This article is based on the author’s BS Development Communication thesis.
Rojas, Febelle D. (2012). Information exposure and visual representation of flooding by children in selected flood-prone communities in Ormoc City, Leyte. Unpublished BS Development Communication thesis, Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines.
Febelle Dareene D. Rojas
BS Development Communication 2012
Visayas State University
Visca, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines
The magnitude of damages brought about by climate-induced disasters has emphasized the need for information dissemination activities that can help people manage the risks posed by these calamities. This emphasis for dissemination activities is anchored on the fact that effective communication leads people to improve their understanding of the risks, thus leading them to change their attitudes and adopt behavior that can help them reduce the impacts of these risks (Andrey & Mortsch, 2000).
The literature is replete with information showing that communication leads communities to reduce climate change risk effectively. A recent example is a socio-constructivist and experimental study for climate change education that aimed to improve students’ conception on climate change in two coastal communities in Eastern Canada with 39 students from 13-14 years of age. Results indicated that young adolescents improved their ideas about climate change’s diverse dimensions and eventually helped students to identify educational activities that improved their conception (Pruneau, Gravel, Bourque & Langis, 2009). Another example is a study conducted by Mason and Santi (2006) that investigated fifth graders’ changes of conceptions about greenhouse effects and global warming. Utilizing the socio-cognitive interaction developed in small and large group discussions in a classroom setting, results showed that the core learning activity led the children at different levels to the integration of new knowledge into their conceptions on environmental science. In addition, high positive connection was found between conceptual change and metaconceptual awareness of the changes in the representation of the examined occurrence.
Among the targets of the campaigns to reduce flood risks are children. The reason for this bias towards children is that by educating children, knowledge and consciousness can be cultivated at an early age. Not only will they be able to have better understanding on the importance of protecting our planet (Gibb, 2011), but also become better prepared for emergencies.
Haney, Russel and Bebell (2004) proposed that drawings can be a powerful technique in conducting research as the features portrayed in drawings can be coded reliably. Features shown in drawings seem to have some validity as guide of the varieties of individual’s perception. More importantly, student drawings can be involved as a form of contemplation and change far more that what is usually employed as methods in quantitative or even qualitative research (Haney et al, 2004). Drawings from young children seem to have some strength and it is a far more engaging form of inquiry for reflection and change than what are employed by other methods. To prove this, Barraza (1999) noted that children’s drawings are useful tools in providing valuable information for evaluating children’s environmental perceptions where results revealed that children manifest a deep environmental concern from their drawings (37% depicted environmental problems).
Generally, this study aimed to determine respondents’ perception of flooding vulnerability using visual representation. More specifically, it aimed to:
- Find out respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics.
- Determine the respondents’ exposure to information and knowledge of the causes and risks of flooding;
- Determine respondent’s visual representation of flooding and;
- Find out the differences in respondents’ visual representation of flooding as influenced by their age, sex, family income, and exposure to information and knowledge of the causes and risks of flooding.
This study was guided by the constructivist view to understand how elementary pupils perceive flooding. Constructivism, as defined by Guba and Lincoln (1994), is a perception where mental constructions of an individual are based on their social experiences that vary from other individuals or a groups. This theory argues that knowledge and meaning are shaped based on human’s everyday interaction and experiences around his environment. Constructivism, according to Mertens (2005), posits that the way people understand the world is socially constructed. Constructivists believe that same data can have many interpretations, and all of these interpretations are considered significant.
Qualitative research fits snugly well in a constructivist research. Researchers can use a variety of ways in gathering data where participants are given the opportunity to construct their own meaning (Creswell, 2009). In essence, research framed within the constructivist perspective enables researchers to understand and at the same time reconstruct the ideas created by an individual. It intends to have mutual understanding of an interpretation but still open to new information as it develops (Guba & Lincoln, 1994).
For Piaget’s theory, constructivism provides a strong framework for understanding how children do and think at different stages of their development (ackermann, 2001.). According to Piaget, children have their own perceptions of the world different from the adults. However, these views are still logical and considered as strong.
Locale of the study. The study was conducted in three elementary schools in Liloan, San Jose and Sabang Ormoc City, Leyte. The sites were chosen because these are prone to flooding and accessible to transportation. Likewise, these places have been reported to be orderly and peaceful.
The three barangays can be reached by a public utility jeepney. In Ormoc City, these are known as multicab. Travel time to each barangay is approximately 15 min. Farming is the dominant economic activity. Crops grown are sugar cane, vegetable and rice.
Aside from the elementary school, each study site has a church and a basketball court that serve as venue for social gatherings and barangay meetings. Most of the houses have TV antenna, indicating that families have access to television. The communities were said to be flood prone because of the nearby rivers – Bao River, Mas-in River, and Pagsangaan River) that overflow during rainy season.
Respondents. Respondents of this study were Grade 6 pupils in the elementary schools mentioned earlier. Considering the educational system in the Philippines, respondents are between 11-14 years old. According to Monhardt (2003), at this age, children can already explain what they draw.
Research design.This study applied a qualitative research approach. According Garbarino and Holland (2009), qualitative research methods are designed to offer the researcher with the respondents’ perspective through getting involved in their cultural situation and direct interaction with them. This method focused on perceptions, judgments, opinions, explaining meanings and reasons.
Data gathering and procedure. Data were gathered through a questionnaire and drawing sessions. The instrument was composed of the following parts: socio-demographic, knowledge of flooding and experience of flooding. After filling in the last part of the questionnaire, respondents was tasked to draw.
Data were analyzed based on the objectives of the study. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviations and ranges was used to describe the socio-demographic characteristics (e. g., age, sex, family income, information exposure) of the respondents.
Data gathered from drawings were then compiled, arranged and categorized according to type and elements of drawings based on Mann’s (1995) procedure. The written descriptions of the drawings were analyzed using content analysis. In determining the significant differences in respondents’ visual representation of flooding as influenced by their age, sex, family income and exposure to information, the chi-square test was used.
Generally, respondents of this study had high exposure to information but had average knowledge of flooding. They experienced flooding annually.
Most of the respondents’ drawing were in preshematic stage. For most of them, rural communities are vulnerable to flooding. Most of them also blame deforestation as the culprit
Respondents’ Experience of Flooding
Almost three-fourths (74.2%) experienced flood annually.Many (91.4%) claimed that they have experienced flooding. Almost half of the respondents (48.2%) said that their latest experience of flooding was in December 2011, during rainy season. About one-third (31.8%) of the respondents reported that the flood destroyed their belongings. More than one-fifth (22.4%) said that the flood destroyed their livestock (e. g. pigs, poultry). Others the flood destroyed their house and their parents were not able to go to work (16.55% each).
Almost half of the respondents (45.3%) stated that whenever there was a flood, they cannot go to school. Almost one-fifth (19.8%) said that their facilities at school were washed out. A little less than one-fifth (18.6%) said the flood scared them and almost the same number reported that they got sick (16.3%).
As for their responses to flooding, almost half of the respondents (48.4%) said that they evacuate to safer areas. A little more than one- fifth (21.5%) said they keep their things safely. Other preparations are preparing canned goods (20.4%) flashlights and listen to radio to keep them updated (20.4%). About the same number (19.4%) said they stay at home.
As for their respective communities, almost two-thirds (64.5%) said they take their appliances to higher places. An almost the same number (60.2%) said they watch or listen to weather forecasts. More than half (53.8%) said they help unclogged their canals and a negligible few (1.1%) evacuate to higher places.
Implication and Recommendation
Respondents’ production of scribble drawings may indicate that this group of children is not yet adept at drawing. Interestingly, however, these respondents produced drawings that somehow reflect their knowledge and experience of flooding. Firstly, most of their drawings portrayed rural areas as communities vulnerable to flooding. This is understandable because: 1) they are all residing in rural areas and 2) unfortunately, they have been experiencing flooding.
In their drawings of the causes of flooding, the dominant factor identified by the respondents is forest denudation. This is interesting because even at this young age, they already know the impact of deforestation. This is good news for environmental advocates: they can tap this knowledge in drumbeating the cause of forest rehabilitation.
Most of the respondents in this study reported that they have not heard information of flooding in their classes. This is rather sad considering the need for our children to be aware of the causes and risks of flooding and be prepared for any eventuality. There is a need to examine how teachers integrate environmental messages in their classes especially information on flooding. It can be that they lack skills and knowledge of the topic or thy lack instructional materials to facilitate teaching lessons on flooding. A core, strategic intervention to develop teachers’ skills in integrating the lessons on flooding and development of instructional materials should be designed.
Recommendation for Further Study
The inability to find significant differences in the drawings could be due to the small sample size in this study. It is, therefore, recommended that a similar study with bigger sample be conducted to enrich our understanding of children’s drawings and children’s visual representation of flooding. This study involved respondents from the rural areas. Unfortunately, residents in urban centers are also victims of flooding. It is, therefore, worth exploring the differences between children in the urban and rural areas in terms of their visual representation in flooding.
Other techniques to elicit young children’s perceptions of environmental problems are also rich areas for research on visual representation. These areas may be on environmental sanitation, landslides, drought, and other environmental catastrophes. Now that some of the communication materials on natural disaster preparedness are being geared towards children, it is important that we understand clearly children’s meanings of these phenomena.
This article is based on the author’s BS Development Communication thesis.
Codilla, Ma. Melanie. (2012). Perceived credibility and effectiveness of Matanglawin and Aha ETV programs and their influence on attitude towards science of selected fourth year high school students in Ormoc City.Unpublished BS Development Communication thesis, Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines.
Ma. Melanie B. Codilla
BS Development Communication 2012
Visayas State University
Visca, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines
Media is best considered as a vehicle of science information. It provides links between people and information by exposing people to the huge world of science subjects from animals to health and to technology. It plays the biggest role in society through transmitting knowledge which will make it indispensable. It is a persistent disseminator of science education (Rockman et al, 2007). In fact, media education is not only about learning the right answers; but it is about consuming media with an active, critical mind and asking the right questions.
ETV or educational television program is considered as a major teaching media that tries to encourage viewers to participate. According to Schramm (1960), ETV is useful in keeping a certain teaching standard, helps improve the quality of instructions in schools for it can provide the best teaching demonstration and allows the student the freedom to take part, involve and work.
In the Philippines, two of the edutainment or educational and entertainment programs that provide a variety of science-related stories are Matanglawin of ABS-CBN and AHA of GMA. In essence, the program is promoting science awareness by sharing science stories to the public. According to Gemino (2010), the purpose of this science related program is to enhance learning of the students on a certain subject area. It stimulates the interests of the viewers in the subject because aside from its informative way of broadcasting the topic, the viewers will also enjoy because it contains animations and the delivery of its message is entertaining.
The results of the study are deemed useful to science teachers as it explored the potential of television as a tool for learning. Credible television programs can serve as stimulus material, scaffolds, if not a stand-alone learning tool teachers may use in their classrooms. Likewise, producers of educational television programs may benefit from results of this study to improve their programming style, format and delivery to their intended audiences. Finally, results of this study would add to the body of knowledge in educational communication technology.
The study generally aimed to determine how high school students perceived the credibility and effectiveness of the educational TV shows Matanglawin and AHA. The study also determined how these programs influence students’ attitude in science. This study specifically aimed to:
- Determine the respondents’ perceptions of credibility and effectiveness of Matanglawin and AHA.
- Find out the influence of the educational TV programs on students’ attitude towards science.
- Determine the relationship between respondents’ perceptions of credibility and effectiveness of these ETV programs Matanglawin and AHA and their attitude towards science.
Source Credibility Theory
This study was based on Source Credibility Theory by Hovland, Janis and Kelly (1953). The source credibility theory states that when the source presents itself as credible, the people are more likely to be persuaded. This theory emphasizes that the acceptance of the message depends on ‘expertise’, ‘trustworthiness’, and “dynamism” of the source. It is also an approach that permits individuals to look and observe things from their own perspective, thus it is considerably accepted as dependent (Hovland, Janis, and Kelly, 1953). They also added that within mass communication, the concept is originally studied as audience’s behavior towards mass media sources of information. According to Bracken (2006) source credibility is the amount or quantity of believability attributed to a basis of information by the receivers or recipients. As cited by Bracken (2006), the theory was conceptualized by Gunther (1992) who proposed that credibility is an audience response and feedback and not an element of the message source. According to him, involvement or participation is a good interpreter of perceived credibility. In fact, the greatest explanatory power is showed by a person’s involvement or connection in situations, issues, or groups.
With the use of the Source Credibility Theory by Hovland, Janis and Kelly (1953) as basis, this study sought to find out whether Matanglawin and AHA and their hosts are credible. In this study, it was hypothesized that respondents’ perceptions of credibility and effectiveness of Matanglawin and AHA had influence on their attitude towards science. Credibility was assessed through respondents’ perceptions of the trustworthiness, expertise and dynamism of the two programs. Effectiveness was measured through respondents’ perceptions of comprehensibility, acceptability, self-involvement and persuasiveness of the programs.
The intervening variables were the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents.
This study was conducted in two national high schools in Ormoc City Leyte: Valencia National High School at Brgy. Valencia and Genaro B. Lureñana Memorial National High School at Brgy. San Jose.
This study followed the one-shot survey design to investigate fourth year high school students’ perceptions of credibility and effectiveness of two educational TV programs and their attitudes towards science. A focus group discussion (FGD) was also conducted to obtain an in-depth explanation of the results from the survey.
Respondents and sampling procedure
The survey involved 100 randomly selected fourth year high school students coming from the two schools selected for the study. Fifty respondents were chosen from each school. All respondents of the two schools were exposed to both ETV programs AHA and Matanglawin. The first ETV program to be viewed was Matanglawin and AHA followed immediately. Both ETV programs were viewed for thirty minutes.
In choosing the respondents, a complete list of students was obtained from the principals of the two schools. Their names were written on pieces of paper and put in a box for random selection. These respondents, however, needed to be viewers of Matanglawin and AHA. So, once they were drawn and they had signified that they had not viewed those ETV programs they were immediately discarded from the list of respondents for the study and another set of students were drawn from the complete list of students to replace them.
Focus Group Discussion
Focus group discussion (FGD) was also conducted with ten respondents from each school right after the survey. The FGD was intended to complement the information gained from the survey. The FGD was composed of three parts. Part 1 asked about their viewership of educational television programs. Part 2 focused on the perceived credibility and effectiveness of ETV program and part 3 inquired about their attitude towards science. FGD began right after the arranged exposure of the two educational TV programs.
Since this study was a survey on respondents’ perceptions of credibility and effectiveness of the two educational television programs, one sample episode of Matanglawin and AHA ETV programs broadcast on the same date were recorded to serve as stimulus materials for the survey. The two viewing groups were asked to view the sample episodes through a laptop attached to an LCD projector. The purpose for exposing the respondents to the stimulus materials was to aid them in answering Part II of the questionnaire that was handed out to them.
The recorded Matanglawin and AHA ETV programs were both aired on August 14, 2011. The topics broadcast in Matanglawin were adaptation and extinction of animals. On the other hand, the topics broadcast in AHA were labor stages that occurred during pregnancy.
Moreover, FGDs were conducted in two schools. Participants in the FGD were those not covered in the survey.
Pretesting the questionnaire
To ensure that the instrument obtained the desired responses, pretesting was done. The questionnaire was pretested on ten high school students of Valencia National High School who had the same characteristics as the study respondents. These students were not included as survey respondents. The results of the pretest were used to check if there was clarity, accuracy, comprehensibility and reliability of the research instrument.
The data were encoded and analyzed in Microsoft excel and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics such as percentages, means and standard deviations were used to describe the respondents’ perceptions of credibility and effectiveness of the ETV programs as well as their socio-demographic characteristics.
To find out the relationships among socio-demographic characteristics, their perceptions of the credibility and effectiveness of the programs and their attitude towards science, Spearman’s rank correlation and chi-square test were used.
Cronbach’s alpha was computed to assess the reliability of the items of the perceptions of effectiveness, perceptions of credibility and attitude towards science scales. This was to measure the internal consistency or robustness of the items in the scales (Santos & Pope, 1998). Allen and Yen (2002) noted that a reliability coefficient of 0.70 or more is considered acceptable.
Results revealed that both ETV programs were perceived as credible by the respondents. However, a comparison of assessments showed that Matanglawin was perceived as more credible and showed significant relationship to respondents’ attitude towards science than AHA. The two programs were also perceived by the respondents as effective.
Among the socio-demographic variables, sex was not found to be significantly associated with respondents’ perceptions of credibility and effectiveness of the ETV programs as well as to their attitude towards science. On the other hand, respondents’ science grade and perceptions of effectiveness of the ETV programs and attitudes towards science were found to be significantly related.
Perceived credibility of the two ETV programs
In terms of respondents’ perception of the credibility of the two educational ETV programs, the results indicate that both Matanglawin and AHA were credible. However, a comparison of assessment shows that Matanglawin (M= 6.64; SD= 0.40) was more credible than AHA (M= 5.60; SD= 1.23).
Perceived effectiveness of the two ETV programs
As for respondents’ perception of effectiveness of the two educational programs, the results showed that both ETV programs Matanglawin and AHA were effective. Nevertheless, a comparison of results showed that Matanglawin (M= 4.30; SD= 0.51) was more effective than AHA (M= 3.85; SD= 0.59).
Attitude towards science
Respondents’ scores in attitude towards science ranged from 58-290. Almost all of the respondents (97%) have a positive attitude towards science while few of the respondents (3%) have a negative attitude towards science.
Relationship among variables
The Pearson product moment correlation revealed that respondents’ perceptions of the credibility of Matanglawin had a significant association to their attitude towards science while their perceptions of the credibility of AHA had none.
As for the associations between respondents’ perceived effectiveness of the two ETV programs and their attitude towards science, results show that respondents’ perceptions of the effectiveness of Matanglawin was significantly associated with their attitude towards science and a non-significant relationship was found between respondents’ perceptions of the effectiveness of AHA and their attitude towards science.
The chi square test showed that sex was not significantly related to any of the dependent variables. However, the Spearman’s rank correlation revealed that science grade was associated to respondents’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the two ETV programs and their attitude towards science.
Focus group discussion
A focus group discussion (FGD) was done and participated by 10 4th year high school students in each school. These students were coming from different sections under 4th year level. As a whole, results of the FGD complement the results of the survey that all of the students who were watching science related ETV programs like Matanglawin and AHA showed a positive attitude towards science. Moreover, majority of the students claimed Matanglawin as more effective and credible ETV program than AHA.
Based on the results of the study, there is a big indication that high school students have developed a positive attitude towards science when exposed to the ETV programs. This is consistent with the findings of Barnett et al. (2006) that the interest of the public in science increased when they are exposed to science on television.
Both survey and focus group discussion results implied that the ETV programs Matanglawin and Aha were both adjudged as effective by high school students in disseminating science-related information because of its edutainment way of presenting the program. This finds support in the study by Dhingra (2003) that the education and entertainment ability of ETV programs are the primary factors that influence students’ understanding and perception of a particular science topic.
The credibility of Matanglawin was significantly higher than AHA ETV program based on the statistical analysis results. The findings of the study corroborate with Wilson’s study (1983) that young audiences perceive a communication material as credible when the particular information is related to the topic, new, interesting, convenient, readable language and whether or not it is recent.FGD participants of this study emphasized that they liked the program handler of Matanglawin because he is smart.
Overall, results of this study indicate that ETV programs can be used to support classroom instruction. While it cannot replace teachers in the classroom, results of this study imply that educational television programs can be one strategy useful for teachers to entice learners to the subject matter. Students are encouraged to learn more about a particular subject when teachers find other attractive ways to transfer knowledge not just the traditional lecture-discussion mode of teaching.
Educational communication developers may find the results of this study valuable input to their practice. For one, the materials that they develop should maintain the balance between educational and entertainment value. Findings of this study show that respondents favored Matanglawin over AHA because they find the program handler credible at delivering technical concepts in science and excellent at his craft without compromising has ability to entertain his audience. Respondents stressed that too much animation and jokes in the program (characterized of AHA) may render it unrealistic and unbelievable.
Suggestions for further research
This study only explored on the influence of two science-related ETV programs broadcast in two national television networks on students’ attitude toward science. A similar study may be conducted to test credibility and effectiveness of other educational television programs and their effects in encouraging students’ learning in other fields such as math, history and English subjects.
Also, it is suggested that in future research an information exposure variable on the subject matter in question be added. While this study was able to connect the relationship between credibility and effectiveness of a program and its positive influence on students’ interest to learn more about science, other factors which may have contributed to that effect have not been considered. Knowing respondents’ information exposure on a particular subject matter will shed light on where else do they get information that led to their interest in learning about it.
Jed Asaph D. Cortes
Instructor, Department of Development Communication
Visayas State University
Visca, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines
Rappler, through its citizen journalism arm, Move.PH, brings its team to Visayas State University for their Chat Series on Social Media for Social Change. #MoveLeyte is the 11th leg of this chat series.
#MoveLeyte will be held on Jan 25, 2013, 8:00 am -2:00 pm, at the VSU Convention Center. (The name acts as a Twitter hashtag as well.)
“In line with the theme, “Tukmang paggamit sa social media alang sa matinud-anong piniliay” (Harnessing social media for honest elections), the Move.PH event will introduce its citizen journalism platform for Rappler’s #PHVote coverage of the 2013 elections,” Rappler writes in its website.
“Students, faculty members, youth organizations, advocacy groups, and government agencies from Leyte and Samar are invited to participate in the Eastern Visayas leg of the series, a free event.”
The team who will come to VSU includes Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa (formerly the chief of CNN Jakarta News Bureau and ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs), veteran journalist Chay Hofileña, Storyline producer Patricia Evangelista, former GMA News Social Media Head Michael Josh Villanueva, Rappler multimedia reporters Natashya Gutierrez and Ayee Macaraig and its Move.PH coordinator Voltaire Tupaz.
An online registration form is available at Rappler (http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/19048-moveleyte-online-registration), so you could get tickets assuring you of the best seats during the chat series.
Our Department of Development Communication, the Development Communicators’ Society (DeCSo) and Amaranth, VSU’s student publication, are among the partners of Rappler for #MoveLeyte. For official invitation with CHED endorsement to #MoveLeyte, click here.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has recently named our Department of Development Communication at the Visayas State University the Center of Development (COD) for development communication. It means that it will serve as a potent catalyst for world-class scholarship, best practices, innovative curriculum, research and extension and professional development in development communication.
The pro bono service that Devcompage provides in coaching communication students on research methods is a step in that direction. Congratulations to my colleagues, the university administration, research partners and donors, for the support that made the COD possible.
Our research partners
Foundation for the Philippine Environment
Myanmar Department of Agriculture
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration
Philippine Institute for Development Studies
South Australian Research and Development Institute
Thailand Rice Department
University of Greifswald
University of Queensland
Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD
Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Our research donors
Asian Development Bank
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for LEGATO project
Kadoorie Charitable Foundation for Hainan Project
- Information exposure and visual representation of flooding by children in selected flood-prone communities in Ormoc City, Leyte
- Can credibility of Matanglawin and Aha ETV programs influence high school seniors’ attitudes toward science?
- Rappler comes to VSU to #MoveLeyte
- VSU is CHED Center of Development in development communication
- Are risks of nuclear power plants amplified in leading Philippine newspapers?
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