Rural E-Commerce Training Pilot: Preliminary Report
About the Project
The Rural E-Commerce Training Pilot is a four-county Public Service Commission (Wisconsin)-funded project managed and executed through the University Wisconsin-Extension Broadband & E-Commerce Education Center in partnership with the Strategic Networks Group and UWEX Community Educators in Ashland, Bayfield, Oneida and Vilas counties.
This is a pilot to determine the level of demand and interest by small rural businesses for training and assistance with regard to having a robust web presence and e-commerce opportunities.
“I thought it was good that a range of topics were covered for those at all different levels. Although I did know some of the information that was presented, it was still interesting and informative. Very helpful for local businesses.”
Phases and Timeline of the Project
This project was launched in September, 2014 and will run through December 2014. General trainings occurred October 15-16 for all four counties. Optional secondary, in-depth assessments for individual businesses run Oct. 17-Dec. 12. A final report for the PSC on the pilot will be completed by Dec. 31, 2014.
Participants and survey evaluation of the general training
In our grant proposal we estimated we would have 46 attendees (total) at four training sessions. In total we had 68, which not only far exceeded our projection but was also a strong indication of interest, as the invitations were only extended within a two-week window. Following the general trainings we sent a survey to all 68 participants; of those, 27 responded and completed the survey.
“It’s always rewarding to be part of something where the folks behind it are so passionate about their subject.”
Not only did we have a strong turnout for general training sessions and a strong survey response rate, we also had very positive overall results. In summary, 82% ranked the training 5-10 (on a scale of 1- 10 with 10 indicating they felt the training was very helpful). [19% gave it a 10, 22% a 9, 11%a-8, 19% a 7, and 11% a 5]
To evaluate each section of training, we asked four questions:
- Two questions were targeted to content (too advanced/not advanced enough?). The mean for these questions across all sections was 2.5 on a scale of 1-5 where 5 would have indicated the training was too advance or too basic, which tells us our content was pitched at the right level, not too advanced or too basic, across participants.
- One question was targeted to presenter effectiveness. The mean for these questions across all sections was 3.9 (1-5 with 5 indicating highest quality presentations), which tells us our presenters were effective in their presentations.
- One question was targeted to relevancy to the business. The mean for these questions across all sections was 3.8 (1-5 with 5 indicating high relevance), telling us that the content overall was relevant to attending businesses.