From 1957 FRANCISCAN
San Francisco State College
TV instruction at home
Assimilated closed circuit class TV
San Francisco State College, with the aid of the Bay Area
educational television station KQED, began an experimental
study of educational television during 1956-57.
The over-all objective of the experiment was to measure the
effectiveness of television education as opposed to classroom edu
cation. To do a good job (technically) it was necessary to pro
cure the services of experienced personnel from station KQED,
including writers, directors, producers, and staging experts.
Production of the broadcasts was under the direction of Dr.
David Parker of State's Radio-TV department. Mr. Orville
Goldner, Audio-Visual Director of San Francisco State, was the
Visual Director for the televised classes. Len Hansen and Dick
Christian were student producers.
The primary purpose of the TV experiment was to determine
whether television is recommendable as a remedy for over
crowded classes. The degree to which TV is inferior or superior,
the cost of such an adventure, the implications for the college,
the performance of noncollege groups, and the effect upon the
instructional staff in preparing and presenting telecourses, are
also important considerations which may be solved by experi
For a project that is so vast and has so many implications,
the planning of the exact procedure was a difficult task. The
following is a brief resume of this procedure.
"The experimental (television) and control (normal campus
class) groups for this study were selected from students who
volunteered to participate in the project. In cases where students
were willing to participate in only one of the groups, they were
assigned to the group of their preference. Those students willing
to participate in any of the groups were randomly assigned to
the experimental and control groups. Initial volunteers, when
assigned to groups, were to have roughly comparable A.C.E.
and grade point averages. Discrepancies in general ability levels
among the final student groups are handled statistically.
"Both practical and research considerations have led to
modification of the original designation of groups to be used in
the study. The first of these was the elimination of the control
group taught by an instructor other than the instructor teaching
the TV group. Experimentally, it did not seem feasible to handle
the instructor introduced by this. And practically, there loomed
the problem of finding control subjects who would take a heavy
afternoon schedule of classes. Therefore, just one control group,
(Continued on page 21)
DR. ROBERT DREHER
Coordinator of TV Research Project
DR. DAYI D PARKER, producer
LEN HANSEN, student associate producer
DICK CHRISTIAN, student directoqo
a normal campus section of 45 students, taught by the television
professor, is used.
"The second deviation from the original proposal was the
addition of another TV group. The original proposal for this
study called for the use of two TV sections with 45 students in
each. At the April meeting of the advisory board for this project,
it was suggested that an additional TV section be scheduled to
meet for the television broadcasts in a campus classroom pro
vided with television sets. Such a group, simulating the 'closed
circuit' telecourse situation used on a number of college earn
puses today, permits comparisions to be made among three
modes of course presentation (1) a normal clasroom situa
tion, (2) a telecourse presentation to those students at home,
an d (3) a telecourse attended by students in a classroom.
"As originally planned, all groups for each course pursue
the same course objectives, use the same texts, have the same
assignments and supplementary readings, and take the same
examinations. For a three-hour course presented as a telecourse
there were two 45-minute broadcasts weekly. And a two-hour
discussion period on campus biweekly. In the case of the
at-home groups and the control class on campus, all meetings
are handled by the professor teaching on television. For the
on-campus TV group, the biweekly discussions are handled by
(Continued on page 22)
a different professor. The introduction of this instructor variable
in the discussions of the on-campus TV group is not as clear
cut as having all meetings handled by the same professor, but
this change was deemed a reasonable concession to the reality
of many closed circuit situations."
President Leonard initiated the idea of television courses at
San Francisco State because of overcrowded classes which are
becoming a serious problem. The Ford Foundation, which is
sponsoring other projects of college television, responded with
a $125,000 grant. Then Mr. Lyle Nelson of San Francisco State
went to work. He was instrumental in seeing that the early stages
of the television project were carried out with such care that
the future program could run smoothly. At this point Dr. Robert
Dreher was appointed director of the experimental study of
The teachers who would instruct the courses on television
were then chosen. Dr. Shepard Insel (Psychology 10.1); Dr.
Thomas Lantos (Social Science 30) ; Dr. Mayo Bryce with Dr.
John Tegnell, iules Irving, and Welland Lathrop (Creative Arts
10) ; and Dr. John Clark (English 6.1) were the teachers appear·
ing in the first experiments.
The innovator is constantly faced with difficulties and Dr.
Dreher, director of the experiment, was no exception. However,
he stated that no great obstacles were presented, except short
interruptions which were quickly adjusted. Two such interrup
tions were the scheduling and bad TV reception due to Twin
Peaks interfering with the TV signaL The first problem arose
when not enough students could be found to take late afternoon
classes. The second problem was solved in January by moving
the KQED transmitter to the peak of San Bruno mountain. In
this new location the transmitter sent its signal, un interfered, to
all parts of San Francisco.
Many schools in the United States are giving telecourses, but
only limited research is taking place. San Francisco State is the
only college at present doing such extensive research. State is
dealing with regular college pupils, and studying reactions and
personality factors instead of only studying examination results.
Although no data that are conclusive enough to report have yet
been received, there is evidence that the program is going along
as planned, and another and even larger grant by the Ford Foun
dation has been received to further the experimental study of
Educational Television at San Francisco State College.
. beaux arts manor
Every other Sunday afternoon on KRON-TV, Channel 4,
the Bay Area TV audience is entertained by a show produced
and directed by students and faculty of the San Francisco
Listed on the program as the Beaux Arts Manor - a title
which means quite literally, "a gathering place of the fine
arts," Beaux Arts Manor is a loosely structured and informal
performance in which student TV professionals-to-be and
gifted artists of the Creative Arts Division of the College
combine their talents to produce a half-hour show.
Fundamentally, the Beaux Arts Manor production provides
valuable training experience for those who plan to make a
career in TV and at the same time offers young artists study
ing at the college an opportunity to sing, to act, to dance, or
to display their virtuosity on orchestral instruments before
a TV audience. In addition, through the media of this program,
which is written and produced by students and faculty of the
Radio-TV department, the viewing public is given a picture
of the many activities provided by the Creative Arts Division
of the College.
The Beaux Arts Manor is the second in a series of TV pro
grams produced at San Francisco State.
Back in September of last year, KRON-TV, as a public
service, invited the Radio-TV department of the College to
DICK LEE and ED McLAUGHLIN
ROY ANDERSON, BOB MULROY
BILL WENTE, MYRON GREEN, BOB NUDROY,
ED McLAUGHLIN, BOB GLAESHUM, DON DULNAGE
create and produce a half-hour Sunday after
noon show for television.
Delighted with the opportunity, the Radio
TV staff came up with a show called People
with a Future. The program explored various
departments of the College and featured among
others, Industrial Arts, AFROTC and an origi
The series was discontinued in December,
1956, however the student- faculty production
staff felt that the lack of continuity in the theme
of this show was a major fault. Of necessity,
People with a Future was a show which had to
present a completely new set of department
activities every time it went on the air.
Beaux Arts Manor, the present show, which
was first presented in January this year, offers
wide avenues for exploration and possesses a
strong theme of continuity. Its producers now
see it as a possible permanent fixture on the
KRON-TV Sunday afternoon bill of fare.
DAN PECK, PRISCILLA PITTENGER, JEANNE KENMORE