INTENDED AND INCIDENTAL LEARNING OUTCOMES RESULTING FROM THE USE OF LEARNING OBJECTIVES WITH A SELECTED AUDIOVISUAL PRESENTATION

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1978

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Abstract

Problem: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the use of learning objectives with an audiovisual presentation on the intended (objective relevant) and incidental (non-objective relevant) learning outcomes. This study was conducted to provide evidence regarding the facilitative effects of using learning objectives as an organizer with a fixed-pace, fixed-format, non-print medium. The investigation was based on one phase of David P. Ausubel's theory of meaningful verbal learning: the advance organizer, Ausubel hypothesized that organizers facilitate learning when presented to students in advance of a learning passage. In this investigation, the organizer consisted of the learning objectives for the students, and the curriculum material was an audiovisual slide-tape presentation. The organizer was presented prior to the presentation, following the presentation, and interspersed within the presentation immediately preceding the objective relevant content. Procedure : An experiment was conducted to determine the effect and interaction of five independent variables with an audiovisual slidetape program: presence of learning objectives, location of learning objectives, type of knowledge, sex of learner, and retention of learning. A factorial design replicated for retention of learning was selected for the analysis. Student learning of intended knowledge and incidental knowledge, as measured by paper and pencil tests, were the dependent variables. A commercially produced educational slide-tape presentation concerning advances in communication technology was used as the stimulus. The participants were 108 college students enrolled in an introductory mass communications course at a California State University. Students in the class were stratified by sex and randomly assigned to four groups. Each experimental group viewed the slide-tape presentation either without learning objectives (control group), with learning objectives grouped at the beginning of the presentation (advance organizers), grouped at the end of the presentation (post organizers), or located throughout the presentation immediately preceding the relevant content (adjunct organizers ). Viewing and listening factors were carefully controlled for each of the four groups. Students completed an immediate posttest measuring intended and incidental knowledge as well as their feelings toward the subject and the manner of presentation. They were tested again two weeks later for intended and incidental knowledge only. The data were subjected to analysis of variance and other selected statistical procedures for testing differences between the experimental groups. Results : Although all three treatment groups had higher intended learning scores, only the performance of the group receiving the learning objectives before the slide-tape presentation achieved significance at the .05 level. The comparison of the immediate and delayed posttest analyses indicated that the relative effects of the experimental treatment did not change over time for the intended learning. No significant differences were found between experimental groups in the learning outcomes of incidental knowledge. No interactions were found between treatment and the grade point average or sex of the student. Significant differences did occur in the participants' evaluation of the slide-tape presentation. While there was no significant difference between the treatment groups and the control group, the group receiving the learning objectives before the presentation gave a significantly higher evaluation rating to the slide-tape program than did the group where the learning objectives were interspersed during the presentation. Conclusions: As a result of this experiment, the author concluded that the use of learning objectives facilitated the learning of objective relevant knowledge from a slide-tape presentation when the learning objectives were presented at the beginning of the program. Learning objectives used in this manner as "advance organizers" do not inhibit the acquisition of incidental (non-objective relevant) information contained in the instructional program. Furthermore, the use of learning objectives with a slide-tape instructional program does not detract from the students' evaluation of the program. Recommendation : Learning objectives can be developed by instructors for the audiovisual materials they use. The insertion of the learning objectives prior to the presentation of the audiovisual program can be accomplished rather easily. If the primary concern of the user of audiovisual materials is to increase intended learning, the insertion of learning objectives prior to the presentation is recommended.

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