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Evaluation of the Channel 13/WNDT Advanced Placement Experiment AP

Richards, James M., Jr.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Educational Broadcasting Corporation, Advanced Placement (AP), Course Evaluation, Educational Television, Public Television


During the summer of 1963, the Educational Broadcasting Corporation offered over Channel 13/WNDT two college-level courses, one in American History and one in Calculus. Provisions were made for students, if they so desired, to seek formal credit for the course by applying for and taking an appropriate examination of the Advanced Placement Program. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the learning experience of the TV students, primarily through analysis of their performance on the Advanced Placement Examinations. In the telecourses, 71% of the History students and 50% of the Calculus students obtained passing grades, but the TV students as a group performed less well than did the control groups who took the regular spring 1963 Advanced Placement Examinations. The TV students studied somewhat more hours per week than did the regular AP students, but probably somewhat fewer hours for each hour of class lecture time. Thus there is at least a possibility that the relatively poorer examination performance of the TV students is due to relatively less study of assigned materials. The majority of TV students felt that the teacher did an extremely good job, and most of the rest thought he or she did a fairly good job. The TV students, as compared to regular AP students, tended to be older, more likely to be female, come from high schools where a relatively smaller proportion of seniors go on to college, and come more often from laboring class and lower-middle class homes. These results can be summarized as indicated by the fact that the TV students were a more heterogeneous group than the regular AP students. This is an indication that the telecourses reached their intended audience. Sampling limitations make some generalizations to the general population of high school students hazardous. The findings are therefore most appropriately considered as descriptive of the particular samples studied.

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