Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The problem under investigation in this research was the impact of evaluation, when integrated with instructional methodology, on the learners' satisfaction with the educational program, on their feelings about relevance and meaningfulness of content, and on the realization of their premeeting expectations. The research involved the testing of seven hypotheses, which asserted that participants at the unstructured sessions would be significantly (p < .05) more satisfied than participants at the structured sessions with the conduct, content, opportunity to participate, relevance of content, meaningfulness of content, individual objectve reassessment, and realization of premeeting expectations;The hypotheses were tested by presenting two different instructioinal methods to groups of adult learners. One method (structured) was designed and guided by the instructors. Evaluation in the structured method consisted of measuring objectives attainment. The other method (unstructured) involved program participants in decisions on content and operation of the sessions. Evaluation in the unstructured method consisted of continuous feedback, which was used in making decisions affecting the on-going program;The research setting was the 1980 Mayor-Council Orientation program for Iowa elected city officials. The program was presented in thirteen locations throughout the state during the winter of 1980. Six of the locations received structured sessions and seven received unstructured sessions. At the conclusion of each session, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire which probed attitudes about the program. An analysis of variance was used to determine the level of significance for differences between the two group means;As a result of the analysis, none of the hypotheses were supported. Instructional methodology was found to be significant only on the variables of content of meeting and opportunity to participate. However, in both cases, the structured group participants were more satisfied than unstructured group participants;Four significant interactions occurred between instructional methodology and the subgroups delineated for the research. The interactions indicated that participants in cities below 500, and female participants were more inclined to be positive toward the unstructured program, while those from cities of 500-999 and over 5,000, and males strongly preferred the structured sessions;The results also indicated that it is feasible to integrate evaluation and instructional methodology, although the problem of applying the evaluation feedback to decisions on changes may occur;A number of avenues for future research are possible from this study. Two of the most important are continued efforts at sharpening research techniques on informal evaluation measures in adult education and a replication of this research to either confirm or refute results of this study.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Paul Moore Coates



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253 pages