Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Open Access Dissertation


Channel One, a news and features program delivered via satellite to over 40% of junior and senior high school students in the United States, has been the subject of persistent scrutiny regarding the educational value of its daily 12-minute presence in schools. Previous studies have shown a small but statistically significant effect size in favor of watching the program's current events features. The current study was designed to investigate the impact of follow-up discussion on students' acquisition of knowledge about social issue features (teen pregnancy, drug abuse, etc.) which account for approximately 30% of Channel One's content. Two studies were conducted utilizing a posttest only quasi-experimental 3 x 2 repeated measures design. In Study One, three seventh grade classes were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: (a) watched a two-day series on depression and discussed it, (b) watched the series without follow-up discussion, and (c) watched an edited version of Channel One that had the segment on depression deleted. Student retention of information was tested three days after the completion of the series and again two weeks later. The major finding of Study One was that students who watched and discussed the feature on depression scored significantly higher than did those who watched without discussion or those who did not watch the feature at all. These findings were observed both at the immediate and delayed testing. Study Two attempted to replicate these findings in the context of the more familiar social issue feature of drug abuse. Contrary to expectations, at the immediate testing groups that watched and discussed performed significantly better than did those that did not watch the feature but not better than those that watched without discussion. Results suggest that Channel One's impact on students' learning might be enhanced by the use of follow-up discussion. A cross-study analysis suggests that the use of follow-up discussion might be more valuable in the context of social issues on which students have little prior knowledge. Findings also suggest that in the context of a more familiar social issue, follow-up discussion enhances the long term retention of the information.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Carmen Montecinos, Co-chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 147 pages)



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