ECT 300 EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY: What are some of the purposes of broadcasting?

CHAPTER 6 

EDUCATIONAL BROADCASTING

6a iii). Identify the various purposes of broadcasting

6.5 Purposes of broadcasts

Generally, there is no one particular best medium for instructional purpose. However, radio and television receive a high rating. Both media can be used for training purposes, for practical instruction in agriculture and health, for talks on national policies and priorities, for correspondence schooling, for community development action, for study groups, for literacy and in training and development campaigns such as family planning as well as for general entertainment (Ingle:16). Educational broadcasts, when used effectively, can serve five purposes.

The first purpose served by educational broadcasts is that of educating the audience. Every broadcast whether intended for schools or the general public should have some educational value. For instance, if the program is intended for farmers and is on good farming methods, the content should educate the audience on why they should use a particular fertilizer for a particular soil type. For school broadcasts the purpose served foremost is that of educating the pupils. The content should educate the audience on why they should use a particular fertilizer for a particular soil type. For school broadcasts the purpose served foremost I s that of educating the pupils. The content should as much as possible connect their daily experiences with the content so as to help them explain their environment better. This is the element that makes an educational program different from say a musical one (not intended to teach music as a subject). In the musical program, the listener just needs to enjoy the music but not concern himself with the vocals, the moods of the composer, the instruments used or even the message contained in the song.

The second purpose served by broadcasts is to inform the audience. To most people, the radio and the television are gadgets through which they get to know what is happening elsewhere. Through them, we are able to get first-hand information instantly. Besides broadcasting news bulletins they give announcements for functions, meeting etc. Admittedly, these news items, as well as announcements, will have some educative element but on the whole, they are predominantly informative.

The third purpose of broadcasts is to entertain the audience. This is mainly achieved through musical programs, dramas, screening football matches on television and films. Again though a program might be aiming at entertaining the audience there should be a message in it and this will inevitably introduce the educative element. Educational broadcasts should, however, have some entertainment, possibly restricted to some 10%or less of the total duration. The amount of entertainment will depend on the level of the target audience; a program for primary two pupils may use music for up to 60% of its duration while a program for form three pupils might only use music for 5% of its duration. The inclusion of music will partly vary the stimulus of the audience and partly ensure that the audience is tuned in for a longer period than when the program has no music intervals or music bridges.

The fourth purpose of broadcasts is to motivate the audience. This is most evident in commercials. The commercials aim at changing the attitude of the audience towards the advertised product. If it is medicine then a serious attempt is made to give the impression that taking the medicine leads to instant recovery. This approach has been found to motivate the audience thus leading to higher sales of the product.

The fifth purpose of broadcasts is to change the behavior of the audience. This is evidenced as a result of the four purposes already discussed. After a program has educated, informed entertained and motivated the audience, the hope is that it will motivate the audience to behave in some desired pattern. For example, in a family planning program, the audience is exposed to situations where unplanned families undergo hardships. Exposing the youth to such educative programs motivate them to change their behavior and tend towards having small families.

To summarize this section, we recall the definition of learning as that which involves a relatively permanent change in behavior or performance as a consequence of practice or experience rather than other influences such as maturation, fatigue or drugs (Ellis H. C) it is important that educational broadcasts work towards achieving the five purposes namely that besides being educative, they must inform, entertain, motivate and finally change the behavior of the pupils. Only then will learning be said to have taken place.

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