Cable, Two-Way Video, and Educational Programming

The Case of Daycare

by Sue E. Berryman, Tora K. Bikson, Judith S. Bazemore


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The Spartanburg daycare experiment determined if (1) televised workshops in childcare can be used to upgrade the quality of daycare, and (2) video interaction enhances educational effects. A quasi-experimental design governed the assessment of the first question; a random assignment design, the second. On the basis of the Spartanburg experience, the workshop market consists primarily of daycare centers rather than homes. Workshop participants preferred audio return over video return (access to the workshop director without being visible) and video return over no return (enhanced interest). The no-return condition showed greater caregiver cognitive gains than the two-way condition; the two-way condition, greater attitudinal change. Being visible in the two-way condition seemed to increase evaluative anxiety, inhibiting cognitive learning, and to enhance group pressures to change attitudes. Neither condition showed changes in caregiver interactions with children. Relative to the costs of face-to-face training, cable workshops approach a breakeven point at 40-50 participants, becoming increasingly attractive above that number.

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