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Agent Nutrition Survey: Dr. Janie Burney

UT Extension Online Learning has just become the focus of a needs assessment process conducted by Dr. Janie Burney and dietetic intern, Hailey Johson.

Collaborating with the FCS Nutrition and Food Safety Leadership team, Dr. Burney and Ms. Johnson wanted to determine the highest-priority needs for online instruction on nutrition topics among FCS agents statewide.

They enlisted the help of Joseph Donaldson, Extension Evaluation and Staff Development, to put together a short online survey in SurveyMonkey.

Here are some excerpts from the interview with Dr. Burney:

Why did you conduct a survey for online teaching topics?

"We conducted the survey to identify subject matter areas agents feel they need training in to deliver their programs. This survey provided a way to prioritize needs."

How have online in-services benefited your work with agents?

"Our FCS Nutrition and Food Safety Leadership team has asked that, when appropriate, training be offered online. This enables them to participate in training at their own pace and requires less travel out of the county."

Were there any “surprises” in the responses?

"Because of the national obesity epidemic it was no surprise that obesity ranked so highly. What was a surprise was the number of agents who would like training in diabetes. Because Extension programs can not include medical nutrition therapy, we will focus on preventing obesity to prevent diabetes. Tennessee Shapes Up will continue to be a priority for FCS programming."

Dr. Burney is available to answer any other questions you may have on coordinating your own surveys for online programs. You may contact her at:


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