Date of Award

1980

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

This study was conducted to develop and evaluate various uses of learning modules and to compare them with the traditional method of teaching weed control practices to small vegetable farmers. One hundred forty eight small farmers were selected for the study from St. Landry Parish in Louisiana and from Copiah, Simpson and Jefferson Davis Counties in Mississippi. They were divided into four treatment groups at random. Treatment I consisted of 63 farmers who were exposed to the modules in a group under professional supervision. Treatment II consisted to 48 farmers who participated in the same weed control program under the supervision of a professional using the traditional lecture-discussion method. Treatment III consisted of 20 farmers exposed to the learning modules on weed control under the supervision of a para-professional. Treatment IV involved 17 farmers who were exposed individually to the modules. The learning modules consisted of a series of slides synchronized with a tape recorded narrative. The programs for all farmers required two hours and ten minutes to complete. The modules were administered in two sixty-five minute sessions separated by a fifteen minute break. Farmers in the traditional or lecture-discussion group were exposed to the same subject matter for the same period of time as the module treatments. Data for the study was collected using pre-test and post-test questionnaires. The pre-test was administered just before farmers were exposed to the weed control program. Seven days after completing the program a post-test was administered. Both pre and post-tests were graded and coded for analysis. The following findings were observed: the comparison of the learning module and traditional treatments resulted in a highly significant difference in favor of the learning module treatments. A comparison of other module treatments indicated that farmers exposed to the modules in groups under professional supervision made significantly higher gains than farmers exposed to the modules in groups under para-professional supervision. It was also discovered that farmers exposed to modules in a group under para-professional supervision made significantly higher gains than farmers in the traditional treatment. When comparing mean gain of farmers exposed to the modules individually under para-professional supervision, with farmers exposed to the modules in groups under para-professional supervision, it was found that individual exposure under para-professional supervision was superior to the other treatments.

Pages

204

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