Pattern of Usage of Various Electronic Media by Higher Education Students

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This paper provides an analysis of the different investment-centric educational media from the perspective of the student users in urban and rural areas of Tamilnadu in India. Points of feedback have been derived on both mass and personalized media namely radio, TV, internet, compact discs and teleconferencing. Field-experts' observations supporting the utility of various media have been presented. As primary data, the respondents were requested to provide information on the frequency, timing, and place of usage of each media and were asked to report their feedback on the usefulness of these media. The various demographic variables are associated with media usage patterns. The main findings of the analysis suggest that the internet is comparatively more-utilized among the media. Radio and TV are under utilized because of lack of awareness and non-availability of signal.

Keywords: Educational media; Gyanvani; Gyandarshan; CWCR; Internet; Usage pattern; Possession of media; Mode of Study; Anna University.

INTRODUCTION

On the one hand, there have been huge investments by the educational sector on the establishment and maintenance of educational media for students. On the other hand, there has been very little and sporadic knowledge about the usage of such media in education. There is a need to understand the opinions of the target group on the functioning of the educational media and to elicit their suggestions towards the improvement of educational media in terms of content, duration, timings and methods available through them. Media had to be viewed on a comparative note in order to identify the more effective ones among them.

While the growth of the electronic media of radio and TV in terms of reach, popularity and variety has been phenomenal, there has not been a corresponding growth in their education-related usage. Lack of publicity about the contents and timings of the programs, inability of one's electronic equipments to receive the signals and lack of interactive nature of their programs have contributed to the under-utilization of these educational media. In the case of internet, the problem has been one of access and affordability. Rural students are said to have less familiarity on the availability and contents of various media inputs. Similarly, the students of distance education and regional language medium classes also have been facing limitations in their utilization of educational media resources compared to regular streams and English medium classes.

The objective of the study included identifying the variations among the students of different demographic characteristics in terms of their media usage.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

As part of the study on various media usage patterns among the students of the state, the researcher carried out an extensive review of literature to identify the various issues and perspectives with regard to the area of focus.

Radio is playing a significant role in reaching, informing and educating people. Radio is still a dominant medium with wide access. Computers and internet have started influencing the way we learn. All these media are very powerful to reach, teach and enrich. But learning from them is quite different from reading a book according to Singhal and Rogers (2001).

Reports confirm that educational Radio programs have been tried out in a wide range of subject areas in different countries. In Thailand, the radio is used to teach mathematics to school children Galda (1984) and for teacher training and other curricula Faulder (1984); In Mexico, radio was used for literacy training and other programs Ginsburg and Arias-Goding (1984); In Nigeria, radio was used for management courses for the agriculture sector Shears (1984); The Philippines used the radio for nutrition education Cooke and Romweder (1977); The Dominion Republic used radio in support of primary education White (1976); Paraguay used radio to offer primary school instruction according to the Academy for Educational Development (1979). …