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International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication

Volume: 1 Issue: 4

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Role of Mass Media in Higher Education & its Economic Viability Part: 2
Mass Media and Higher Education
Dr S Tiwari,
GE, eYuG (Free-lance Academician),
stiwari.eyug@rediffmail.com
Abstract: In the first part, an attempt has been made to examine the ground realities of higher education in Indian context. It has also been
stressed as to how the higher education has been visualized and implemented during the last five decades since independence. Its growth,
role and constrains have also been highlighted. It has been noticed in the process of presenting the panorama of different aspects of higher
education in India that it has been facing a problem of massification. The system of higher education needs a drastic reconstruction,
almost a revolution to democratise higher education. With this background, it has been observed that in the process of development of
higher education the great potential of communication technologies and mass media could be used to find the remedies of its shortcomings.
The mass media can be harnessed in open and distance education, which is today the most viable means of offering cost effective and
quality education to the masses. Hence, role of mass media has been analysed in this chapter to find out the answers to our concerns of
higher education for all. It has been attempted to analyse the role of mass media in relation to higher education and making it accessible to
aspirants of higher education.
Mass Media, comprises the institutions and techniques by which specialized groups employ technological devices like Press,
Radio, Television, Computer, films, Internet etc. to disseminate knowledge: to large heterogeneous as well as widely dispersed audience.
With the evolution and development of information technology and electronic media, the social scientists and engineers teamed together in
the studies of the total communication process, its feasibility, cost effectiveness and speed. Here this broader view of Mass Media can be
taken in the context of its application in the field of imparting higher education to all. Mass Media has been universally characterized by
four attributes these are: (1) Broad appeal (2) Speed (3) Availability (4) Low cost. The term 'mass' refers to a large body of people in a
compact group. The mass consists of an audience unseen and unknown.
The term 'media -has distinct meaning -That is communication as the 'transmission of messages' a receiver and a channel or a
medium through which the message is transmitted. Thus "Mass Media [4] is delivering information and ideas, to a sizeable and diversified
audience and is directed to a large, heterogeneous and anonymous audience."
Keywords- Mass Media, Relevance of Mass Media, Information Explosion, NPE 1986, Information Highways, Programmed learning,
Micro-teaching, Economic Viability.
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1.

Relevance And Role of Mass Media in Higher


Education
The rapid developments that have taken place in recent
years in the field of information technology, have paved the way
for revolutionary changes in higher education, in terms of both
methodologies and concept. The new technologies have
basically provided access to a vast volume of information,
helped in handling this information more competently and have
consequently assisted in improving both quality and
productivity. The two general factors [4] - "information
explosion and "population explosion" are bringing about
changes in the developed and the developing countries in more
or less degree. Both of them have posed critical problems for
higher education- more things to be learnt and more individuals
to learn. It is not possible to solve them by conventional means.
Especially in developing countries like India, it has to be
mastered and utilised by educationists, if they are to keep pace
with each other and catch with developed nations. While more
than 30% of the population in the age group 18-23 in advanced
countries are in the higher education system, in India this
percentage is only about 6. Realizing the danger of this
disastrous situation, India has embarked upon a great adventure
of utilizing mass media for spreading education at all levels.
The national policy on education 1986 has great
emphasis of the use of educational technology for improving the
quality as well as quantity of education for the first time in the
history of Indian Education. The NPE, 1986 has suggested that

in order to avoid structural dualism, modern education


technology must reach out to the most distant areas and the most
deprived sections of beneficiaries simultaneously with areas of
comparative affluence and ready availability.
Education Technology means the use of all kinds of
modern media methods and materials for maximising the
learning experiences with a view to meeting the problems
arising out of "Knowledge Explosion" as well as "Population
Explosion". Experts as one of the potential means of imparting
education effectively and efficiently suggest educational
Technology. Effective in the sense that the learning with use of
the E. T. becomes easy, durable and interesting. Efficient in the
sense that it is economical and cost effective. In the context of
the unprecedented explosion of knowledge, higher education
has to become dynamic as never before constantly entering
uncharted areas.
The higher education has reached a stage, where
consolidation is felt to be of more importance than explosion. It
needs to be flexible, varied, equitable and efficient. Hence, the
quality of improvement has to be accelerated and relevance to
be geared to the needs of the people with various infrastructural
facilities, research and evaluation. Media support has been
realised to be of immense significance in order to equalise
educational opportunity, to make the deficiencies, to remove
disparities and to improve the quality of higher education in its
different aspects and dimensions.
The development in communication technologies has
had tremendous impact on higher education, which is fast
becoming an international enterprise constantly entering
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International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication


Volume: 1 Issue: 4

195 206

_______________________________________________________________________________
uncharted areas. Conventionally, the transfer of information has
been through the media of letters, books, telephone, radio,
video, television and computers. These have now been
integrated at the electronic frontier to give information
highways (rather superhighways) that facilitate rapid transfer of
information on a global scale. Basically this involves the linking
of (millions of) computers through telephone lines via a device
called modem. Technologically, it requires a harmonious
intermeshing of optic fibers, telecommunication cables and
satellites. Today, this linkage allows the transfer of not only
data but also sound and visuals.
Education technology has immense potentialities for
augmenting education facilities and improving the qualities of
education, particularly at the higher stage. It includes the
Internet, various modern and traditional media radio, television,
video recorder, audio recorder, films, printing materials and
graphics etc. With a view to make higher education available to
various learner groups of vast diversities and entering to the
requirements of different curricular courses, media support is
essential. These media need to be used in seminars, symposia
conferences, meetings, workshops, demonstration and so on,
besides classroom teaching. In the various modern methods like
programmed learning, team teaching or micro-teaching,
computer media are indispensable or are largely required for
ensuring effectiveness and efficiency in learning.
The age-old teaching methods like lecture or "chalk
and talk" are not adequate to do justice to the intellectual,
psychological and emotional needs of the learners of higher
education at present. The various dynamic methods of teaching
with the help of media appropriate to learning objectives and
experiences need be adopted both informal and non-informal
settings of education. Self instructional materials with the
support of teaching machines, computers, TV and radio can
makes higher education very effective as well as interesting. An
environment of ability, dynamics, interest and attractiveness
should replace the atmosphere of dullness, lifelessness inertia
and unattractiveness. This can be done only with the use of
different media.
Mass Media can be used in planning and organising
and instructions for removing inequalities and regional
imbalances. The open learning system through the open
universities can play a significant role in facilitating learning by
media supported summer courses, contact programmes,
correspondence and distance education programmes. Satellite
communication system has made the learning process more cost
effective, more enlightening and more interesting. The
University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken the initiative to
utilise the time slot available for higher education to telecast
programmes in higher education titled countrywide classroom,
through which higher education is spread to remote and
backward areas of the country. The Indira Gandhi National
Open University (IGNOU) is already making use of mass
media. It has plan to launch a variety of mass turning
programmes in various fields to meet the educational
expectations of a large country like India.
The Role of Technology in Education
Technology is a force of significance in most aspects
of modern civilization, and it is no less significant in the field of
education. With new media and instructional technology,
invidiualisation is not only economically feasible at the present
time, but is actually required if universities are to accomplish

their mission on an efficient basis. It is not necessary to have


sophisticated technology in order to individualise learning;
many audio-visual resources currently in use are quite well
suited to this application. It is also important to recognize that
the term technology refers as much to a process as of hardware
and media alternatives; thus it is necessary to examine how the
process of technology may alter the man-machine relationship
in the years to come. Educational Technology or Instructional
Technology is based on the belief that technology, properly
supported and widely employed, could help meet some of the
nations most pressing educational needs. The stress must not,
however, be on technology, but on learning. The heart of
education is the student learning, and the value of any
technology used in education must therefore be measured by its
capacity to improve learning.
Functions of the Media
Technological media enable the adaptability of the
educational process to the individual students differences in
pace, temperament, background, and style of learning. These
media can perform many of the following functions involved in
the educational process:
They can store information until it is needed or wanted.
They can distribute it over distances to reach the student
wherever he happens to be, instead of bringing him to the
teacher.
They can present the information to the student through
various senses and in many modes.
They can give the student the opportunity to reach the
material and respond in many ways.
Educational technology, with its concomitant system
emphasis, is concerned with the relation, performance and
interaction of the various units of the formal and informal
education systems. Educational or instructional media are
simply the forms or means of conveyance of messages to the
audience within the educational domain. While the term media
generally arouses images of some type of device or
educational product, it is important to note that recent
definitions do not require a concrete object, but may include
such things as field trips and laboratory exercises.
Educational technology is usually conceived of as
addressing itself to the twin goals of improving educational
effectiveness (meaning success in achieving objectives) and
efficiency (meaning optimum relationship between output and
input). Following the definition of technology in general as the
systematic application of knowledge and techniques to practical
processes, educational technology places stress on education
methods and modes of organisation rather than on technical
devices. The mechanical apparatus of education is merely a
means to an end, and has no virtue in its own right.
Educational technology has also been described as a
systematic approach to instruction, where the objectives are
defined, the logical blocks in the argument worked out, and
students tested for their ability to absorb the blocks at different
rates in different sequences etc. According to this definition, a
good textbook is an example of educational technology,
especially if it happens to verge on a programmed text.
Instructional technology has been defined in the
following two ways. In its more familiar sense, it means that
media born of the communication revolutions which can be
used for instructional purposes, alongside the teacher, textbook,

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International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication


Volume: 1 Issue: 4

195 206

_______________________________________________________________________________
and blackboard. The components that make up educational
technology include television, films, overhead projectors,
computers, and the other items of hardware and software. In
nearly every case, the media have centered education
independently, and still operate more in isolation than in
combination.
Purpose of Educational Technology
The second and less familiar education of instructional
technology transcends any particular medium or device, in this
sense, instructional technology is more than the sum of its parts.
It is a systematic way of designing, carrying out, and evaluating
the total process of learning and teaching in terms of specific
objectives, based on research in human learning and
communication, and employing a combination of human and
non-human resources to bring about more effective instruction.
This comprehensive approach may be considered to hold the
key to the contribution, technology can make to the
advancement of education.
Instructional technology, by either of the two
definitions, includes a wide array of instruments, devices and
techniques, each with its particular problems, potential, and
proponents. It is important to note that neither definition equates
technology with machines. Many observers believe, for
example, that fascination with the gadgetry of instructional
television to the exclusion of the idea behind it has often led to
stereo-type and impoverished uses of that medium.
Many people see instructional technology primarily as
a way of recording, storing, transmitting, distributing, and
displaying material. But equally important is its capacity for
response and feedback and for reinforcement of learning.
Programmed learning, for example, provides immediate,
constant and infinitely patient feedback. Another quite different
example is the use of videotapes in teacher education (microteaching), which gives teachers a new way to see themselves,
to analyze small units of their own teaching, and to improve
their methods as a result.
The basic purpose of educational or instructional
technology is to arrange the various educational media in
concord with the other resources of education to achieve or
contribute to a higher quality and/or quantity of output from the
educational systems. The five major areas where progress in
educational technology has been, and is being made, are:
Making the teaching-learning process more visible.
Increasing labour-specialisation in faculty.
Improving concepts of measurement and evaluation of
aspects of the education system.
Objectifying goals and clarifying intentions of instruction.
Shifting the factors of production toward less labour and
more instructional materials and equipment.
The major components of Mass Media and their role in
Higher Education
In a general sense, educational media include texts,
work-books, programmed books and other print materials:
tapes, records and other audio materials; filmstrips, motion
pictures and other photographic materials; games, apparatus and
a number of other manipulative materials; charts, signs, maps
and other graphic materials; dioramas, bulletin boards, felt
boards and other displays; as well as other resources which
serve as the carriers of messages. The individual learner in his
classroom accesses many of these media based messages, others

are obtained in a college resource center, and still others may be


obtained from remote locations. This list does not exhaust the
possible means and methods that may be needed for designing
the complex requirements for optimally stimulating academic
learning. While most of these media had their origins outside
education, and their goal was entertainment rather than
education, their potential for improving the effectiveness of the
learning process has been recognised now.
Aims of media
The multi-media system of instruction has now
replaced the pathological syndrome of single medium fixation,
so characteristic of the early 1950s. There has also been
conceptual thinking about the media. They are carriers of
information; empty channels and raw tapes, films, and paper.
The basic complex problem is to select the most appropriate
modes of communication for learning strategies and put these
into combinations. The selection of media involves the
matching of the characteristics of the media to the demands of
the instructional situation the characteristics of the instructor,
the content, the student and the environment. An attempt is
made here to summarise the purposes for which the new media
are being employed. New media can be used as aids to the
presentation process. This has traditionally been the usual point
of entry for new devices and techniques into the process of
teaching and learning. As a matter of common observation, the
use of audio-visual materials seems to add clarity and precision
to the way the content of a particular lecture or teaching session
is presented. The mere discipline of seeking out, or preparing
for ones self, materials that are suitable for ones course
probably adds a great deal to its educational effectiveness.
There are other closely related results of audio-visual procedure
associated with clarity. One of these is accuracy. A carefully
drawn diagram using colour (and possibly, in the case of
overhead projector transparencies, several overlays) is
preferable to a hastily drawn and sometimes inaccurate
blackboard sketch. It is not only the efficient presentation of the
material to the student that is involved here; the lecturer also
derives considerable convenience from having high-quality
materials at his fingertips. He saves time in the class, and
undoubtedly saves preparation time in the end.
Media can be used as aids to demonstration. In addition
to some evidence that interest is aroused and that learning is
enhanced by new methods of presentation, there is a whole
series of teaching objectives, which can be better achieved by
the new media.
Media are used as aids to solution of logistic problems.
The arguments for using media as aids to presentation depend
upon the hypothesis that they improve teaching and learning
within the existing framework. One of the major characteristics
of the newer technology is that it transcends many of the
traditional patterns of the teacher in the classroom. As long as
the process of educational communication depends upon the
range of the human voice and eye, and upon the organizational
constraints which brought a limited number of students together
in a room with a teacher, a great many limits were placed on
flexibility.
Once educational materials are available in a recorded
form, it is possible not only to permit repetition and frequent
access within an institution; high-quality learning materials can
be deployed throughout an educational system, to give students
opportunities which previously did not exist. Therefore the
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International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication


Volume: 1 Issue: 4

195 206

_______________________________________________________________________________
concept of access leads to many new ways in which
universities might organise learning situations.
New devices and techniques can be used as aids to the
assessment process. There is no obviously convenient or
generally accepted system for classifying learning resources;
usually they are classified on the basis primarily of information
sources.
The various components of mass media and their role are as
followsa. Audio-visual Materials and Equipment
A variety of materials to aid instruction has been
available to the colleges and schools for some years, employing
the use of such equipment as tape recorders, record players,
slide and filmstrip projectors, overhead projectors, motion
picture projectors and radios. Whether these employ sight or
sound, or both together, they are grouped as audio-visual
materials. They are also frequently referred to as conventional
aids, though this term is somewhat misleading. Another
important development in the increasing emphasis on the use of
audio-visual resources for independent study. This has led to the
concept of the learning resource center. Usually a learning
resource center has learning booths or Carrels, in which
individual students can use slides, filmstrips, film loops, tape
recorders and books. There is a fundamental question whether
audio-visual materials are a means of instruction or merely aids
or adjuncts to instruction. Basically, they are amplifiers, which
extend the range of the human voice, the eye, and ear;
alternatively, they bring distant sights and sounds into the
classroom. As such, they are or can be a means of instruction
just as a textbook is. But whereas books are taken for granted,
audio-visual materials are often introduced or not, largely at the
whim of the teacher.
In higher education, resistance to the use of audio-visual
materials is usually attributed to the following reasons:
Faculty and administrative inertia.
Unavailability of films, equipment, or operators when
needed.
Lack of equipped classrooms or other viewing areas.
Problems of obtaining the right material when needed.
Lack of budget to provide decentralization of certain
materials and equipment.
Unavailability of appropriate materials.
Limited time of instructs for locating or designating
appropriate materials.
Lack of information about sources.
Lack of technical assistance for preparation of materials.
b. Language Laboratories
The purpose of the language laboratory is to develop
listening and speaking skills in foreign languages. The system
employs individual study carrels (booths) and the use of audio
tape equipment and headphones in combination with other
materials. For reasons of convenience, these facilities are
housed in one place, as opposed to being portable or mobile.
The maintenance of the complicated electronic components is a
highly skilled job, requiring an appropriately skilled staff.
c. The Computer
The computer has three main uses in education: it is a
research tool; it is a management tool; and it is a teachinglearning machine. While the role of the computer in higher
education for the purposes of research and management is well

established, the proposition that a computer could also become a


potent new vehicle for teaching and learning is more recent, but
it is being taken up with considerable enthusiasm.
d. Radio
While it is good to visualize a radio-listener in the
privacy of his home, the ideal is never valid on realistic
grounds. Radio clubs/forums have been found very useful in
adult education and literacy programmes. Why cant they be
useful in continuing education and distance education
programmes as well? These clubs are necessary because
learners participation and collective effort are essential at very
stage of the programme to make broadcasting realistic. Learners
who tune in to radio to get a programme as a follow-up measure
to the knowledge already acquired may be encouraged to listen
in groups, at radio clubs and in self-help groups which can, over
a period of time, become academic-social centers for
congregation of learners. Their listening may be followed by
discussion of content under the guidance of the group leader. Of
course, the radio programme should have some link with
reference material with the listeners so that they have something
to refer to when they listen to the radio. The effectiveness of a
radio broadcast is increased when the programme writers take
into account vocabulary of the target group, and if the
organizers encourage learners to participate in a post-broadcast
discussion session, particularly if the broadcasts themselves are
so designed as to draw the listeners to a participatory
programme in the form of filling in checklists and other
academic exercises. There are ways in which an ingenious
scriptwriter for radio and TV can encourage the learners into
sustained academic action. One can ask the listener to write the
name of an object being described or the name of a historical
personage whose works are being described. One can leave
space in a sentence and ask for a word to be filled in.
Importance of Radio in Education
Radio is an effective medium. It is also comparatively
inexpensive. It has occupied a significant place in
communication. It is also playing an important role in
education. It not only informs, but also inspires. It not only
inculcates values and virtues but also creates attitudes, interests
and appreciation. It can cover a very wide area at the same time.
There is already a well-developed infrastructure and a
background of long experience to its advantage. Educational
broadcasting has, therefore, immense possibilities particularly in
a developing country like India where constraints of finance,
efficient teachers suitable equipment and appliances adversely
affect educational planning and administration, radio is to play a
significant part in expansion as well as qualitative improvement
of education. India is still having some inaccessible areas where
expansion of education has faced difficulties. To a large number
of socially disadvantaged children, education is not meaningful
and interesting. There has been a growing awareness about the
inadequacy of the traditional or formal system of education not
only for expansion but also for improving the standards of
education. The need for alternatives in the shape of non-formal
education, distance learning and correspondence courses is
gradually felt imperative. Throughout the world, educational
radio programme has become popular and in certain countries it
has worked wonders. These countries also represent both
developed and developing world and the radio programmes
have been found effective both in formal and non-formal
systems of education.
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International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication


Volume: 1 Issue: 4

195 206

_______________________________________________________________________________
Advantages of Radio
It is cost-effective.
It is suitable for both classroom and home listening.
Even remote areas can be easily reached.
It is easy to use.
Programmes can be recorded for future also.
The software design of other media can be emulated with
suitable modifications.
Disadvantages of Radio
Individualised instruction is not possible. Minority needs
are thus ignored.
For the purpose of specialized teaching, radio is only an
audio medium, with no visual mode.
e. Television
The television can serve to bring academic material to
the student in a more direct and personal way then printed units
can, and it can give a sense of association to the members of a
widely scattered institution. In years to come, television
(recorded video-cassettes as a support facility) can lead an entire
course; but the appropriateness and cost factor of the available
technology has to be kept in view. Indeed, in any distance
education programme where the target audience is around 100
or so, the use of this technology would be an avoidable luxury,
but where larger numbers are involved (country-wide classroom
is an example) the technology can be put to proper use, within
the constraints of cost and availability of resources. For
effective utilization, the radio/TV lessons should be reinforced
by suitable printed reading material, supplied before and after
the presentation of the programme. A TV programme,
particularly for teaching a language, can be effectively designed
for spelling recognition, vocabulary acquisition, speed-reading,
oral comprehension, and for improving knowledge in the use of
the language.
Advantages of Television
Communication with large audiences is possible.
Communication with audiences scattered in different areas
is possible.
The vision-sound modes have a special appeal.
Flexibility in editing is possible.
Use of video-tape-recorder (VTR) makes it ideal for
individualized instruction, cost permitting.
With accompanying/pre-dispatched instructional materials,
it can be very useful as a follow-up process.
Software production could emulate other available media
such as movies/and dramas.
With accompanying checklists, it can be used for testing
purposes.
Disadvantages of Television
TV is expensive.
Technology is not readily available.
It neglects a minority audience. Individualized reading is
difficult to accomplish, if VTR facility is not readily
available. Even when VTR is available, it may prove to be
expensive.
While software production is relatively easier, the software
package may be expensive.
The time schedule is generally inflexible.

It is more suitable for demonstration than for immediate


follow-up by the viewers. The message, unlike the printed
medium, is transitory.
f. The newspaper
The creation of mass markets, which only large and
costly units could serve efficiently, has led inevitably to a
contraction of ownership in many cities and towns and thus to
the development of newspaper chains. The high point in the
number of newspapers published in the United States came in
1909, when there were 2600 daily publications. The localism of
newspapers and their efforts to attract and hold readers in a
competitive market have made the newspaper in many respects
a more direct descendant of the early magazine of the nineteenth
century than is the contemporary magazine. In its growing
consumer orientation and emphasis on news you can use,
todays local newspaper is very similar. Readers of all ages can
usually find something to interest them in the papers coverage
of local events and activities, in its local and syndicated
features, comics, and games, and in its local retail ads and
listing of local entertainment. Newspapers, then, have survived
the formidable competition of broadcasting and, to a much
lesser extent, of magazines, by adjusting their functions and by
retaining independence from government and from direct
advertising influence. Because many newspapers are local
monopolies, advertisers tend to need newspapers more than
newspapers need particular advertisers, although their mutual
need is obviously great. How intensely readers feel they need
newspapers is not really known, although the decline in daily
circulation the mid-1970s suggests that the sense of need was
diminishing.
In the modern context, newspapers cannot compete with
radio or TV in being first and fast with news. They can,
however, serve independently and as supplementary to these
media by giving more balanced account of news along with
backgrounds, better interpretative, investigated and thorough
reporting and coverage, wider variety of reading material and
shades of opinions in their columns. Modern newspapers
illuminate the mind through their cartoons, illustrations,
graphics, features and human-interest writings. They highlight
or underline particular events by their headlines, leads, cut lines
and column boxes. Their searching interviews, columnist
writings and editorials furnish better comprehension of
complicated events and affairs. Reader columns in newspapers
tie in readers and provide noticeable columns of public
grievances. There are also engagement columns, notices, fitting
advertisements, etc. for those who need them. Notwithstanding
occasional bias and slants in reporting and writing, their
concentrated urban approach and obsession with political and
sensational news, professionally competent and disciplined
dailies, Thus occupy a prestigious position in the galaxy of
media with their roles varying from the 4th Estate to the 5th
Estate, from an informer to a critic, from a narrator to a
commentator, from an investigator to an analyst, from a mentor
to a teaser, from a peace preacher to violence or racialism baiter.
In developing countries the press has a special role to play as a
social monitor, a constructive critic, the stimulator of debates on
public issues and a medium of feedback while balancing the
wheel of the Governmental structure. A great social vitaliser
and the right arm of liberty, it is also a big enemy of tyrants and
an exposure of public corruption. The media is also an

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International Journal on Recent and Innovation Trends in Computing and Communication


Volume: 1 Issue: 4

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interpreter of public events and a professional forum for
investigative and interpretative journalism.
g. The magazine
The word magazine is derived from the French word
magazin, meaning storehouse, and early magazines were
miscellanies of information and amusement. The modern
magazine succeeded as a mass medium chiefly because of its
original role as an adjunct of the marketing system. Like the
newspaper, it was able, over the years, to appeal to an
expanding range of tastes and interests. But, unlike other media,
most magazines were designed for homogeneous audiences or
special-interest groups. And, in contrast to the newspaper, their
circulation was nationwide. Thus, although many magazines
were directed to specialized audiences, magazines in general
developed as a mass medium in the sense that they appealed to
large numbers in a national market that cut across social,
economic, and educational class lines. Magazines fast are
becoming the strongest of the mass media. While individual
magazines may find their growth limited by greater competition
for advertisements, magazines as a group are more prosperous
in readers and in revenues than at any time in their recent
history. Not since the so-called golden age of magazines in the
late 1980s, this mass medium has been so strong.
h. Books
Books are a medium of mass communication that
deeply affects the lives of all of us. They convey much of the
heritage of the past, help us understand ourselves and the world
we live in, and enable us to plan for the future. Books are
significant tool of our education process. And they provide
entertainment for people of every age.
Teachers and pupils find in textbooks the vast
knowledge of history, philosophy, the sciences, literature, and
the social sciences accumulated through the ages. People in
every walk of life read to keep abreast of a fast-changing world,
to find inspiration, relaxation, and pleasure, and to gain
knowledge. Books explain and interpret nearly every aspect of
life. Whether they are paperbacks or hardcover volumes printed
on high quality paper, books have characteristic performance.
The newspaper reporter and the radio-television commentator
address a large but ephemeral audience. Videotapes, audiotapes,
records, motion pictures, and filmed products such as
microform and microfiche may deteriorate through the years.
Magazines, especially those printed on high-quality paper and
bound into volumes, may have extremely long lives. If cared for
properly however, books, such as the superb copies of the Bible
produced by Gutenberg in the fifteenth century, last virtually
forever. For the mass communicator, books perform several
important functions. They not only serve as wellsprings of
knowledge but, through translation and reprinting, and through
conversion into movies, television productions, and live
performances; they may convey vital ideas to millions of people
throughout the world. And in the publishing trade itself the mass
communicator may find a rewarding outlet in writing, editing,
and promoting the distribution of books.
i. CCTV
Most of the students in the Indian universities are now
interested in getting degrees by selective study and cramming. It
is, therefore, felt essential to provide media facilities for giving
motivation and creating interaction in knowing more and
acquiring skills better. Closed circuit television (CCTV) has
great potential in playing significant role in education. CCTV

system can be more promising than the other media because of


its special advantages that include its control of content and
quality along with its cost factor, which has been found to be
minimum for different groups of clientele. The Indian
Universities should plan for setting up and utilizing this facility
in an effective manner. The characteristics of this system
include all features of film with the additional advantage of its
immediate replay of events as in demonstration lessons. In the
system of CCTV, the educational programmes can be shaped
according to the needs and capabilities of students. Its approach
is also in consistency with the method of individual learning and
in this approach each individual student can have the
opportunity to suit his free time within the programmes at his
own place without any psychological barriers. This system
provides facility for pre-playing immediately an event such as in
lesson demonstration, interviewing models, etc. These events
enable students to train themselves in the skills through
observation and discussion. General academic courses may be
taught using this medium, motivating and activating the
learners. The system may significantly contribute to remedial
teaching by preparing specific programmes after diagnosing the
deficiencies of the students. The UGC has recently taken steps
for installing CCTV facility in various universities, so that
educational programmes can be taken to the study centers and
classroom situations.
j. Educational films
Educational films are a very powerful medium of education
as well as entertainment. Films have much in common with
television as they make use of both light and sound. However,
films lack the immediacy of live telecast as a result of which
they leave out something of the original reality. On account of
this, films are to some extent more abstract than TV. But
abstract does not mean difficulty or dullness and it makes films
more real and more lively. Educational films are produced
primarily for realizing some instructional objectives. They
possess so much of versatile, combination of motion, words,
colour and music. An educational film is in a sense brings the
World into classroom. It not merely gives knowledge but also
develops insights, skills and understandings, which will be
necessary for enabling students to assume suitable roles in the
society. Such films can be of great use and importance to the
learners of higher education. Even feature films and
documentaries if selectively and imaginatively used can
promote learning experience to a great extent. Computers are
likely to be used considerably for improving efficiency and
effectiveness of higher education.
k. Multimedia
The term multimedia is often associated with the
information superhighway or with interactive TV that can
produce videos (information on demand) or with hypermedia. In
fact, there is a lot of confusion about the definition of
multimedia. However multimedia can be considered as text,
graphics, images, video and audio in computer. One of the key
features of multimedia is interactivity. It may convey enriched
interactive information to its users. Some people visualise
multimedia as a combination of computer application where
newer hardware and software architectures are needed. About
the above definitions no body is sure, whether multimedia is a
computer itself or a computer software product. In practical
sense, it is the combination of both. The fact remains that it has
the best potential to be one of the most powerful form of
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communicating ideas, searching for information and
experiencing new concept of common media ever developed.
The basic advantage of multimedia over the conventional form
of media, which uses sound, graphics and text for example TV,
audio etc. is the interactive feature of multimedia. For example,
a multimedia version of news bulletin would be the situation
where you can request the broadcaster the type of news you are
interested in, when you want to hear it, and with the press of a
button or click of the mouse you can hear the news.
l. Teletext
Teletext is the general term used for transmission of pages
of information as digitized signals through the television
medium. It makes the television function like a computer
terminal for retrieval of textual information and graphics from
remote database. With the help of a suitable device, the user can
select any information from the text being transmitted and can
see this on the TV screen in place of normal television
programmes. Telecast can be used widely for dissemination of
textual and graphic information. The only limitation is that there
is no possibility of two-way communication.
m. Videotext
Videotext is one of the latest technologies, which seems to
offer tremendous potential for distance education. Unlike
teletext, it is a two-way interactive communication, wherein the
user can transmit their requests to a remote database in order to
obtain specific information. On the other hand, teletext is a oneway system flowing from a source to a user who can read the
desk information on a television screen. The video makes the
home television to function like computer terminal and retrieve
text information and graphics from a database.
n. Videodisc
Videodisc is yet another medium, which is helping to
increase capacity of the television set. The videodisc resembles
a long-playing record. It has two audio tracks, offering
alternative narration in two different languages. It uses a beam
of laser light to reproduce audio and visual information stored
on the disc. The videodisc has the capacity to store 54000
separate visual images on each side. It would be a mistake to
think of videodisc systems as merely a more advanced form of
videocassettes. The major educational advantage of the
technology is in term of learner control. Each frame of the disc
is labeled and can be accessed at random. The control of speed
and search facility is more refined. The disc is not affected by
constant use, because it is laser based, and therefore has a
unique potential for distance education. The video disc linked to
the computer and the learners can interact with the materials at
their own pace and choice. However, the biggest limitation is
lack of equipment in student homes. Furthermore, the cost of
production is also very high.
o. Tele Conferencing
Teleconferencing is an appropriate and flexible means for
distance education, which facilitates two-way communication
among user at different locations with the experts (Central
location). The users also get immediate feedback from the
experts and fellow users at other locations as well. Thus it is
providing to be an effective learning technique. There are three
types of teleconferencing: namely audio teleconferencing,
Video teleconferencing and computer teleconferencing.
Teleconferencing has a certain inherent limitations. It is a very
costly technique of instruction. It requires sophisticated
technology and expert human power.

p.

Internet / Electronic Mail


The Internet is network that uses one computer language TCP/IP protocol to connect computer networks in educational
institutions, commercial ventures, government units, and
military groups etc all over the world. Access may be through
individual PCs networked connected by modem to host
computer.
It provides many services: sending and receiving electronic
mail (e-mail) support for special interest scholarly lists and
news groups, remote login to a computer (Telnet) and file
transfer to and from remote locations of file achieves (FTP).
Bitnet is one of the Internet links, thousands of the research
centers and universities throughout the world and is federally
funded network designed specifically for scholarly research and
communications.
The Internet depends on computer, microwave links,
telephone lines and fiber applicable for transmission and
exchange of data. It is also dependent to a large degree on
voluntary participation of thousand of institution listnery
owners site managers and individual scholars willing to
maintain the information and databases. It can be of immense
use to distance learners in following areasA student may take credit-bearing courses without ever
entering in a classroom. The course may be taken and followed
by a test via Internet. They may ask questions, request advice,
and share information.
Library facility is also available on Internet. Many libraries
now make their cards catalogue available on Internet so that a
distance learner on Internet search through catalogues. The
libraries on Internet also make available the copies of the
special connections on demand.

2.

Mass Media in Distance Education


New methods and techniques [1] in education are
having an increasing effect on the traditional approach to
teaching and learning. Among the new approaches that have
gained great acceptance, is distance education. It is a distinct
approach to impart education to learners who are removed in
space and/or time from the teacher. The independence of place
and time of delivery of education, coupled with advances in
communication technology and mass media have opened up
exciting possibilities.
In distance education, an institution takes upon the
responsibility of development, implementation and evaluation
of an objective based instructional system, an institution takes
into cognizance the needs of a distance learner, his psychology,
styles and constraints in which he lives and grows. It then,
develops multi-media course packages. The role of the teacher
is not the dissemination of information but the management of
teaching-learning process. In conventional teaching, media is
used primarily to assist the teacher to improve learning whereas
in distance education, it is used as core educational input. The
whole system is standardized as far as possible and then
supplemented by personalised student services.
Educational Technology
Educational technology is the science of techniques in
education to enhance the effectiveness of the teaching-learning
process. Principles and practice of educational technology have
direct relevance to the tasks of a distance educator in increasing
the knowledge and skills of distance learners. Educational

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technology is thus used as a scientific way of designing,
developing, implementing, evaluating and perfecting techniques
in distance education. In this context, educational technology is
a problem solving approach to distance education.
Technology developments
Technology developments are an extension of mans
power over nature. Technology is providing a man with powers,
which can possibly be attributed to superman. In this context, a
teacher of today has enormous capabilities to transmit
knowledge and skills to students with the help of educational
technology materials, most of which are in the form of audiovisual materials.
Audio-Visual material
Audio-visual material displays information in the form
of pictorial representation (still or moving images), written
symbols (words and figures) and/or recorded sound (speech,
music, natural noises). This information and content can be
displayed through a variety of media like charts, maps, slides,
tape-slides, audio-tapes, video tapes and film, etc. These are
called software. Some materials themselves present information
like posters, charts and maps. Some others require presentation
devices. A slide requires a slide projector to present visual
information and audio tape requires a tape player to present
auditory stimuli. These are called hardware.
A few examples of hardware and Media used in
distance education at study centers and in personal contact
programme or otherwise are given below:
Media

Hardware

Slide

Slide projector

Overhead
transparency

Overhead projector

Audiotape

Tape player

Tape-slide

Tape player and slide


projector

Video tape

Video tape player

Film

Film projector

Source: Rastogi Satish [1]


The audio-visual material can be used as a store disseminator of
ideas, concepts, theories, methods, and techniques in any branch
of knowledge. It stores information in the form of pictorial
representation or recorded sound or both.
The pictures realistic or symbolic, still or moving
photographs, artists impressions, drawings, diagrams, graphs,
charts, maps all are representations of reality. But sometimes,
reality is too big for the classroom, e.g., the solar system; or too
small, e.g., the heart beats of water fly; or too slow; e.g. the
sequence of bud opening into a flower; or too fast, e.g., the wing
movements of a humming bird, too inaccessible, e.g., defusing a
bomb; or too cluttered up with confusing distraction, e.g.,
classroom interactions among pupils and between pupils and
teacher; or it may be invisible, e.g., the pattern of sound waves
from an underwater echo location device; or even extinct, e.g.,
dinosaurs. In all such cases, pictures may be able to overcome
the disadvantages of the real thing.
With pictures, we can control reality. We can make it
smaller or bigger; we can speed it up (with time-lapse
photography); we can take cameras and the artists imagination

where the human eye cannot go; we can picture what cannot be
safely observed in reality, we can emphasize (using diagrams,
editing or selective photography) and eliminate confusing detail;
and of course, we can picture the invisible (using diagrams;
animated or still) as also scenes of things, people and events that
are extinct.
Audio Visual educational functions
Recorded sound is also helpful in presenting reality,
e.g., original speech of a leader. Not only this, we can amplify
it, lower it down, edit out confusing noise or extraneous detail
and repeat it as and when, where and as often we like it. The
sounds, we may be interested in, may be natural (e.g., bird song;
physiological, e.g., heart beats; the mechanical, e.g., the moving
train; musical, e.g., a concert; conversational, e.g., foreign
language sounds; dramatic, e.g., a poetry recitation; educational
e.g., a lecture; or environmental, e.g., a noise from a village
fair).
In view of the above mentioned qualities, audio-visual materials
performs many useful educational functions:
Audio-visual material helps in extending the range of
vicarious experiences. These experiences are substitutionary in
nature. The student imagines his participation in the events
being shown to him. Hence, audio-visual material may be
developed by adopting approaches of either behaviourism,
humanism, or those of cybernetics, cognitive theorists and
gestaltists, as discussed earlier. In a nutshell, they can be
developed to perform a number of educational functions, some
of which are mentioned below:
Engage the students motivation: The student should
involve himself in learning. He may be motivated by:
identifying objectives, understanding why he should learn,
creating interest in the subject by way of introduction, etc.
Recall earlier learning: Student may read a review
before he begins new learning. Sometimes further learning is
impossible without mastery of some pre-requisites. It may be
necessary to test him and give remedial education or any prerequisites in which he lacks.
Provide new learning material: Many sub-functions
can be identified under this heading. For instance, the audiovisual material should present a meaningful message, explain
things from his point of view, give illuminating examples (and
non-examples), emphasize the vital issues, control interference
between competing ideas, draw the distance learners attention
to important discriminations and generalizations, show the
distant learner what to look for without telling him what to see,
provide a varied repetition of the main ideas, encourage transfer
of learning to new situations, adjust the intensity of learning so
that the individual student is neither bored nor overwhelmed,
but is always challenged, persuade the distant learner towards
aspiring to mastery and so on.
Activate the distant learners response: If the
learning is to mean anything to the distant learner, and if he is to
make it his own, he must be led to respond to it, to be an active
producer and user rather than a passive recipient of knowledge;
so the audio-visual material must provide him the appropriate
activity.
Provide feedback: Feedback can be provided very
speedily and flexibly by human interactions. This means that the
audio-visual material may specify the role of tutor after its
presentation. But the audio-visual material may itself propose a
few queries in its presentation; make the student think of the
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answers and then receive the correct answers to check his ideas
mentally. The audio-visual material may be interlinked with a
workbook on which the distant learner is made to respond to
various queries while he/she is seeing the presentation.
Encourage appropriate practice: The audio-visual
material may enable a distant learner to make his response not
just once but many times. In learning pronunciations, spellings,
rules of grammar and technical vocabulary, practice is
necessary. But constant repetition and drilling, suitable in a few
instances, is of no help in the development of concepts and
principles of problem solving. The student must be led to
discover for himself the concepts, principles and strategies. And
after he has grasped them, practice may help him use them more
confidently and transfer them to a variety of new situations.
Moreover, there is no reason why the distant learner should
practice all at once. Spaced our practice is likely to be helpful
for which, series of audio-visual material may be developed and
used.
Audio Visual Aids
A few audio-visual aids are described below:
Blackboard: The blackboard is a vehicle for visual
material. It is used in different educational situations. The main
purpose is to display symbols, visual and verbal, usually for a
short period of time. It provides an opportunity as no other aid
can, for creativity and initiative. The blackboard may also be
used for display of other material. They are the mainstay in a
study center. Every tutor requires them. A tutor should know
techniques of using the blackboard effectively.
Charts: Charts are combination of such pictorial,
graphic, numerical or verbal materials, which, together, are
most likely to present clear visual summaries of important
processes or relationships. Therefore, they can be helpful in the
tutorial situation in providing indirect purposeful experiences,
which can be supplemented, by providing on the spot study and
explanation for gainful learning, wherever possible. The term
chart can be applied to several different types, and any
classification system for charts must be arbitrary. They may be
classified according to use, function or similarity of
construction. Specific charts can be designed for special
purposes such as Show relationships by means of pictures, symbols, facts,
figures or statistics.
Present materials symbolically;
Summarize information;
Show continuity in process;
Present abstract ideas in visual form;
Show the development of structures;
Create problems and stimulate thinking;
Encourage use of other instructional materials;
Motivate students desire to continue related research; and
Attract and concentrate attention.
Overhead transparencies: These have considerable
advantage as they can be used in full light. It can be used for all
those purposes for which the blackboard is used. However, they
have certain distinct uses as follows:
Diagrams and drawings can be prepared before hand and shown
when the need arises. Moreover, it is possible to draw a part of
the diagram and complete the rest of it, while one is explaining.
Since a drawing in a transparency can be superimposed on
another drawing or on another transparency, it is possible to

show processes, experiments and many sequential phenomena


through multiple overhead transparencies. Otherwise also, it is
very useful in teaching those topics, which can be broken down
into overlays and require to be combined as the tutorial session
proceeds. They help in focusing attention either on the tutor or
on the illustration by switching on or off. Transparencies enable
the tutor to always face the learners. They affect economy of
time and energy as prepared material can be stored easily and
retrieved for use when the need arises. Commercial
transparencies are not available. Each distance education
institute should search for such material for use in its study
center.
Radio and audio tapes: Learners have a great capacity
for listening. The advantage of distance education in
development of radio programmes is that the listener is well
prepared to listen. The second advantage is the medium itself. It
is a personal medium. It is able to create a rapport with the
listener. And once the rapport is created, we can rest assured
that the learner will absorb whatever he listens to. It has warmth
and compassion of a human voice, therefore the listener feels
very close to it. Unlike television, it is able to stimulate the
imagination of the listener and create sound pictures. It is very
simple to use. What a tutor needs is a radio or cassette player
and software. He inserts the cassette and plays it. In radio
broadcast, we can use the radio at the appointed time only. But
in the use of audio-tapes we have the freedom to organise the
playback according to our convenience and the wish of the
learners. We do not have to abide by the radio broadcast
schedule, or bear with poor transmission conditions. Tutors in
study centers should be provided with two-in-ones. They may
therefore record the radio programme and use it as and when
required.
Television (TV): As a tool of distance education, TV
is a very powerful medium. It can reach the distant learners
inside their homes. Since it combines sound and vision, the TV
engages both the ears and the eyes. Definitely, it has more
appeal and impact. Over the last few decades, television has
been used in support of distance education, so much so that all
the 16 regional centers and 229 study centers of Indira Gandhi
National Open University (IGNOU) have been provided with
sets. As an intimate medium, the TV has greater personal appeal
and motivating power than film. It has an unmatched
demonstrative potential and can present events and learning
episodes in many interesting and dramatized formats which grip
the attention of viewers, sustain their interests and trigger their
imagination leading to better retention and joyful learning.
Since it is an audio-visual combination, television is rightly
called the queen of teaching aids. The TV provides a powerful
audio-visual medium for attractive and effective distance
education. It can also be used for two-way or even multichannel communication among different groups though it is not
easy to employ such technology in all places. In distance
teaching, effective distribution and universal access to learning
materials for all students is essential. A lesson received
through the eye and ear has a double chance of retention by the
learner. The television screen may become the electronic
blackboard of the future.
Video: The video is highly sophisticated and complex
device. However, thanks to modern technological progress, it
has slipped out of the technicians domain. A video tapemachine is a piece of equipment, which records sounds and
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pictures simultaneously onto a magnetic tape. In its end product,
it is like film because it captures the visual image. In its
operation, it is like an audio tape-recorder with the exception
that it can record and play back both sound and pictures at the
same time and instantly. It is extremely simple to operate a
VTR/VCR; play back, record and duplicate video programmes.
The video today is compact, reliable, flexible, portable and
economical. Like the transistor revolution of the sixties, the
world is currently witnessing what may be called a videoboom.
Obviously, the video has several advantages:
Unlike film which has to be processed in a lab before it can
be screened, video programmes can be played back
simultaneously as they are being shot. That means we can
record as well as playback, relay and broadcast video
programmes instantly.
Video programmes can be used, stored and used again and
again for broadcast as well as for non-broadcast (playback
on video) purposes.
Video programmes can be easily duplicated, dubbed and
circulated/mailed to interested parties and a variety of
television outlets. Because of its improved quality and ease
of operation, video has almost replaced film for duplication
and dissemination of programme.
Video programmes can be easily erased to record new
programmes on the same tape several times.
It is also easy to make off-transmission recordings of
desired TV programmes which can be used for playback
any other time or day to suit the teaching/training schedule.
All the 229 study centers of IGNOU have been provided
with VCRs. They have also been supplied with copies of all
the video tapes developed by IGNOU.
Computers: The computer is the most versatile
equipment to generate, store, analyze and retrieve information.
In instruction, it is widely used in computer-assisted instruction5
(CAI). The basic principles and some possibilities of CAI are
discussed below:
In its simplest form, the computer can present
information to a learner and can put a question to the learner to
identify his understanding. The learner types out the response
on the terminal. The computer analyses the answer and provides
the feedback to the learner along with a corrective message, if
required. The computer can perform this work when it is
specially programmed to do so. The CAI programmes are to be
written by specialists and stored in the computer. The
instruction continues if the response was right. The learner can
indicate to the computer the unit he wants to study or his desire
to quit. The interaction between the computer and the learner
can be made more sophisticated. The learner could pose
questions to the computer or ask for information, say, regarding
some process or definition.
The computer can also be used to generate practice
problems to learners in which the computer generates problems
and poses it to the learner. The learner is allowed to solve the
problem and the computer provides all the information desired
by the learner for their solution. If the learner is not able to
solve the problems correctly, it provides hints and helps him to
solve them. Thus, the computer continues to generate problems
and provide exercises to the learner till the learner has mastered
the problems. Simulations and gaining on computer are very

useful features and provide great insight into the problem


solving and creative abilities.
Open
universities
and
distance education institutes can make a beginning with
educational programmes in few selected study centers.
Computers are, however, being used for storage and retrieval of
information about student and tutor records, for varying
purposes in IGNOU and other open universities and distance
education institutes.
Tape Recorder: The audio-cassette draws the
attention of the distant student towards active participation
rather than passive and unthinking listening. Presentations may
be in forms of talks, symposia, panel discussions, interactive
classrooms and group discussions. Cassettes can be presented
for study along with written and/or visual material. Individual
tutors may make their cassettes to provide remedial material for
students having special difficulties. Cassettes provide unique
opportunities for encouraging distant students to be mentally
alert, to listen to the human voice and other sounds in
communication, to play and replay parts as required to make
their learning more effective and enjoyable. While many
western countries and other advanced countries use this medium
with advantage, in India, only certain language courses are
known to make use of them. However, university institutes do
not make use of this media.
Radio-Vision/Audio-vision: Current literature related
to Open University shows clearly that there is a place for audio
material in a variety of courses if it is used along with visuals
like slides, filmstrips and other projected or even graphic
materials. Radio presentation may be recorded and used again
and again. Reply and discussion in groups are possible with
radio-vision because one can stop the movement of the filmstrip
as well as the tape at any moment. Researches conducted with
TV and audio-vision has revealed that there is no significant
difference between the impacts made by these two media.
Radio-vision can be used as an alternative to TV, if the latter is
not available.
Slides: These are used not only while lecturing or
teaching but also during guided learning. . Slides are unique
in attracting attention and creating interest. These can be used
while supplying an effective material for changing the attitudes.
These are also useful in teaching discrimination skills by
exaggerating the differences, for displaying the internal working
parts of a system, for reviewing specific points or structures, for
restructuring content, for presenting special effects, for
reinforcing instructors presentation/textural material and for
providing visual cues.
Programmed Instruction
There is a widespread interest in the use of this
medium. Correspondence teaching and programmed instruction
have some principles in common. Proper selection, sequencing,
structuring and presentation are important in both. A
programme presents the matter in a sequence, in small steps and
expects the learner to respond at each step, thus giving
immediate feedback.
A teaching machine can be supplied to a learning
group and can be useful in controlled presentation, but it is not
essential to make a frame-by-frame programme effective. Even
approximations to such programming like a short paragraph
following a number of response items and running matter with a
large number of blanks, have been found to be quite effective.

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Telephone teaching: Telephones offer two-way
interactive communication across distance, i.e., people can talk
to each other discuss and ask questions.
One-to-one
telephone tutoring is sometimes resorted to. But this may be a
luxury, or a supplementary exercise. For this, tutors and
students will have to be present at home or at a study center
during fixed hours. The scope for one-to-one telephone tutoring
differs from country to country.
Other techniques useful for small group teaching and learning
are:
Loud speaking telephone and tele-conferencing,
Audio teleconferencing,
Video Conferencing,
Six-center teleconference network,
Broadcast (radio) with multi-channel telephone hook-up
with listening groups/learning centers within a limited
radius/distance.
Cyclops: This is a useful and interesting medium for
small groups of students. It is based on the conventional TV set,
standard audio-cassettes, micro-computer technology and
telephones. It was developed in 1976 by a research team in
Britain. A light pen should be used to draw or write on the TV
glass during Cyclops trials.
It has three provisions and as such it has been accepted
as a powerful technology in distance education. They are: (i)
writing and drawing facility, (ii) interactiveness of the system,
and (iii) ease of preparation of teaching material. Graphics can
be produced and stored in cassettes for replay. This finds
application in subjects like economics, geography and statistics
to provide graphical information, or in biology, technology, etc.,
to present complex diagrams. It can also be used as a selfinstructional system by synchronizing a voice-track with a
Cyclops graphics track on a stereo audio-tape. This tape could
be sent to students/groups to be used as per their convenience.

3.

Mass media in Conventional Education and Emerging


technologies
The technologies [2], which are currently used all over
the country and in most of the formal institutions, are the
lectures or face-to-face instructions, and printed material. The
lecture system has been in vogue for centuries and still the most
dominant. It is very effective where it is done by a good teacher.
This technology has served the purpose of education for a long
time, but it has its limitations. It lays emphasis on the four
characteristics: (a) teaching has to be done by the teacher; (b) it
has to be done in the classroom; (c) age group; and (d) teaching
has to be face-to-face. There are large sections of the people
who are unable to satisfy these conditions; as a result they will
not have access to education. No wonder the spread of
education has been limited and there has been criticism,
particularly in India, that our educational institutions are elitist.
At the same time a democratic society cannot resist pressure for
access to education. With limited resources the society can
provide only marginal expansion. Hence the search for
alternative systems. It is here that new technologies have
tremendous potential and offer new opportunities.
Print form
Books and printed material [4] are the second
important technology used in educational institutions. The
books are a source of great inspiration and need no emphasis.

Both in formal educational institutions and distance education


organisations, printed material is a very powerful instructional
medium and is likely to remain the core medium of higher
education for some time to come in spite of the emergence of
electronic media. Printed material has certain advantages over
the technologies. These are relatively cheaper to produce and
the skill required to be used, it is possessed by the majority of
adult students. Further, it provides flexibility to the students and
is portable and can be used again and again.
Communication Technologies: Media
What are the communication technologies, which are
today available in this world? Let me first make a brief
reference to the existence of these technologies, which are being
used in some country or the other. I would like to add that what
is new to one country may be old to another. A few advanced
technologies are available only in advanced societies but others
are available in developing countries also. The most important
of these technologies has been used extensively during the last
few decades in different parts of the world for an educational
purpose is the radio. It is particularly useful to people living in
remote and far-flung areas. A well-prepared radio can be
effective means of instruction. There are also radio conferences
and tutorials. A good radio network can be of great assistance in
promoting education. The second important technology is the
television. Because of the visual impression the television
creates great impact. It can be very effectively used for
technology and science subjects where demonstrations are
required. With the availability of satellite its potential is greatly
enhanced. However, in developing countries like India,
television is not within the reach of the majority of the people. It
is costly and very few students can afford to own a T.V. set.
Another limitation of the T.V. is that the broadcasting time may
not suit many students. These deficiencies can be overcome.
The T.V. sets are made available to the educational institutions
and community sets are provided to villages. Lessons can be
repeated so that those who have missed can watch it at a
different time.
Computer
The technology, which is available and is gaining
importance all over the world, is the computer. Computer aided
instruction or learning is becoming increasingly popular.
Popularly called CAI, it is likely to become very popular in the
years to come.
Audio Video
Next, there are the audio and video cassettes. The
materials used on the radio and the television can be supplied in
the form of audio and video cassettes to the learners. If the
learners cannot afford them, audio and video cassettes can be
stored in the college libraries. In fact, in the years to come each
library should have a good stock of audio and video cassettes. In
view of the limitations of the television, increasing use is being
made of video cassettes. It has been found to be very useful: (i)
as a method of self-study especially for weaker students; (ii) as
a means for teaching training; (iii) as a means of bringing
industrial progress to the classroom, and; (iv) it is helpful for
continuing education system of the country, we have
inadequately equipped laboratories and 30-40 percent of the
faculty positions are vacant. In such a situation, video
instructions can significantly raise the quality of on-campus
engineering education in India. This is applicable not only to
engineering colleges but also to colleges all over the country,
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which do not have properly equipped laboratories and qualified
teachers. The video can greatly enrich classroom instructions.
Gulati and Dutta (1985) list some of the important findings of
the responses of students to the video programme. Hundred
percent students in one group felt that they were competent to
conduct the tests on their own after seeing certain video
programmes. Sixty per cent students in another groups felt that
the test procedure as explained in the video programme was
better than the explanations given in the laboratory. Seventyfive per cent of students in group three felt that they would have
found conducting the tests more interesting had they seen the
programme earlier. Many felt that video programmes conveyed
much more in the same amount of time than what is conveyed
in the laboratory on account of the total preparation of content
matter necessary for production of video programme. New
developments in the electronic media such as video discs and
video texts are increasing the capacity of the television set.
Video disc is a system similar to the long playing record except
that it carries both audio and video through a conventional
television set. The video disc particularly the optical disc has
enormous storage capacity. Optical discs can store 1,00,000
tracks and 54,000 on each side. The entire Encyclopaedia
Britannica could be stored on a single disc with room to spare.
Video text allows home television sets to function like a
computer terminal and retrieve information and graphics from a
remote data base. A video text system would be very useful in
disseminating general information about courses and
programmes available through distance education.
In several countries telephones are used, particularly in
distance education to provide interaction between the tutors and
students. These, however, can be used only in countries where
they work very well.
There are countries, which are using audio and video
conferencing, for instance, in Canada tele-conferencing, is being
used in several educational programmes, including professional
development courses in medicine, law, teacher education, health
science, business and management.

4.

Constraints of Mass Media


There are many constraints that limit the opportunities for
electronic media utilization. Among these are the type of
institution, geographical issues, equipment, resources, course,
time frame, course workload, communication pattern, and the
financial health of the program provider. The program must
comply with the rules; regulations and policies of the institution,
and these may vary considerably from a private to a public
institution and from secondary education to universities. A
programme confined to a certain geographical area such as a
campus, a community, a state or a nation. With regard to on-line
programmes, these restrictions are more often due to policies
and legislation than to technical limitations. Lack of computer
resources, such as hardware, software, and communication

networks is, however an important limitation for many on-line


programs. The institution's timetables could pose several
restrictions on an on-line course. It is not always convenient for
an on-line course to follow a university semester or term plan.
Similarly, requirements of a weekly course load could constrain
a program. Some institutions may also require some sort of
synchronous communications that further constrains a
programme.

5.

Conclusion
In this chapter it is attempted to analyse different mass
media and their role in higher education. The revolution in
information technology has equipped the media with
tremendous power. In the present digital age, multimedia access
which is a powerful mechanism to accelerate the development
in higher education through distance learning. We have the
media like Internet, which is equivalent of a telephone, fax and
radio, TV all rolled into one service. It has been observed that if
mass media could be appropriately used to the suiting and to the
learning needs created by the forces of change like population
explosion, knowledge explosion, electronic distance education
and technological explosion. The media may be utilised in a
package by ensuring the maximum effectiveness. Technology
and economic constraints are important points for consideration
in developing countries like India. But the social hurricane
forcing changes in higher education is unavoidable. The entire
system of higher education has no option but to make adequate
planning, imaginative production and appropriate utilization of
the mass media to get rich dividends and make higher education
cost effective, democrative, relevant and meaningful. It has been
tried to find out, how different mass media are in the process of
changing the society and they are capable to get our higher
education into cyber space.

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3. Hakemulder J R, Fay, F A D Jonge & P P Singh: Mass
Media, Anmol Publication, 1998, P 2,7,8,17-19,4345,149,189,190,191.
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Deep Publication, N Delhi, 1992, P 36,38,39,123,124,129131,160-162,167.
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