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Automated Evaluation of AIDS Messages with High‐Risk, Low‐Literacy Audiences


A series of televised public service announcements (PSAs) about acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was evaluated with 100 black participants attending a Sexually Transmitted Diseases Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia. Since the literacy level of the participants was suspected to be low, questions were administered orally and an electronic data collection technique was used which permitted the participants to push buttons, as opposed to speaking or writing responses. In this way, data were collected regarding: (i) the participants’ demographics; (ii) their self‐perceived AIDS knowledge and awareness; and (iii) their second‐by‐second continuous responses to the video presentation. Participants who perceived themselves to be at high risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection gave more positive continuous responses to the PSA sequence than did self‐perceived low‐risk participants. Men gave more approving responses than women. The results were considered in relation to previous findings concerning the interacting effects of PSA design and perceived risk. Debriefing sessions indicated that the automated approach to data collection is particularly useful informative evaluation studies requiring rapid data collection from audiences drawn from diverse educational backgrounds.

Jon Baggaley*, Charles Salmon, Michael Siska, Ruby Lewis‐Hardy, P. B. Tambe, Cynthia Jorgensen, Ruth Harris & Janine Jason

Journal of Educational Television 1992;18 (2-3):83-95.