UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Comprehension of recorded material and material directly presented Kitley, Philip Joseph


Research in radio education has been confined largely to surveys so far, and very little has been done to investigate listening, the general field of this study. The purpose of the experiment was to discover the differences if any between the comprehension and retention of material presented to grade V of VI pupils directly and by means of transcriptions, as measured by both immediate and delayed recall tests. The principal questions to be decided were whether the absence of “visual cues” would make any difference in favour the recorded presentation. In all, eight classes were used from four Vancouver schools, four from each of the two grades. Children were selected as a representative sampling of the Vancouver school population, and were found to have a mean I.Q. only slightly above that for the whole school population of the city. When absences had been taken into account, 192 cases were left from which complete results were obtained. Eighteen paragraphs were used for the test, four of these “dummies” for trial purposes and the remainder in two parallel forms of the Dominion silent reading tests. This was simple factual material prepared for the use of grades V and VI. Tests were administered at the rate of two a day for five days, and five days later a delayed test on one set of seven paragraphs was given. The groups were then rotated and the same procedure followed for the other set of paragraphs. Tests were in the form of four simple multiple choice questions for each paragraph. Rotation of time, class, material and type of presentation was made possible in the pattern of the experiment. One reading voice and one test administrator were used throughout. In this way such factors as novelty, fatigue and practice were cancelled out. Each of the four schools and all the classes were visited once each day, two schools in the morning and two in the afternoon, at regular times. For the recorded part of the test, paragraphs were transcribed and portable playback equipment was taken from school to school. The experiment was arranged in such a way that at each school on each day one class was receiving “live” and one class recorded material. For the recorded part of the test, directions were also transcribed, so that in this section even the test directions were given by means for recordings. The plan was carried out substantially as arranged, and with only one or two minor delays of not more than one hour or two. Results may be summarized as follows: a. A general trend in favour of “live” presentation was definitely noticed. b. Scores for the total group were significantly in favour of the “live” presentation, but more scores for the grade VI group were not significantly different either way. c. Boys’ scores were not significantly different but girls’ scores were. Boys’ scores were noticeably higher than girls’ scores. d. Upper and lower quartiles of the I.Q. distribution were examined, but there was no significant difference in either group. Since this experiment was organized in such a way as to make the “live” and recorded presentations as similar as possible, it follows that in this case the record was merely duplicating the teachers. Such is not the case with radio, other factors operating to justify the use of school broadcasts.

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