A Model Proposal for Educational Television Programs

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Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE April 2005 ISSN 1302-6488 Volume :6 Number: 2 Article No:4

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Feridun AKYUREK Faculty of Communication Sciences Eskisehir, Anadolu University-TURKEY INTRODUCTION In Turkey, if we look at the general view of nationally produced television programs, almost similar type of programs are broadcasted one next to each other. This is also true for educational television programs. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes long programs, a faculty member presents as a repeat of what is written in textbooks… As television program makers we can say that, these are programs as with “talking heads”… For a student or an audience member, we can ask ourselves how these programs will benefit to these audiences. How successful are they to meet the expectations of these audiences? Is the aim of the eucational television programs to fill broadcast time?... Respectedly, with the amount of money spent, labor, time; aren’t they all becoming waste?.. These are the very first questions coming to mind… There were so far no answers from Turkey for these questions according to my research, so the answers are from abroad. People who are answering questionnaires in different countries have similar answers as these educational/cultural television programs do not meet their needs. Most likely, the same answers would come from a similar research in Turkey, too. Because, observations put these answers clearly. As a result, research findings concerning educational television programs provide these answers (Hızal 1983: 61): These programs are the results of limited world, society, educational views and knowledge of producers and educational professionals. In other words, audience expectations are not under consideration. Television do not provide appropriate environment for all disciplines and subjects. Script text is written by a specialist with limited television experience and there is limited cooperation between television producer-director and the writer. In approxiamtely 20 minutes, a lot of information is tried to be conveyed. Trying to say so many things result so little to say. It is hard to say what kind of educational aspects being aimed with these programs. Specialist on a particular subject does not actually write television script and director faces difficulties to visualize these texts. The only options are using caricatures, photographs, stills, and definitons. The result is not an attractive one. If a composition is not equally balanced and if it is not addressing the concious of the audience it creates difficulties for the viewer. There is almost no chance for feedback. Viewers are passive. This affects the productivity of these programs. All these issues create concerns over people in education who work for solving some problems of education by people who have serious expectations from television. If we really want to have good, quality, educative and potentially effective educational television programs we better think for programs which create the need for watching. This is the issue that needs to be solved immediately. This problem does not only belong to people in education but to writers, producers and directors; even related organizations and establishment. Education television is like a bridge between mass media and world of


education. Production of the program, presentation and its use will be the bridge which will be created by a team work (Cassier 1960: 163). EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION A General View Television, with its capabilities of video, audio and motion, is a strong, modern mass medium of transferring information to mass audience in current age. It is like a Trıjan Horse with lots of surprises. Some people conider it as a time consuming medium with lots of fantasies and with no educational capabilities (Oskay, 1978); some conider it as ‘dumb box’ and some consider it as beneficial with stating ‘magic box’....
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