Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Printing and Journalism


This study was undertaken in an attempt to determine to what extent commercial television--an example of mass communication—acts as a contributory agent in the process of reinforcing existing learning experiences, and in an attempt to isolate some of the other factors that may act as mediating influences to reinforcing effects. The subjects of this research consisted of' members or the Extension Clubs in Meade County, South Dakota. A second audience of the same approximate size of non-members of Extension Clubs in the same county was used as a control group for purposes of comparison. This problem was chosen for study because reinforcement of adult learning retention acquired during a regularly broadcast program on commercial television where the audience viewed the programs on a volunteer basis--had not been the object of any previous research. F. M. Dwyer Jr. in a recently completed doctoral dissertation at Pennsylvania State University compared the effects on student learning of' several varieties of visual illustrations as a supplement to verbal instruction using a research design similar to this one Robert B. Hayes, in his master's thesis, studied the effectiveness of immediate reinforcement on learning a complex mental-motor skill [driving a car] using an integrated approach where stimulator instruction in the dorm of' motion picture films was interwoven with dual-control car instruction. . . . The first objective of this study was to attempt to determine what reinforcing effects are observable in the use of commercial television broadcasting, as an example of the mass media, when used to supplement instruction given by volunteer non-professional teachers. The second objective was to attempt to determine if the age, education or place of residence of the adult are contributing factors, among others, that mediate the effectiveness of the reinforcing medium. The final objective was to attempt to discover the most effective means of presenting information in this specific medium of mass communication (commercial television) in the subject matter area of home economics.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Television in education
Agricultural extension work -- South Dakota -- Rapid City
Communication in agriculture -- South Dakota -- Rapid City
Television in agriculture -- South Dakota -- Rapid City




South Dakota State University