Spring 1990 // Volume 28 // Number 1 // Research in Brief // 1RIB3

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Who Participates in Teleconferences?


Huey B. Long
Kellogg Professor of Continuing Education and
Director, Oklahoma Research Center for Continuing
Professional and Higher Education
University of Oklahoma-Norman

Dawn Zoller
Kellogg Fellow
Oklahoma Research Center for Continuing
Professional and Higher Education
University of Oklahoma-Norman

This study was designed to determine if the CES teleconference programs were viewed by a broad segment of Oklahoma's population or if the programs appealed only to a certain population segment. A sample of 183 subjects was selected from attendance lists at programs broadcast in the state. Forty-nine of the subjects returned mailed survey instruments and 22 responded to a telephone survey. As no significant differences on selected variables existed between the two groups, a combined sample of 71 subjects was studied.

Findings are:

  • Age: Participants were well-represented across all age groups, with 56% between 30 to 50 years of age.
  • Education: Eighty-four percent had at least some college, with nearly half (49%) being college graduates.
  • Income: Seventy-four percent of the respondents reported an annual income over $25,000. Twenty-two percent earned more than $60,000, while only 10% earned less than $12,000.
  • Economic activity: Forty-nine percent of the respondents farm, with the average size of the farm operation being 595 acres.
  • Frequency of participation: Fifty-eight percent took part in CES video conferences one time or less annually. Twenty-nine percent participated in two or three programs and 13% viewed four or more programs annually.
  • Program topics: Respondents identified 85 preferred teleconference topics in agriculture, finance, health and nutrition, and miscellaneous categories. Thirty-three agricultural topics were identified, 22 financial topics, 13 health and nutrition topics, and 17 miscellaneous topics.

This study's findings indicate that CES teleconference participants in Oklahoma are older, better-educated, and more affluent than the general state population. They're also better-educated, more affluent, and older than the rural population. Viewer preferences indicate that about two-thirds of the desired program topics are nonagricultural.