Summative :: Flagg, Barbara (2009). LISTENERS’ EVALUATION OF RADIOLAB PROGRAM: CHOICE. [Multimedia Research] New York Public Radio.last updated: 2010-09-29 18:13:17
|Project Lead||New York Public Radio|
|Associated Grant||NSF# #0638894|
|Report Author(s)||Barbara Flagg|
|Evaluation Organization(s)||Multimedia Research|
SummaryRadiolab is a public radio series of hour-long interdisciplinary shows, co-hosted by Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad, and produced by WNYC. To help guide the future development of shows, this evaluation, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, gathered feedback from listeners via online and mailed questionnaires in response to a season 4 show entitled Choice. The general goals for the evaluation process are:
• To explore what attributes of the format engage and interest listeners;
• To examine influences on awareness and comprehension of content; and
• To assess impact on post-listening behaviors.
Because Radiolab is such a differentiated listening experience, Radiolab chose to use the formative and summative evaluations, conducted by Multimedia Research between 2007-2009, to better understand how the sound of the show resonates with audiences. During 2007-2008, Multimedia Research implemented formative evaluations of five Radiolab programs (“Memory,” “Mortality,” “Placebo,” “Sleep,” and “Zoos”). The goal was to obtain guidance for improving Radiolab’s format and science coverage so as to effectively reach attentive and non attentive audiences. Almost all survey respondents (95+%) reported that the science discussed in the Radiolab programs was accessible; 80+% felt that the pace of the program was exciting; and 80+% felt that the interweaving of interviews and narration was engaging. 70+% of listeners already interested in science felt that the sound design of the show helped elucidate the scientific material, compared with 35% of non science “attentive” audiences. The vast majority of respondents felt that the material in the show was clear and understandable.
In 2009, Multimedia Research implemented a summative evaluation of one new Radiolab program, “Choice” designed to evaluate how clear the science was in the program was presented and whether it changed participants’ behavior, relative to seeking out science-based activities. In terms of comprehension, 91% of listeners could keep up with and follow the presentation of topics; 77% felt the show affected the way they think about choices; 76% said the process of science is clear when discussed on the show; 68% agreed the show increased awareness of the influence of science on our lives; 59% thought the show raised their awareness of scientific methods and processes; 29% were familiar and 42% were unfamiliar with most of the information in the show. After listening to the program, half (53%) of listeners were motivated to reflect on their own choice-making behavior and almost half (45%) had discussed the show with others. Most listeners planned to do these two activities, if they had not already done so. Fewer respondents searched for more information about an interviewed scientist (11%), for a topic (8%), or planned to do so (23%, 36%, respectively). Those in the younger age group (< 49 years) were significantly more likely to have discussed the show with others than those in the older age group, but age did not relate to the three other behaviors.
- Radio Lab -- A New Approach to Science Storytelling on Radio
Ellen Horne. New York Public Radio - WNYC.
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