ERIC Number: ED350385
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Developing a Research Method for Testing New Curriculum Ideas: Report No. 1 on Using Marketing Research in a Lifelong Learning Organization.
Haskins, Jack B.
A survey method was developed and used to determine interest in new course topics at the Learning Institute for Elders (LIFE) at the University of Central Florida. In the absence of a known validated method for course concept testing, this approach was modeled after the "message pretesting," or formative, research used and validated in testing mass media product ideas for audience or user appeal. Elements of the method included the following: generation of a large number of ideas for new courses; descriptions of the proposed courses in college catalog format; development of a five-step "interest-in-attending" scale; a questionnaire eliciting ratings of the 61 proposed courses; satisfaction with LIFE; preference for various class formats; intentions to attend future courses; and demographic data. The surveys were mailed or handed out to 225 members of LIFE during the first year of operation, with a response rate of 44 percent (99 members). Data gathered from the returned surveys indicated that satisfaction with the program was extremely high and that about 90 percent of respondents were likely to attend future programs. Popular topics for future courses included social science, travelogs from around the world, music of the big band era, music appreciation, international films, Broadway shows, best sellers, medical research, and ancient Greeks. A telephone survey of nonrespondents was suggested. (Author/KC)
Descriptors: Adult Students, College Programs, Curriculum Development, Educational Attitudes, Evaluation Methods, Interest Inventories, Older Adults, Postsecondary Education, Questionnaires, Student Attitudes
Learning Institute for Elders, Univ. of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, FL 32816 ($5; quantity--$4).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: University of Central Florida, Orlando.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Market Research; University of Central Florida