4 E’s Framework


This framework is an adaptation of categories first used to describe varying intensities of training methods (Cohen 1985;  Farkas & Anthony, 2001). The strategies can be categorized as: exposure, experience, expertise and embedding. The strategies have a specific learning goal (i.e., increased knowledge; increased knowledge and positive attitudes; increased competence; increased utilization of the information over time).

Goal Exposure Experience Expertise Embedding
Outcome Increased knowledge Increased knowledge and positive attitudes Increased competence Increased use in practice

Exposure methods  are used in an information-seeking model look for ways to increase the interactive nature of communication; that is, helping users to explore, learn, decide or confirm information, rather than just reading it Techniques to increase exposure include reading and discussion, online seminars, one day workshops, lectures, webinars etc.

Experience strategies help the user to “get ready” to use an innovation or new information. The experience strategy for researchers may involve mentoring young researchers in order to engage them in developing new studies.  Experience strategies for others may include observing programs or demonstrations of the innovations, participating in an audio visual experience ( video, podcast, webinar) with specific exercises and discussions related to deepening an understanding of the information and value system beneath it or meeting peers or others who can serve to clarify and inspire an audience.

Expertise strategies help the participant develop the competency to perform skills to criteria. This can include supervised internships for new providers or researchers or others coming into the field, or specific training programs focused on didactic, modeling and supervised practice over time.

Embedding strategies are complex knowledge utilization methods whose goal is to increase use of the new findings or innovation over time. This need to institutionalize knowledge in daily practice has long been recognized as one of the most difficult aspects of promoting change. Strategies can include technical assistance or organizational change techniques to help organizations develop structures that support the use of the information; “power strategies” that establish rules, legislation, public policy that strengthen social norms and expectations about what is possible or strategies that affect resources to make the changes sustain over time, such as funding.

Farkas, M. & Anthony W. A. ( 2007)  Bridging Science to Service: Using a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Program to ensure that research knowledge makes a difference. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. Vol 44, no 6, 879-892.

Farkas. M., Jette, A. M., Tennestadt, S., Haley, S.M., Quinn,V.,  (2003). Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization in Gerontology: An organizing Framework. Gerontologist. , 43, Special Issue, 47-56.



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