An evaluation of the Montana Distributive Education Materials Laboratory
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Distributive Education covers a wide area of instruction and it is difficult for any one teacher-coordinator to find, preview, select, purchase, sort and categorize the wealth of information available in this field. To help alleviate this problem the Montana D. E. Materials Laboratory was established in 1972 in order to promote a unified effort to consolidate secondary and post-secondary materials in one place and from there to disseminate information to teachers upon request. It is presently located at Bozeman Senior High School in Bozeman, Montana. The problem associated with this study was that since the Laboratory's beginning no formal evaluation of the D. E. Materials Lab had been done and questions arose pertaining to the Lab's objectives, types of material being purchased, frequency of use of the Laboratory, dissemination of material, location of the Lab, additional services offered, the D. E. Materials Catalog, and the general feeling of D. E. teacher-coordinators toward the Lab. In order to receive the necessary data for evaluation of the Lab, a questionnaire was sent to each of the 32 teacher-coordinators in Distributive Education who were teaching in Montana during the 1976-77 school year. This represented 18 secondary and 6 post-secondary programs. Also the past records of the Lab from September 16, 1976 to April 16, 1977 were examined and tabluated to gather data concerning which materials were being sent out from the Lab. All of the questionnaires were returned and all but one were used in presenting the results of the study. It was found that the Lab was meeting its objectives. While there was room for improvement in some areas, the vast majority of coordinators felt it was doing a good job and appreciated the resources and help made available through the Lab. Some of the major recommendations made were to send out monthly up-dates of new acquisitions for the Lab, to use standard criteria for evaluating materials for purchase, to send out post cards concerning delay in sending out requested material, to purchase more material in a non-print form with more emphasis on the post-secondary level, to receive more funding for the Lab, and to formally evaluate the Lab at least once every three years.