Media Selection Models and Evaluation
Instruments for Electronically Mediated Materials
Statements which contained adult education
principles, methods or teaching strategies reached consensus
except for the use of learning contracts (rejected at 72.1 percent).
Based upon the number of respondents ranking themselves with
high knowledge (35) as well as the low group knowledge (35.7
percent) and importance scores (33.9 percent), there is little
knowledge about learning contracts or how they can be used with
One statement questioned whether strategies
should be evaluated for their ability to reach all student learning
styles and was accepted (80 percent). The comments and the lower
group score (48 percent) suggest that learning styles and how
they may be applied to media are not well understood. Respondents
perceived that visual and auditory styles can be addressed, but
do not perceive that tactile, kinesthetic or interactive styles
can be addressed through all components.
All statements regarding shelf life were
rejected (69.8 to 74.6 percent). Producers indicated that a two
to three year shelf life was normal; users wanted a much longer
shelf life for cost effectiveness which indicates that producers
should minimize aspects which directly affect shelf life. A possible
solution is to package content with the shortest life in one
video program or in print supplements which could be updated
at minimal expense to producers or users.
There were two statements on video technical
quality which received consensus. One stated that the video technical
quality should meet professional broadcast quality standards
(82.9 percent). The second stated that video technical quality
should meet professional broadcast quality standards appropriate
to the delivery method (cable, ITFS, broadcast, learning center,
etc.) (90.9 percent). There has been a long-standing discussion
about video technical quality and learning differences, if any,
between educational programming produced with low or high production
values. Opinion polarized into two areas. One group believes
that production values are acceptable if they fit the delivery
method. The second group believes that production values must
meet broadcast standards because students are constantly exposed
to it and will judge educational programming by their experience
with commercial television. The implication for producers is
that they will need to produce programming which meets broadcast
quality standards in order to meet both needs. If production
is less than broadcast quality, they will lose part of the market.
A statement that a total of 15 hours of
video programming is ideal was rejected (47.1 percent). Comments
documented that a new regulatory factor has emerged where some
accrediting agencies have set student contact hours at 45 hours,
the same amount required for traditional classes. This has made
the 15-hour telecourse unacceptable to institutions operating
under these regulations as additional projects cannot be substituted
for contact hours. The 15-hour telecourse carries one credit
hour; respondents felt that students would not register for this.
This has implications for program design and funding and is a
warning that the 45-hour contact regulation may be broadly applied.
Respondents' concerns are that it increases tape costs, replacement
courses are difficult to find and broadcast time becomes limited.
Solutions may be lecture audio tapes or classes conducted via
audio bridge. If the 15-hour telecourse is to be defended, the
defense will have to be based on its quality, excellence and
research showing that equivalent educational objectives can be
achieved in 15 hours by a multi-media program as that obtained
from 45 contact hours.
A statement regarding experts being nationally
recognized was rejected (44.3 percent). This has implications
for producers who use experts.
Statements were rejected about profit projection
(45.0 percent) and comparison of cost effectiveness of similar
courses (70.4 percent). Comments indicated that it is difficult
to project income. Shrinking resources would seem to mandate
that distance educators develop this management ability.
A statement about the inclusion of marketing
concepts and materials was rejected (64.6 percent).
The media selection model and its evaluating
instrument require evaluators to apply specific criteria to the
telecourse to determine the suitability of its use in the program.
The model and the evaluating instrument consider the combination
of media and factors related to the course's general organization,
video programs and learners. It can be used with training or
post secondary materials to evaluate more than one medium and
is short enough to be of practical use.
from "A Technical
Guide to Teleconferencing and Distance Learning," 3rd edition