by Barbara Chamberlin, PhD, Department Head, Professor, Department of Innovative Media Research and Extension.