Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Cecil E. Carter Jr

Committee Members

Robert S. Dotson, Maxine W. McManus


The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an eight-lesson microwave home study course conducted by the Extension staff in Sullivan County, Tennessee. An initial 327 people enrolled in the course, completed the first lesson and the pretest. A total of 128 respondents completed both the pretest and post-test and their scores were used in the analysis.

Scores and some personal data from pretest and post-test were used to: (1) compare characteristics of participants who continued the course through to the post-test with those who did not; and (2) study the relationships between the number of lessons completed and improvement scores.

Computations were made by the University of Tennessee Computer Center. The analysis of variance F-test, T-test and chi square were statistics used. A probability level of .05 was accepted as being statistically significant.

Findings indicated that personal and family characteristics did not significantly influence how much respondents participated in the home study. The respondents who had received Extension information by radio, television or newspaper were more active participants. Other methods of Extension contacts did not significantly affect the levels of participation.

Homemakers with pre-school age children or no children at home completed the most lessons. It was also found that calling the Extension office was the only method of Extension contact significantly related to the number of lessons completed.

It was found that completing the lessons significantly influenced improvement in three aspects of microwave cooking: application, utensils, and principles. The homemakers who had completed the most lessons showed the highest total improvement scores.

Respondents showed a significant improvement in all five aspects of microwave cooking studied (meal preparation, application, techniques, utensils and principles) after participating in the microwave home study course.

Findings indicated that the higher respondents rated the home study course the more improvement they showed. Homemakers who did not complete the course because of family obligations, lack of time, or cost had significantly lower improvement scores. The way respondents used the home study course lessons was shown to be significantly related to their improvement scores.

Implications and recommendations for further study were also included.

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