Interactive instructional television (IITV) classroom system design: an application and cost comparative analysis.
Ryan-Nicholls, Kimberley D.
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This study identified conditions under which IITV might be an appropriate choice of technology for delivering instruction in the K-12 environment; presented an analysis of different IITV classroom system design applications and corresponding transmission systems; and provided estimates of the typical costs associated with the creation, as well as ongoing usage, of such systems. Three instruments, developed based on literature review and validated through expert review and external feedback, were used to collect data relevant to the research questions. Study participants consisted of the Superintendents and IITV Coordinators in three Manitoba school divisions which utilize IITV. The findings indicate that, first, IITV is chosen as an instructional technology primarily as a mechanism for ensuring that rural students receive the same educational opportunities as do their urban counterparts. A by-product of this is the assurance that rural school districts survive. Second, each IITV system design has its own set defining characteristics. However, underlying these unique attributes some common elements are found which are fundamental to the delivery of two-way audio and video interactive instructional television. Data analyzed in relation to a total of 81 design considerations revealed that of this total, 24 design considerations are common across all three designs, while 57 design considerations are uncommon. Third, costs to remodel a standard classroom into a basic IITV classroom system are minimal; and costs to remodel a standard classroom into intermediate and deluxe IITV classroom systems at approximately 3 1/2 times and 5 times, respectively, the cost required to remodel a standard classroom into a basic IITV classroom system. It costs 1 1/2 times as much to equip an intermediate IITV classroom system as it does to equip a basic IITV classroom system; and more than 2 times as much to equip a deluxe IITV classroom system as it does to equip a basic IITV classroom system. It costs almost 3 times as much to establish a multi-point transmission system for an intermediate IITV classroom system as it does to establish one for a basic IITV classroom system; and that establishing a leased fiber optic system costs approximately 1/6th of the cost to establish a multi-point transmission system for an intermediate system. However, the ongoing lease cost of fiber is 20 times that of the costs associated with the ongoing usage of microwave. Two limitations of this study were: it did not conduct a comparative analysis of the costs for specific services associated with microwave transmission system design, construction and installation and costing information was not obtained for a purchased fiber optic system.