This case study focused on a community outreach initiative in South Africa and sought
to explain why – despite technology that permits bi-directional oral communication
during televised instruction – viewer participation was poor. A small-scale quantitative
approach established how prevalent poor participation was, while rich experiential
interviews and video data identified why viewers refrained from participating overtly.
The use of Atlas.tiTM to analyse systematically the volume of unstructured data as a
single unit not only facilitated analysis, but also enhanced the validity of the inquiry.
Key findings suggested that the rate of viewer participation during telelessons was
not directly influenced by their English proficiency, as initially anticipated, but by
a combination of variables related to technical limitations and inappropriate
methodological design. This article focuses specifically on the instructional dissonance
created by telepresenters, and how this accounted for viewers not responding as
expected during televised instructional episodes. Implications for practice are deemed
applicable in any blended learning environment.