Summary Chart of
Communication and
Education Techniques

Main advantages
Main disadvantages
1. Public meetings

and lectures

Easy to arrange. Reach many people. Can have more than one speaker. Create public interest and awareness. Stimulate follow-up discussions. Audience is usually passive. Speakers may not understand audience's needs. Difficult to assess success. Audience might not learn the main points. Handouts should be used. Presentation should be clear. Use visual aids when possible. Audience should be encouraged to raise questions and to participate. Speaker should establish two way communication.
2. Group discussions Build group consciousness. Individual members of the group can understand where each member stands in regard to the discussed issue: provide chances for exchanging opinions and increase tolerance and understanding. Some members may dominate. Sometimes difficult to control or to keep focusing on the main issue. Should be used with an interested audience to discuss a definite problem. Procedure should be fexible and informal. Summary of discussion should be presented at the end of discussion. Decision should be made by group members regarding its stand on the issue discussed. Requires the selection of good chairman.
3. Role-playing Facts and opinion can be presented from different viewpoints, especially in controversial issues. Can encourage people to re-evaluate their stand on issues and can invite audience participation. Deepens group insight into personal relations. Cannot be used in community meetings. Some role-players may feel upset by playing a role they do not agree with. Requires careful preparation for the selection of the issue and actors. Careful preparation is essential. Can only be used in training courses. Follow-up discussion should focus on the issue rather than on actors performances. Source material about the issue should be provided to the actors to prepare their arguments.
4. Drama Groups can be active, "learning by doing." Can attract attention and stimulate thinking if situations are effectively dramatized. Actors require attention in training and preparing script. Preparations might be too difficult for the field-worker. Difficult to organize because it requires considerable skills and careful guidance by the field worker. Should be restricted to one issue. Can only be used during training courses. Can be used as entertainment if well prepared before a public meeting.
5. Case study Can illustrate a situation where audience can provide suggestions. Can elicit local initiative if the case corresponds to local problems. Difficult to organize. Rewording of events and personalities might reduce the effectiveness of the case. Some audiences may not identify themselves with the case. Should be clearly prepared. Can be used in training course. Questions and discussions should lead to recommendations for audience action. Audience should be encouraged to prepare case studies relevant to its experience.
6. Home visit Establish good personal relationships between field-workers and families. Can provice information about rural families that cannot be collected otherwise. Encourages families to participate in public functions, demonstrations and group work. Field-worker cannot visit every family in the community. Only families in accessible localities can be visited. Records should be kept for families visited. Schedule of home visits should be developed to assure allocation of time for field-work activities. Handouts should be given to the families visited.
7. Demonstration Participants can be active and learn by doing. Convinces the audience that things can easily be done. Establishes confidence in field-worker's ability. Requires preparation and careful selection of demonstration topic and place. Outside factors can affect demonstration results and consequently might affect confidence in field-worker. Demonstration processes should be rehearsed in advance. Audience should participate in the doing. Educational materials should be distributed to the participants at the end of the demonstration. Time and place of demonstration should be suitable for people to attend.
8. Radio, newspapers and television Radio can be used to teach illiterates and literates. Newspapers can provide information within a short time for those who can read. Mass media can create awareness of issues and announce activities in this regard. No visual aids can be used on radio. They can be used in newspapers and television. Media programmes are always short. Regular mass media programmes are one-way communication. Difficult to assess effects. Programmes are usually prepared for national audience, which reduces their relevance to local problems. Mass media programmes should be relevant to the problems of the local people. They are better utilized if combined with group discussion.
9. Mass media group


Combines mass media

and personal channels. Can be prepared and used for many audiences over a period

of time. Encourages group participation.

Requires preparation for recruiting groups, training group leaders, and preparation of educational material. Can be expensive. Should he regularly held. Participants should be provided with educational material. Can be effective in enforcing literacy and adult education. Programmes selected should be about local problems. Tape recorders can he used. They are flexible. Can be used to tape role-playing, group discussion and interviews with local personalities.
10. Blackboard A flexible tool. Easy to make and to use. Can be very attractive if used properly. Use of coloured chalks can add to its visual appeal. Can be portable . Requires some manipulation skill (though quickly acquired). Requires teaching skills to make best use. Should he essential in every group. Very useful for schematic summaries of talk or discussion. Audience can participate. Small blackboards can be portable. Writing should be clear and organized.
11. Flannelboard Can be portable and mobile. Can be prepared by expert in advance: little skill required in actual operation. Could be used to make presentation more dynamic. Can only be used for what it is prepared for. Cannot adapt to changing interest of group. More elaborate equipment than ordinary blackboard. Difficult to keep up to date. Very useful but only for the prepared talks. Audience can participate. It should be used step-by-step. Flannel materials should be stored properly for future use. Flannel graphs should be numbered according to their order in the presentation.
12. Bulletin board Striking, graphic, informative, flexible, replaces local newspapers. Keeps community up to date with information. Requires preparation and attention to community needs. Should be combined with maps, talks and photographs. Very suitable for posting articles, announce meets and news of development in the community.
13. Flip charts (turn-over charts) Cheap and simple. Can be stopped at will for analysis. Can be prepared locally. Ideas could be illustrated in sequence. Illustrations on flip chart could be used many times for different audiences in different sessions. Soon torn. Can only be seen by a few at a time. Can be difficult to illustrate complicated ideas. Should not be over looked for illustration of simple sequences - especially with small groups. Lectures should be prepared in advance for use on several occasions.
14. Films Because of sight and sound can attract audience's attention. Can make great emotional appeal to large audiences. Good films are rare. Equipment costly to buy and maintain. One-way communication unless properly used. Requires skill in running film projectors. Best if combined with discussion groups. Much work to be done in getting good films made. Attention should be given to encouraging audience to evaluate the film. Films should be used for stimulating discussion rather than for teaching alone.
15. Filmstrips Much cheaper and easier to work than films. Easily made from local photographs. Encourage discussion. Usually sight only. Not so dramatic as motion pictures. Could be expensive. Can have recorded commentary. Strip can be cut up and individual pictures mounted as 2-inch slides; then can be selected and rearranged.
16. Slides Have all the advantages of filmstrips plus more flexibility and can be more topical. Could be expensive. Difficult to have them on all subjects of teaching. They can be used in a series to illustrate a concept. They should be used after careful preparation of logical sequence and a good commentary.
17. Models, exhibitions, and displays Appeal to several senses. Can be used on various occasions and situations. Can illustrate ideas in detail. Not many workers can build or use them properly. Useful models and exhibitions could be built up locally. Should be used in familiar places/ centres.
18. Maps, charts, diagrams Visual appeal. Should simplify details. Permit leisurely study: can develop sequence on display boards. May mislead by over-simplicity. Create transport and storage problems. Should be made especially for groups. May need careful explanation at first. Could be used as summary of in formation. Symbols and layout should be familiar to the audience.
Source: Shawki M. Barghouti, Reaching Rural Families in East Africa (PBFL/FAO, Nairobi, 1973).

 Hari Srinivas -
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