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Factors Contributing to the Success of Palawan State University’s CPA Licensure Examinees

Abstract

Since the inception of the CPA Licensure Examination, it has been one of the more difficult Licensure Examinations to hurdle. In the Philippines, it has been consistently ranked within the Top 10 of the Hardest Licensure Examinations. When Palawan State University was able to send BS-Accountancy graduates to take the licensure exam, it has been difficult for the said CPA candidates to pass the said examination. Studies in relation to the said topic have been done from the accreditation of a school’s accountancy program, the students’ habits, GWA/GPA and other characteristics were made. This study focused on the review period before the licensure examination of the CPA candidates. This study also identified factors that contribute to the success of a CPA candidate. Results show that two-thirds reviewed at RESA. Their preferred review session is the afternoon session. This study also showed that they spend more than 8 hours in the evening to prepare for the examination. They also understood the concept first before proceeding with practical application. The candidates also used self-assessment to evaluate themselves for the examination.

Keywords: BS-Accountancy, CPA, Strategies, Study Habits, Techniques

Introduction

Early evidence of the existence of accounting can be traced 6,000 years ago. Discovery of rudimentary accounting records from temples in Lower Mesopotamia. In 1340, the double-entry accounting were discovered in the “Massari Ledgers” of the Commune of Genoa. This was earlier than Luca Pacioli’s “Summa” which was first published in 1494. Since the Massari Ledgers have little evidence of their validity, the Franciscan Friar and mathematician is still universally recognized as the “The Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping”.

Originating in England, the professional accountancy examinations are now standard in all countries recognizing accountancy as a profession. Candidates wanting to enter the profession must show his or her knowledge and proficiency in numerous accounting areas. The exam continues to evolve with the changing needs of the profession. In the future, the changing business and technological environment will demand higher level of skill set from entry level accountants. In the future, the CPA Examination must be designed to assure the knowledge, ability, and skill of the candidates taking the exam, so that the public will be protected and accountancy remain a respected profession (King, D. L., et al., 2017).

In the early 1900’s, the accounting profession realized the need of quality education and accounting work experience. The American Association of Public Accountants (AAPA), the precursor of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), realizing this necessity, developed a uniform CPA exam as an admission requirement to the profession. The giving out of uniform examinations has been adopted in the Philippines and all over the world before one may be admitted to the profession, although examinations may vary and additional requirements such as number of years of related experience may be necessary for admission.

A study reveals that practitioners support (1) setting national uniform requirement for education and job experience, (2) requiring college-level course(s) in ethics, and (3) requiring candidates to have courses in specific areas of accounting and non-accounting disciplines (Demagalhaes, et al., 2014). A study also suggests that auditors with Professional Accounting Education (PAE) background possess higher competency compared to those without. Supervisor, manager, and partner perceptions are better for those subordinates with PAE background. Further, findings supported to a certain extent that PAE has a significant role in enhancing professionalism in auditors (Utami, et al., 2011).

College accounting curricula have always stressed public accounting and the CPA exam. But with the emergence of new certification programs, potential accountants have a wide choice of professional designations to differentiate themselves. Despite the competition, the CPA is still the best recognized brand name among accounting students. But the CIA, CFE, and other certifications are catching up with and in some aspects surpassing the CMA recognition (Brody, et al., 2016).

Consistently, the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Licensure Examination has been always ranked in the Top Ten Hardest Licensure Examination locally and abroad. In the Philippines, the Board of Accountancy (BOA) conducts the examination twice a year. Data from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) revealed that the highest exam passing percentage is 48% never hitting the 50% mark.

Since Palawan State University was able to produce accountancy graduates, it has consistently produced CPA Licensure Examination passers above the national passing percentage. There was always a retention policy but it was not strictly implemented during the late 1990s. The adverse result of non-implementation was when the university’s passing rate became lower than the national passing percentage. The lowest point was in the early 2000s when the university at times had no passers in the licensure examination.

The Uniformed CPA Examination is an objective measure that can be employed for evaluation purposes and that accrediting organizations should require disclosure of each accredited school’s UCPAE passing rate as requirement for accreditation. Further, findings also indicate that faith-based CCCU member schools performance is significantly higher than for-profit schools. This is attributable to small class sizes, active learning methods and additional mentoring by faculty at CCCU member schools (Hahn, et al., 2015).

Several studies were made to identify techniques and strategies of successful CPA Licensure exam passers, as well as factors surrounding success in hurdling the said examination. This research focused on external factors such as the review school, habits, techniques and strategies during review.

The objectives of this study are to know (1) the review school the successful CPA examinees enrolled in and what is their schedule; (2) the time of the day and the number of hours the successful CPA examinee study; (3) the number hours the successful CPA examinee sleeps; (4) the techniques and strategies that successful CPA examinee used during the preparation for the licensure examination; and (5) how did the successful CPA examinee assess his/her readiness to take the CPA Licensure Examination.

Methodology

Design

The research used descriptive quantitative method of research. It described the factors contributing to the success of PSU’s CPA Licensure Exam candidates covering the period from 2013 to 2017. It was conducted with graduates of Palawan State University who successfully passed the CPA Licensure Exam covering the period from May 2013 to October 2017. The respondents will be the total population which were the successful passers of the CPA Licensure Exams for the said period.

Population

The participants of this study are the successful candidates of the CPA Licensure examination covering the period from May 2013 to October 2017. The questionnaires were distributed to 108 CPAs who successfully passed the CPA board examination in the said period. Out of the total population, 55 or 51% replied.

Data Collection

A survey questionnaire was distributed to the respondents. The said questionnaire was sent thru Google Survey and Facebook to all respondents including those located outside of Puerto Princesa City and Palawan. The list of respondents was acquired from the records of the Department of Accountancy of Palawan State University. To summarize the results of the data gathering, tables and figures were used.

Statistical Analysis and Variables

Data were analyzed using the descriptive statistics embedded in the IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 19. The study used the frequency count percentages to describe the responses. The frequency count was used to find out the number of responses given to a particular question. Percentages were used to convert the frequency counts. As for the other data, tables and figures were used to show the results of the data gathering.

Results

I. No. of times took the CPA Licensure Exam

The descriptive statistics below show 55 valid responses with no missing entries or respondents. As illustrated below, a great majority (n = 39, 70.9%) of them took the CPA Licensure Examination once, (n = 12, 21.8%) took the exam twice, and the remaining (n=4, 7.3%) took the examination thrice.

Table 1. Number of times the CPA board exam was taken.

II. Review Center

Table 2 shows the frequency and percentage distribution of the respondents’ preference as to Review Center. A great majority of the respondents (n = 44, 80%) enrolled in RESA for their review. The second with most number of respondents (n=8, 14.5%) is CPAR. Other review schools has the third most respondents (n=2, 3.6%) while PRTC only has 1 respondent (n=1, 3.6%).

Table 2. Review centers enrolled in.

III. Review Session

As reflected in Table 3 shows the frequency and percentage distribution of respondents’ preferred review session. Great majority of respondents (n = 40, 72.7%) suggests that they preferred the afternoon session of their respective review school. The next preferred schedule by respondents (n=9, 16.4%) is the morning session. The remaining respondents preferred to enroll in the evening (n=4, 7.3%) and the weekend (n=2, 3.6%) sessions, respectively.

Table 3. Review session enrolled in.

IV. Preferred study time

As illustrated in Table 4 below which illustrates the respondents’ preferred time to review and study, it appears that most of the respondents (n=22, 40%) preferred 6 pm to 12 am as the time to study. The second most number of respondents (n=17, 30.9%) chose 6 am to 12 pm to review while the remaining respondents (n=8, 14.5%) are equally distributed to 12 am to 6 am, and 12 pm to 6 pm, respectively.

Table 4. Preferred review time.

V. Hours spent for Study

Table V below shows how many hours the respondents spend studying for the CPA Board Examination. All respondents study for more than 2 hours. Most respondents (n=23, 41.8%) study more than 8 hours, other respondents (n=20, 36.4%) study from 4 to 8 hours while several respondents (n=12, 21.8%) study from 2 to 4 hours.

Table 5. Hours spent reviewing per day.

VI. Hours spent for Rest

Demonstrated in the table below is the average number of hours of rest by each respondent. Majority of the respondents (n=41, 74.5%) takes about 4 to 8 hours of rest per day while almost a dozen respondents (n=11, 20%) choose to rest for more than 8 hours. Only few respondents (n=3, 5.5%) choose to rest for less than 4 hours.

Table 6. Hours of sleep per day.

VII. Place of Review

Demonstrated in the succeeding table is the preferred place of review by the respondents. Almost all respondents (n=45, 81.8%) chose to review at home or at their boarding house. Other respondents (n=7, 12.7 %) study at the review center while other places has the fewest number of respondents (n=3, 5.5%) chose.

Table 7. Preferred place to review.

VIII. Review Materials Used

In Table 8, this table illustrates the type of review material that CPA examinees choose to use. Considering that they are in review, respondents (n=26, 47.3%) use review center handouts. Second most preferred by respondents are reviewers (n=16, 29.1%) while personal notes (n=7, 12.7%) come in third and least preferred by respondents are textbooks (n=5, 9.1%).

Table 8. Preferred review material.

IX. Review Structure

The Table below shows the respondents’ preferred review structure. Most respondents (n=37, 67.3%) study by understanding the concepts first before they proceed to practice. Several respondents (n=15, 27.3%) study by doing the same simultaneously. Fewest respondents (n=3, 5.5%) chose to study by answering the problems first before understanding concept.

Table 9. Preferred review structure.

X. Review Strategy

Illustrated below is Table 10 shows the preferred review strategies by the respondents. Majority of the respondents (n=29, 52.7%) chose self-review as review strategy. Some respondents (n=15, 27.3%) combined the review strategies while the remaining respondents (n=11, 20%) chose the pace of the review center as strategy.

Table 10. Preferred review strategy.

XI. Review Evaluation

The following table below show how the respondents assessed their readiness for the CPA Licensure Examination. Majority of the respondents (n=36, 65.5%) use self-evaluation to assess themselves for the board exam. The second most number of respondents (n=17, 30.9%) use the pre-board examination to assess their readiness while the remaining respondents (n=2, 3.6%) chose other means to assess themselves.

Table 11. Readiness to take the licensure examination.

XII. Review Techniques

Review techniques are the methods and means used by the respondents during their review for the CPA Licensure Examination. The figure shown below shows the different techniques utilized by the respondents to successfully pass the CPA Board Examination. Respondents were able to use different techniques as shown below. The most utilized techniques are Reading and Making Notes (n=49, 89.1%) followed closely by Practice Questions (n=48, 87.3%), next is the preparation of Outlines (n=38, 69.1%) and the utilization of Formulas (n=36, 65.5%. To round the preferred review techniques by the respondents, the least preferred is Highlighting (n=32, 58.2%), Memorization (n=25, 45%), and Mnemonics (n=25, 45%).

Figure 1. Review techniques used by the examinees.

Discussion

Related researches have been done but studies which focuses mainly with Bachelor of Science in Accountancy program has been limited. It is common knowledge that BSA graduates feel incomplete when they do not pass the CPA Licensure Exam. Hence, with this research identifies several factors, indicators and habits which contribute to the success of an examinee. The findings are significant to both students and teachers alike. Considering that the study identifies certain habits that should be developed by a student to successfully pass the licensure examination and that may also be useful during their student life.

Usually, the larger, more well-known schools has more number of sections passed. The percentage passing rate per student is a better indicator of a candidate’s success than total number of sections passed. Further, several non-accredited institutions have the highest passing rates. (Heslop, G., et al., 2014) Achieving and maintaining requirement for separate AACSB accounting accreditation is a challenge for administrators and faculty of accounting programs. The decision for an accounting program to seek accreditation is a challenge for administrators. But study shows that CPA candidates from AACSB accredited business schools achieved higher overall passing rates and higher average scores for 2012 and 2011 compared to non-accredited schools. These suggest that the former attracts better quality and better preparing the students for the CPA exam. (Bunker, et al., 2014)
As for demographic profile and status, the examinees are mostly female, young, scholar, from families with low monthly income, with good GWA, and coming from prestigious review schools. Student and family factors greatly affect their performance while school factors have average influence. Student scholarship, GWA, and attendance to prestigious review schools are positive factors in passing the CPA board while the examinees profile as to age, gender, and family’s monthly income shows no significant relationship (Herrero, 2015).

Demographic profile of college students has drastically changed in recent years. Economic conditions, and other relevant factors has increased non-traditional students. Majors such as accounting has presented as a challenge to non-traditional learners but enrollment still increase due to the promise of job placement and above-average salary. However, these students test on exams, and professional exam, like the CPA exam is a difficult hurdle for these learners supported by the declining passing rate with the increase in age. Thus, to increase the formers chances, it becomes necessary for programs to adjust methods of content delivery and preparation (Franklin, et al., 2016).

We found that beyond general intelligence, and important predictors such as personality type, working in public accounting, and preferring the audit discipline over tax. It is also likely that Fiery Red personality type may not successfully pass the CPA Exam compared to Cool Blue personality type. Incentives and penalties offered by accounting firms also contribute to passing the exam. But knowing one’s personality type can be of advantage to a candidate considering that he/she may use it to maximize his/her strengths to pass the CPA examination (Burton 2014).

Findings suggest that a student’s successful board exam can be predicted by the GPA and pre-review grade. It also suggests that since pre-review and GPA can predict the outcome of the CPA Board exam, pre-review course can be integrated in the curriculum. (Tamayo, et al., 2014)Study also shows that CPA exam passing rates of women are generally lower than male. In addition, passing rates decrease with age but it is more pronounced in females. (Franklin, et al., 2017) Based in literature review, the current structure of the CPA Exam with more objective type questions favor males’ information processing tendencies, while simulations support females’ information processing tendencies. (Myers, 2018). The study also supports that a young male candidate from an accredited college or university having to take one exam section had higher probability for success than any other candidate (Trinkle, 2016). A study also found that graduate degree candidates have higher pass rates compared to candidates who earned undergraduate degree (Menk, et al., 2017).

But the measure of success usually lies in the student. It was found that majority of accounting students perceived their intrinsic goals as measure of success than extrinsic goals. It was also found that accounting students, and who would later become professional accountants, were not sufficiently aware of the importance of thinking/judgment skills. Thus, accounting education should integrate more unstructured and problem based learning materials to the accounting curriculum. Further, accounting students rely on their own abilities and blame themselves for their failure. Hence, accounting schools should facilitate initial orientation and provide avenues to develop self-management and methods on how to prepare for their lessons. These will help students in building confidence in the way they approach their studies. (Sugahara, et al., 2014) There is significant relationship between intrinsic motivation and students’ academic performance. In addition, extrinsic motivation shows positive outcome where students are eager to get reward or achievement. Besides that, self-efficacy also has significant relationship with academic performance. High confidence levels assist students to perform better in their academic performance. Further, learning styles are proven to exert significant relationship with students’ academic performance. This indicates that study techniques play an important part in the learning process to ensure better results. However, gender and prior academic performance have no significant relationship to present academic performance (Remali, et al., 2013).

The study also shows students of Accountancy program view the program as stepping stone for them to achieve the desires they want to attain. Hence, they have favorable attitude toward it despite its difficulty. The CPA license is the achievement and students persist toward that goal thru studying hard while in college, coupled with positive attitude and behavior towards accounting. The positive attitude toward accounting with effective study habits might lead to higher grades, graduate, and later pass the board examination. Freshmen should also have passion, because no matter how effective other factors is, what will make them successful in the field of accounting is their love for the said field. Further, students are weak in Practical Accounting and this can be attributed to lack of hands-on experience on the real life aspect of accounting. But generally, good academic performance, positive attitude and effective study habits give an assurance of passing the CPA board exam (Ballado-Tan, 2014).

Further, the results of this study revealed that 70% of the respondents took the CPA Licensure Exam once and the rest are repeaters. The preferred review school is RESA with CPAR as the next most enrolled in review school by the respondents. The ideal review session is the afternoon session which garnered 72.7% of the respondents followed by morning session with 16.4%. The preferred review time of the respondents is somewhat distributed with 38.2% studying around 6 pm to 12 am, 32.7% studying around 6 am to 12 pm, and 14.5% for those studying around 12 am to 6 am, and 12 pm to 6 pm. As for number of hours spent in studying, 41.8% of the respondents study more than 8 hours, 36.4% of the respondents study between 4 to 8 hours, and 21.8% of the respondents study between 2 to 4 hours. It is also found that the respondents prefer to study at home (85.5%) while others study at the review center (12.7%).

With regards to the study structure, 65.5% of the respondents understood the concepts first before going to practical questions while 27.3% of the respondents study simultaneously both concepts and practical questions. Most preferred review materials are Review Center Handouts (46.3%) and Reviewers (31.5%). Majority (49.1%) of the respondents do self-review while the rest is with review school (21.8%) and combination review (29.1%). The studying techniques are arranged from most preferred to least preferred in the following: Reading and Making Notes (89.1%); Practice Questions (87.3%); Outlines (69.1%); Formulas (65.5%); Highlighting (58.2%); and, Memorization (45.5%) and Mnemonics (45.5%).

Lastly, the respondents on assessing their readiness for the CPA Licensure Exam, 63.6% self-evaluate themselves and 32.7% of respondents evaluate themselves thru the Pre-Board Examination results.

Conclusion

The present study aims to find factors that contribute to the success of Palawan State University’s CPA candidates. The study identified the preferred review center and session the former enrolled in. In addition, other factors such as hours of studying and resting, as well as the time of the day the respondents prefer to do the aforementioned. Lastly, strategy and techniques were also identified and how many times it took for the candidate to pass the CPA Licensure Examination. Data gathered thru Google Survey was analyzed using SPSS Version 19.

The findings showed that more than two-thirds of the successful examinees took the exam only once and were enrolled in the afternoon session of RESA Review School. As for studying, they prefer to self-review at home and spends more than 8 hours in the evening studying. Successful examinees also understood the concept first before applying the same in practical application and the preferred review techniques were reading, making notes and answering practical questions. To assess their readiness for the licensure examination, they conduct self-evaluation. As for determining if they have enough rest, the respondents may have under 8 hours but the difference is not that big if compared to normal hours of sleep.

References:

Ballado-Tan, J. (2014), “Academic Performance, Aspirations, Attitudes and Study Habits as Determinants of the Performance in Licensure Examination of Accountancy Graduates”, International Journal of Education and Research, Vol. 2 No. 12 December 2014

Brody, R. G., Li, S., and, Zhou, L. (2016), “Beyond the CPA: Student Awareness of Accounting Certification”, The Accounting Educators’ Journal, Volume XXVI 2016

Bunker, R. B., Cagle, C. S., and, Harris, D. (2014), “Comparison of AACSB Accounting Accredited and AACSB Business Accredited Institutions Using the CPA Examination as a Post-Curriculum Assessment”, Journal of Accounting and Finance, Vol. 14(6)

Burton, H. A., Daugherty, B., Dickins, D., and, Schisler, D. (2014), “Will I Pass the CPA Exam? The Relationship Between Individuals’ Characteristics and Experiences, and Passing the CPA Exam”, blog.cengage.com

Cardona, R. J., Castro-Gonzalez, K. C., and Rios-Figueroa, C. B. (2015), “An Examination of Factors Affecting the Passing Rates of the CPA Examination”, cicia.uprrp.edu

Demagalhaes, R., and Wilde, H. (2014), “Practitioners’ Views of the Requirements for CPA Licensure: An Exploratory Study of CPAs in Colorado, Florida, Maine, Oklahoma, and Vermont”, Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, Vol. 14(2)

Franklin, M. A., Lepak, G. M., and, Myers, J. K. (2017), “Age and Gender Impact on CPA Examination Pass Rates”, Journal of Business and Educational Leadership, Vol. 10, No. 1, Fall 2017

Franklin, M. A., and, Myers, J. K. (2016), “Enhancing CPA Exam Pass Rates for Second Career Students”, Journal of Business and Educational Leadership, Vol. 6, No. 1, Fall 2016

Hahn, W., and Fairchild, C. (2015), “Usefulness of the Uniform Certified Public Accounting Examination for Assessment of Learning and Program Quality Determination at U.S. Institutions of Higher Learning”, Journal of Accounting and Finance, Vol. 15(5)

Herrera, Carmen C. (2015), “Influence of Selected Factors on CPA Licensure Examination Results”, International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 64

Heslop, G. and Fullwood, V. (2014), “CPA Examination Performance of Candidates from AAA Southwest Region”, Journal of Accounting Finance, Vol. 14(2)

King, D. L., Case, C. J., and, Senecker, K. M. (2017), “Accounting History in Perspective: Uniform CPA Exam Turns 100”, Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 29, No. 2, Fall 2017

Menk, K.B., Nagle, B. M., and, Rau, S.E. (2017), “Does Earning a Graduate Degree Impact CPA Exam Performance”, Academy of Business Research Journal, Volume 1 2017
Myers, J. K., Franklin, M. A., Lepak, G. M., and, Graham, J. F., “The Impact of Gender and Cognitive Information Processing Models on CPA Exam Pass Rates: A Call for Research”, Journal of Business and Educational Leadership, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2018

Remali, A. M., Ghazali, M. A., Kamaruddin, M. K., and Kee, T. Y. (2013), “Understanding Academic Performance Based on Demographic Factors, Motivation Factors and Learning Styles”, International Journal of Asian Social Science, 2013, 3(9):1938-1951

Sugahara, S. and Boland, G. (2014), “How Accounting Students Define Success, And the Factors Affecting Their Success And Failure, While Studying In The Accounting Schools”, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 141 (2014)

Tamayo, A., Gevera, E., and, Aguilar, L. E. (2014), “A Probabilistic Estimation of Passing the Licensure Examination for Accountant”, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2394997

Trinkle, B. S., Scheiner, J., Baldwin, A. A., and, Krull, Jr. G. W. (2016), “Gender and Other Determinants of CPA Exam Success: A Survival Analysis”, The Accounting Educators’ Journal, Volume XXVI 2016

Utami, W., Priantara, D., and Manshur, T. (2011), “Professional Accounting Education in Indonesia: Evidence on Competence and Professional Commitment”, Asian Journal of Business and Accounting, 2(2)

Cite this article as: Chua, Peterwille T. (August 11, 2018). Factors Contributing to the Success of Palawan State University’s CPA Licensure Examinees. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2018/08/11/factors-contributing-to-the-success-of-palawan-state-universitys-cpa-licensure-examinees/

Is Constant Validation Enough for Long-Term Happiness?

The kind words of our peers are amazing fuel for our success when the timing is right. But it all can go downhill pretty fast. Determining your own worth based on what others have to say on the matter is problematic, and there are many facets to this issue. Here is what you need to know if you’re in a similar situation.

Mental Illness and Self-Esteem

It’s no secret that one’s self-esteem is a fragile and sometimes fickle concept. If you’re unsure of your worth, the smallest comments can influence your own perception of yourself. And sadly, people who suffer from mental illness have it the worst.

Unfortunately, struggling with anxiety and depression or going through the phases of schizophrenia impacts your confidence negatively. This leads to patterns of seeking external validation in the opinion of others, either face to face or online. However, this is unhealthy and can be even more damaging in the long run.

While there is nothing wrong with wanting a bit of praise every now and then, there is a thin line between wanting reassuring and seeking constant validation. In fact, continuously looking for the attention and approval from those around you is classified as a personality disorder in itself. It is called histrionic personality disorder, or HPD for short.

People who suffer from it constantly need to be the centerfold of any group, and when that doesn’t happen they experience severe emotional discomfort. Furthermore, they will go to great lengths to achieve the validation they desire.

HPD patients might even engage in dangerous, addictive and promiscuous behavior, which more often than not ends up putting their health and integrity in peril. Their romantic and platonic relationships are either dysfunctional or non-existent, which further puts a strain on their mental state.

Validation vs. True Happiness

Nowadays, trying to get the approval of others has become easier than ever. But seeking validation online or face to face won’t bring you true happiness. This type of behavior often leads to feelings of emptiness and even personality disorders that will be hard to shake off once you fall into their trap.

There are many reasons why the people who have stopped pining for the approval of others are happier souls with brighter, more fulfilled lives. Not only do they feel liberated that their own satisfaction and gratification no longer are at the mercy of their peers, but they are also a lot more in control of their own lives.

Regaining agency is the best thing that you can do for yourself. This makes you more confident and aware of your actions, which is something that you will benefit from in all areas of your life. Not worrying about what others will think of what you do on a daily basis helps relieve anxiety and automatically ensures that your work gets higher success rates.

How to Stop Seeking Attention

Now that we’ve established how beneficial not seeking attention is, the next step is learning how to put an end to these disruptive behavioral tendencies. Here are three valuable concepts that will help you along the way.

1.      Mindfulness

The ancient Eastern concept of mindfulness is based on an emphasis on the importance of living in the present. Not only does this involve self-awareness, but also a desire to take charge of your own existence that is beneficial to anyone struggling to determine their worth and purpose in the world.

2.      Acceptance

Accepting yourself for who you truly are is one of those things that is truly easier said than done. Nevertheless, by managing to focus on what makes you beautiful, unique and valuable, you will not only come to terms with many of your issues, but you will also pave the way towards a happier and healthier life.

3.      Self-Love

Discovering everything that the world has to offer is an exciting prospect, and it all starts with practicing unconditional self-love. Show the same amount of praise, kindness, and respect for yourself as you do to others, and great things won’t take too long to come your way. You are an amazing individual, both inside and out, and your contribution to the world is important.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the question of whether or not constant validation is enough for long-term happiness, the answer is most definitely a firm ‘no’. In fact, such actions are detrimental to your personal well-being, which is why you need to nip this pattern in the bud and focus on what makes you a wonderful person.

Through mindfulness, acceptance, and self-love, you will be able to shake off the disruptive and damaging behavioral tendencies that have been bringing you down. Your life will be better, and you will be overall happier for it. And that’s the essential thing at the end of the day.

Cite this article as: AlexMoore (May 16, 2018). Is Constant Validation Enough for Long-Term Happiness?. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2018/05/16/is-constant-validation-enough-for-long-term-happiness/

Eight Doable Agricultural Practices to Mitigate the Impacts of Global Climate Change

Here are eight doable agricultural practices to mitigate the impacts of global climate change.

Billions of dollars were lost due to unpredictable climate changes all over the world. While debate rages on, whether climate change is man-induced or not, resolute actions must be done to mitigate the impacts associated with this global phenomenon.

It was originally pointed out by this author that the major contribution modern agricultural practices make to the global climate change scenario are emissions of greenhouse gases namely methane and carbon dioxide (see Regoniel, 2010). Since current agricultural practices is the recognized source of these greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation must therefore address issues concerning reduction of these greenhouse gases either through emission prevention or sequestration of atmospheric emissions especially of carbon.

How then can agricultural practices prevent or minimize greenhouse gas emissions as well as sequester back what has been emitted into the atmosphere?

Hereunder are eight doable agricultural practices to mitigate the impacts of global climate change:

1. Plant crop varieties that better reflect sunlight back out to space.

By planting crops that have high reflectivity or albedo, summertime temperatures could be reduced by more than one degree Celsius in places like Eurasia and central North America. This approach is referred to as bio-geoengineering. Selection of crops that have high reflectivity can reflect sunlight back out into space and lower global air temperature.

2. Undertake organic farming.

Organic farming enhances soil quality particularly in keeping the soil moist. Done on a large scale, these agricultural practices can prevent drying of land and land degradation due to the use of chemicals fertilizers.

3. Apply fertilizer precisely.

To reduce excessive emission of greenhouse gases as well as water pollution due to unabsorbed fertilizers, precise application of fertilizers is recommended by scientists.

4. Reduce consumption of meat.

Reducing the consumption of meat products on a global scale can decrease the amount of methane-producing animals raised to supply global demand for meat. This will also reduce land areas that need to be cleared for cattle grazing. These grazing lands can be grown with cover crops instead to serve as carbon sinks or storage. Also, crops with high albedo reflects back excessive sunlight into space as pointed out earlier.

5. Grow diverse crop varieties.

Growing diverse crop varieties that are less reliant on fertilizer and fossil fuel inputs can reduce crop vulnerability to unpredictable weather changes. This will be much more advantageous than monoculture farms which are susceptible, not only to extreme climatic conditions, but also to pest outbreaks during abnormal climate conditions such as those brought about by El Niño. Planting crops with a wide temperature threshold value or pest resistant species can ensure survival. Selection of indigenous plant material that evolved through time can therefore be a wise option to take.

6. Plant trees in strategic locations in farms.

Lost carbon sequestration capacity due to clear-cutting of trees for agriculture can be compensated by planting trees around farms or setting aside forest patches alongside farms. Care must be taken in selecting tree species to grow alongside farms as their fruits or flowers might attract crop predators or pests. This system is called agroforestry. Planting trees has the added benefit of serving as buffer against storms to prevent crop destruction.

Further, trees send their roots considerably deeper than the crops. This allows them to survive a drought and protect both crops and land from too much sun exposure thus minimize water evaporation. Tree roots also pump water into the upper soil layers where crops can tap it, and create spaces for water flow. Leaf litter also generates compost and serves as mulch to keep water from escaping rapidly into the atmosphere.

7. Stagger planting of crops.

Staggered planting of crops can prevent total crop failure due to abrupt climate shifts. Losses will also be minimized.

8. Use energy efficient systems (environmental technology) in running farms.

Use of energy efficient technologies can significantly reduce emission of greenhouse gases from farm machineries. Sunshine Farm in British Columbia has been farming without fossil fuels, fertilizers, or pesticides. It runs essentially on sunlight. They produce their own biodiesel from homegrown sunflower seeds and soybeans. Three-fourths of its feed for horses, cattle, and poultry are derived from the farm. Electricity is provided through a 4.5-kilowatt photovoltaic array.

Adoption of low-carbon environmental technologies such as wind, solar, biofuel, biomass, hydro- and geothermal power can make farms work in an efficient and sustainable manner.

Government policies that encourage the above agricultural practices can help mitigate global climate change impacts. And of course, policies become ineffective if these are not implemented by concerned government, non-government and private institutions.

Global climate change is a serious matter that should be addressed by environment-friendly agricultural practices whether this phenomenon is a normal part of the earth’s global temperature fluctuations or indeed it is anthropogenic or man-induced in nature.

References:
e-Science News, 2009. Strategic farming practices could help mitigate global warming. Retrieved on April 2, 2010 at http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/01/15/strategic.farming.practices.could.help.mitigate.global.warming.

Halweil, B., 2005. The irony of climate in Worldwatch Magazine. Retrieved on March 27, 2010 at http://www.worldwatch.org/node/572.

Herro, A., 2008. Adjustments to agriculture may help mitigate global warming. Retrieved on March 27, 2010 at http://www.bluemoonfund.org/news/news_show.htm?doc_id=649332.

Hindu, The, 2009. India: Organic farming to mitigate global warming. Retrieved on March 27, 2010 at http://www.hindu.com/seta/2009/12/24/stories/2009122450101400.htm.

Maathai, W., 2009. Africa: Continent Must Protect Forests to Mitigate Global Warming. Retrieved on March 27, 2010 at http://allafrica.com/stories/200906231119.html.

Regoniel, P.A., 2010. Two major agricultural causes of global climate change. Retrieved on April 2, 2010 at http://knoji.com/two-major-agricultural-causes-of-global-climate-change/.

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (November 29, 2017). Eight Doable Agricultural Practices to Mitigate the Impacts of Global Climate Change. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2017/11/29/eight-doable-agricultural-practices-to-mitigate-the-impacts-of-global-climate-change/

What is Experiential Learning?

What is experiential learning? This article describes this learning approach, presents a model of how it works and gives an example. It also enumerates the four steps of the learning process and the elements needed for learners to gain knowledge.

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is founded on the idea that learning takes place among students by giving them the experience to do what is expected of them. Kolb (1984) defines learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.” It does not follow the conventional one-way lecture approach where students become passive listeners. Learning takes place when students desire to gain the knowledge they seek. Thus, teachers need to guide students through the process of learning by experience.

The philosophy behind experiential learning is that students learn best when allowed to discover new things and experiment on the outcomes of an action firsthand, instead of just hearing or reading about the experiences of others. Students learn after they have reflected on their experiences, with the end in view of doing it better the next time they engage in such activity.

Model of Experiential Learning

The desire to learn varies among individuals. Hence, experiential learning focuses on the individual’s learning process.

Let us see how experiential learning takes place by presenting a model. A model is a representation of what scientists think about how it works. One of the popular models of experiential learning is that of Kolb (1984). The four-step experiential learning model is presented in the figure below.

what is experiential learning
Experiential learning model by Kolb (1984).

How is the model applied in real life situations? The following example will show how this model works.

Example of Experiential Learning

I employ experiential learning whenever a software application interests me. Being an open source enthusiast, I studied Lyx, an advanced open source document processor running on Linux. Nobody in my work environment knows how to use Lyx, so I learned by discovery.

Once the software has started, I just typed on the document processor and used the menu by clicking on it and selecting from the dropdowns. I discovered that a button, for example, sets the font in Italic in a way different from the word processors that I use. As the I go through the whole process, I discovered many other things or features of the software. Thus, I learn more things as I reflect on the effects of my action and apply what I have in mind.

Using the model, the following are the four steps of the learning process:

  1. Concrete experience: booting up the computer, installing Lyx, and opening the software for actual use;
  2. Active experimentation: playing with the menus;
  3. Reflective observation: discovering that the Menu labeled Edit contains the command to change the default font to italic, bold, among others,
  4. Abstract conceptualization: figuring out the use of other menus using the experience gained.

Elements of Experiential Learning

Experiential learning takes place even without a teacher around. However, learning becomes much more meaningful if the learner possesses the following characteristics:

  1. willing to engage actively in the activity,
  2. reflects on the experience,
  3. uses analytical skills, and
  4. able to decide and solve problems using new ideas gained from experience.

References

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning as the science of learning and development. Prentice-Hall. 256pp.

University of Colorado (n.d.). What is experiential learning.  Retrieved on July 22, 2017 from http://www.ucdenver.edu/life/services/ExperientialLearning/about/Pages/WhatisExperientialLearning.aspx

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (July 22, 2017). What is Experiential Learning?. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2017/07/22/what-is-experiential-learning/

The Importance of Time Management and Exercise

My designation to a higher position impacted on the rank of this site. I could not write just like before as my tasks zap my energy to levels that prevent me from writing online. But I need to make updates or new blogs to keep this site going and at least maintain its rank and audience. The importance of time management comes into the picture.

Being designated a higher position next to the highest position in the organization means having to contend with so many administrative tasks — tasks that require an entirely different work atmosphere that left me very little time to do research work.

The Importance of Time Management

But is time an issue? Is it not because of how we handle time?

Despite the heavy workload, I was able to do some tasks related to at least two research projects specifically on human waste management and the time-consuming systems analysis of water pollution in El Nido, a popular tourist destination in the northern part of Palawan Island. Two other projects on community empowerment and a book project on endangered species of wildlife await. Earlier, I finished a book project on endemic, charismatic and amazing wildlife of Palawan where I live.

I once felt overwhelmed, incompetent and guilty of not being able to do what I should do in the projects where I am involved. But upon reading a book on time management titled “Effective Time Management” by John Adair, I changed my perspective.

the importance of time management
Mind map of time management (Jean-Louis Zimmermann 2008).

I discovered that I am using my time optimally, meaning, I should not feel guilty of not being able to do what I need to do.  Using Time Tracker, a free software I use in Zohrin, a Linux distribution, I realized that I am not wasting any time at all. I just need to prioritize my work. And of course, I also need rest to let my brain take and body take much-needed rest.

Time for Exercise

Indeed, the work that I do is stressful, but I cope up with regular one to two hours of exercise in the morning. This time is allocated specifically for this purpose. I give premium to exercise as I found out that my stresses are gone after I finish my two or three-mile run. In fact, I have run four 10Ks in the past two years. My best time so far is 1 hour and two minutes last April. I hope to get a sub-hour on my next run, or I might as well try the 21K. Running this distance without stopping is a product of regular 2-3 mile runs for the past four years. Running at least three times a week made this possible.

As workers, how can exercise help us? According to Mochon, Norton, and Ariely (2008) regular activities like exercise, give positive boosts that bring higher well being. Incremental boosts provided by training had a cumulative positive impact on well-being.

Hence, don’t underestimate the importance of time management particularly including exercise in it. Exercise reduces not only stress but also improves learning and mental performance (Cotman and Berchtold, 2002). Regular physical exertion enables researchers to do more mental work and face all work tasks with a general feeling of well-being. It must be an integrated part of your time management program.

References

Cotman, C. W., & Berchtold, N. C. (2002). Exercise: a behavioral intervention to enhance brain health and plasticity. Trends in neurosciences, 25(6), 295-301.

Mochon, D., Norton, M. I., & Ariely, D. (2008). Getting off the hedonic treadmill, one step at a time: The impact of regular religious practice and exercise on well-being. Journal of Economic Psychology, 29(5), 632-642.

Research Design: A Simplified Definition for Beginning Researchers

What is a research design? To understand what these two words mean, there is a need to have a clear understanding of what is “research” and “design.”

This brief article defines the research design and its role in preparing a good research paper.

The Meaning of Research Design

As Zigmund (1999) puts it, research literally means “to search again.” It means the researcher has to look again at existing information to explain a subject or topic of interest. There is a need to know more about a given phenomenon in all its dimensions.

The design is essentially a plan to show the final product even before it is built or made. An example is a house’s “blueprint” that describes the details of how a building should look.

research design analogy
An example of a blueprint.

Thus, bringing together these two concepts, research design is the plan that guides data collection to achieve the objectives of research, i.e., to generate new information based on existing ones. The plan details the procedure and instruments for data collection, how the variables associated with the phenomenon should be measured, and the statistical analysis to be applied to the data obtained.

The plan should systematically answer the problem statement or research questions. A one-to-one correspondence between problem statement and the instruments or methods to use to resolve the problem avoids missing out the required data for analysis.

A matrix or a table with headings such as problem statement, data collection instrument, and statistical analysis ensures efficient collection of data (see table below). Gathering data more than is needed is both costly and time wasting. And gathering less than required data prevents meaningful analysis thus failure to address the research problem.

Problem StatementData Collection InstrumentStatistical Analysis
What is the profile of coastal residents living within the government defined tsunami danger zone?Survey formDescriptive statistics
How shall local government units respond to tsunami if it does occur?Key informant interviewNone required; qualitative
What is the expected tsunami inundation area?GIS modeling softwareNone required

Researchers, therefore, should not start their study without adequately figuring out what type of data or information is needed to meet the objectives of their research. Failure to do so means unnecessarily spending more time and money in conducting the investigation. The probability of making illogical or irrelevant conclusions will be high.

Reference

Zikmund, W. G. (1999). Essentials of marketing research. South Western Educational Publishing.

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (February 12, 2017). Research Design: A Simplified Definition for Beginning Researchers. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2017/02/12/research-design/

Crabbing: A Sustainable Livelihood in the Coasts of Magsaysay

Crabbing is an exciting activity I happen to witness during my recent trip to the remote island of Cuyo, a volcanic island between the islands of Palawan and Panay in the Philippines (Figure 1). This article describes the activity and provides insights for conservation and management of natural resources.

Cuyo Islands
Figure 1. Cuyo archipelago

Dodokon: The Intriguing Crab Species

As part of my task in a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) project, I lectured on the value of biodiversity to human life. A workshop followed the speech where the participants coming from five communities in the municipality of Rizal identified economically important species in their respective barangays. They plotted these resources on maps attached to the walls of the lecture hall.

I noticed several unfamiliar words stuck on resource map of participants coming from Barangay Rizal. They drew and pasted on the map a crab species unknown to even a colleague living in the place and me. It’s remarkable how the locals can discriminate certain species of crabs and give them unique names. They call the crab “dodokon.” Collecting dodokon forms part of their crabbing activity during low tide.

Intrigued how “dodokon” looks like, I told Marge, the director of the campus, that I would like to make a tour along the coast to document the species. It also presents an opportunity to use my newly cleaned Leica D-vario lens that had been kept for years after I inadvertently submerged it in the water while crossing a river during one of my field trips. She arranged for an early morning trip to a nearby sea grape farm about three kilometers away from our quarters.

Crabbing Tour

It was almost seven o’clock in the morning when my colleagues and I made a quick visit of the latô (sea grape) farm in Barangay Rizal, Magsaysay in the island of Cuyo. The school driver brought us in the appointed place in less than 15 minutes. A tour guide met us upon arrival and walked with us to the shore.

We waited a moment and realized that only one raftsman was around to give us a tour of the latô farm. My colleagues suggested that I take the first raft and start the tour as I still have a meeting at 9 o’clock with research coordinators of the extramural campus of our university. As research director, they need my guidance on the new research agenda of the university.

I thought that Elmer, the raftsman, will bring me around the intricate arrangement of latô enclosures. But around mid-way of the trip through the murky waters, he told me to stand back at the other end of the raft, about three meters from the rear end. The purpose is to achieve balance in the flimsy bundle of bamboo poles. He placed a large stone on his side and submerged half his body into the muddy substrate then wore an improvised swim googles to see underwater. I thought he was collecting sea grapes but learned later that he was collecting crabs as he tossed several crabs into a plastic pail while navigating the shallow waters.

What’s inside the pail? It’s the dodokon (see below).

crabs
Crabs (dodokon) collected from the murky waters of Rizal.

Crabbing as a Sustainable Livelihood for Coastal Fisherfolks

Crabbing is a sustainable source of food for the fisherfolks of Rizal as they wait for their latô farms to produce enough volume for commercial purposes. As long as the habitat is undisturbed, the muddy areas next to the mangroves can yield an unending supply of crabs to meet subsistence needs. In mangrove areas next to polluted bays or estuaries, subsisting on such crabs will make one cringe. Crabs are filter feeders and contaminated organic substances may contain toxins that can threaten human life through the process of bioaccumulation.

The residents of Rizal are fortunate because they still have pristine mangrove forests free from pollutants. Houses on stilts just like those found in urban areas are nowhere in sight. One can still enjoy the crunchy, dodokon delicacy just like the one we consumed when we dined back in our base.

crab meal
A crunchy, breaded meal of dodokon concluded our day.

Doctoral Thesis: Working Your Way Out

What attitude should you adopt in writing a doctoral thesis? Is it all too difficult? Here are five tips to get you going.

Writing a doctoral thesis is one of the most challenging tasks a graduate student would have to face in the course of completing a graduate degree. What are the challenges associated with doctoral thesis writing? I narrate my experience as I worked my way through the hurdles of the graduate school.

Give Up or Go On?

One of the professors I hold in awe and respect highly told everyone in class that pursuing a degree in the graduate school is not an easy path to take. There will be times you would want to give up and be free of the many demands of graduate study. He advised us to just “Go on and don’t be discouraged because depression is a normal part of a graduate student’s life.”

His words rung in my mind each time I feel like giving up. Much more so when I plunged deep into the water and looked up and around the blue waters surrounding me. I was assessing the status of coral reefs in selected spots in two bays. I was looking into the congruence of community perception on adjacent coral reefs with the “true” situation of their reefs verified by actual physical assessment of its condition.

Deep down in seawater at about 30 to 60 feet, I reflected upon myself: “What the hell am I doing here, swimming like a fish when I am a human being who should naturally be walking on land!” I am engaging in something unnatural. Humans are not meant to be in the depths of the sea. All of these I do for the sake of science, of trying to support the argument of my doctoral thesis. I felt like giving up.

But a doctoral thesis requires a more intelligent and rigorous inquiry into the unknown (see the difference between a master’s degree and a doctoral degree’s approach to the phenomenon). There should be a difference between a doctoral thesis and a master’s thesis. And I have to do something groundbreaking. At least that’s what I thought it should be.

doctoral thesis
Thesis defense, or offense?

Writing the Doctoral Thesis: Five Tips

So how can a Ph.D. candidate cope up with the challenges associated with the writing of a doctoral thesis? How can one cope up with the many and never ending manuscript editing woes?

Remember that writing a doctoral thesis is not your most amazing work. It is a prelude for you to appreciate and critically inquire into the theories that are never perfect. You can blaze a path of your own and be known in a niche you can best excel in.

How can you best cope with the task of finishing your doctoral thesis? Here are five suggestions to help you out of your predicament:

  1. Make sure you select an adviser who has a good reputation in your field. A good mentor produces good mentees.
  2. Be very clear about your intention in writing the doctoral thesis. An excellent review of the literature will help you clarify the issue that bogs your mind.
  3. Be brave to change your topic if the path you take gets too messy. Writing the doctoral thesis is done in partial, not full, fulfillment of the course requirements. Don’t aim towards perfection as that means more time and effort that may not be needed.
  4. Don’t force yourself too hard when you are not in the mood to write. Take a break. I did by playing a computer game all day long.
  5. Schedule your work and do a little at a time when your mind is not functioning at its peak. But compensate when you are in the mood. Do things gradually and you will accomplish a great deal. Just be consistent.

The point of the whole matter is that once you decide to go for a doctoral degree, there are some sacrifices to be made. No pain, no gain.

The What and The Why of OBE

This article explains the nature and features of OBE. It further explains the differences among outcome-based, outcomes-based, and the outcomes-based teaching and learning (OBTL). If you are a  teacher or a student in tertiary education, this article is for you.

To adequately address the needs of education in the 21st Century, schools must be OBE. But what is OBE? Is it outcome-based or outcomes-based? Is there a difference between the two? Since OBE is used in different ways, it becomes very confusing (Biggs & Tang, 2007).

The Nature and History of OBE

Many think that outcomes-based education and competency-based education are the same. But that is not the case because the competency-based education is only an example of OBE.

Outcomes are bigger than competencies, and when we say competencies, they are referred to the skills (narrow competencies) that the school would like to develop among the students, so competency-based education is commonly used in vocational and technical education.

To avoid confusion, let’s discuss the three types of OBE.

The Three Types of OBE

The first type is the Outcome-based Education (the singular form). It was proposed by William Spady in 1994 to have an individualized program for disadvantaged school students, which he called as the outcome-based education. He used “targets” for each student so that he/she can achieve some success, and these targets include values components (outcomes). As a result, several Australian State Education Departments adapted the Spady Model, but not all the values components (outcomes) were taken to respect other cultures and religions.

The second type is the plural form or the Outcomes-based Education. This term originated from the Accountability Movement in the USA (the Ewell and Managerial Models). Of this type, outcomes are at institutional level, and this is the type of OBE that exists in higher education. The academic institution must think and decide the kind of outcomes that they want their graduates to possess upon completing a particular course or degree program. The chosen outcomes must consist of the averaged student performances and other kinds of institutional outcomes that are required by the accrediting bodies. Now, how can the institutions be an OBE compliant? The outcomes statements must be institutional. It is proper that an institution must have institutional outcomes first. If the institutional outcomes are clear, then the program or course outcomes can be crafted based on the institutional outcomes. Likewise, the number of program and course outcomes should be limited only to 5 or 6. If there are too many, it is impossible to align the teaching/learning activities and assessment tasks to each program/course outcomes and to attain those outcomes.

The aims of the outcomes-based education are to meet the accreditation requirements or quality assurance and to address the needs of stakeholders like employers and policymakers. Thus, many universities around the globe are required to submit themselves for accreditation and quality assurance because it becomes mandatory to countries that are signatories in the Washington Accord and Bologna Accord.

The third type is the Outcomes-Based Teaching and Learning (OBTL from Dearing Report, 1997). Outcomes are defined specifically to enhance the teaching and assessment to avoid a mismatch between what we test and what we assess. There are three essential features of OBTL.

Three Essential Features of OBTL

First is the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs). To have ILOs, there must be an outcome statement. According to Biggs & Tang (2007), this is a statement of how we would recognize if or how well students have learned what is intended they should learn, not a prompt list of topics for teachers to “cover” in a curriculum which simply means that the students have learned what we want them to learn and do. However, there are occasions in which the students are so advanced and intelligent. They are capable of doing things that are not part of the ILOs. As teachers, what should we do? Are we going to punish the students by deducting some points from their grades? No, because good teachers always allow it. Thus, students are not only assessed (tested) on what they can do. They can also be assessed on the “unforeseen outcomes (unintended) but desirable ones.

Secondly, teaching should be done to increase the potential of most students to achieve those outcomes. How can we do this? Let the students engage in learning activities that directly link to achieving the intended outcome. They need to be active learners by not giving too many lectures in class.

Lastly, there is a need to assess how well the outcomes have been achieved. In this feature, traditional test in an invigilated exam room is not the best way in assessing outcome. So, avoid using paper and pencil tests like multiple choice, true or false, matching types and others. Some of the best ways to assess the outcomes are through authentic assessment, and performance-based assessment which can be done manually or with the use of technology (digital or online assessments) that are valid and reliable.

With the paradigm shift (from time-based to outcomes-based), the changing scene in higher education is being felt around the world, along with the factors affecting the teaching and learning process.

Three factors affect the teaching and learning process. First is the levels of engagement with the level of learning activity required to achieve the ILOs in particular content and context.

In the traditional classroom, students are only asked to memorize, take down notes, describe and explain (low level). But in the 21st Century Education, students must be taught on how to relate, apply and make their own theories (theorizing) which are high levels of engagement.

An example of this is the problem-based learning. Likewise, it is suggested that to achieve the ILOs, the learning activities must be ranged from describing, explaining, relating, applying, and theorizing to make the students become active learners (Biggs & Tang, 2007).

Next is the degree of learning-related activity that a teaching method is likely to stimulate. This concern is more challenging to the teachers because there’s no such thing as the best teaching method. It is better for the teachers to have a good repertoire of teaching methods and strategies and try which could be beneficial to the majority of the learners.

The third factor is the academic orientation of the students. Here, the students must be motivated well. If the academic orientation of the students is not right, then it is hard for them to achieve the high level of engagement.

I met many students who were forced to study by their parents a particular course or degree. They only came to class for attendance. They didn’t even care if they would get failing marks. The worse scenario is if they would tell you that it is ok to pass and not to get high marks.

What is the difference of getting a grade of D and A+? A student with a grade of D can also find a job or even become more successful in life.  As teachers, it is our duty to motivate them as much as we can, but if the problem lies in their academic orientation, what can we do?

In a nutshell, OBE has different meanings. First, it means outcome-based education. It is for school level (vocational or technical). Second, it refers to the outcomes-based education which is for the tertiary level (bachelor or university). Finally, it means outcomes-based teaching and learning (OBLT) which addresses the teaching and learning at the classroom level and how to make an excellent classroom teaching. The classroom level may refer to all levels, primary, secondary, vocational or technical, undergraduate and graduate levels. Therefore, if you want to achieve teaching excellence, each teacher must do the OBLT.

OBE in general is viewed as what the students can do, and not what the students know.

References

  1. Biggs, John and Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university, 3rd Edition. USA: Mc Graw Hill Education.
  2. Davis, Margery (2003). Outcome-based Education. Retrieved from http://www.jfn.ac.lk/OBESCL/MOHE/OBE-Articles/Academic-documents-articles/6.OBE-Davis.pdf on December 19, 2015
  3. 21st Century Schools (2008). What is 21st Century Education? Retrieved from http://www.21stcenturyschools.com/What_is_21st_Century_Education.htm on December 5, 2015
Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (May 24, 2016). The What and The Why of OBE. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2016/05/24/obe-what-why/

Discourse Analysis of 20 Newspaper Advertisements

This article intends to orient MA students, language researchers, among others about Discourse Analysis. It describes commonly used metadiscourse strategies and markers in the newspaper advertisements in the Philippines. Please read as to how advertising companies use discourse analysis to influence readers into buying their products.

According to Ken Hyland, metadiscourse is essential to advertising because it focuses on the aspects of a text that organizes the discourse, engages the audience and signals the writer’s attitude. As a central pragmatic construct, metadiscourse allows one to see how writers seek to influence reader’s understandings of both text and their attitude towards its content and the audience.

The use of metadiscourse strategies and markers helps companies earn much through advertisements. Below are 20 examples of advertisements from newspapers in the Philippines, which were analyzed and interpreted using discourse analysis.

Discourse Analysis of 20 Newspaper Advertisements

1. Alaska

The advertisement uses a celebrity. Gary Valenciano and his daughter endorse Alaska Powdered Filled Milk. The copywriter uses emphatics like more important and most nutritious.

The ad says that growth gap is more important than generation gap. Since kids experience a slow-down in growth after the toddler years, they must be given Alaska, which is the most nutritious powdered-filled milk.

The use of person marker as “natin” or our is also a metadiscourse which the copywriter used to influence the target reader to buy the product. In this case, Gary V. emphasizes that not only his children need Alaska but also other children and thus, he is trying to get the attention of the parents.

Aside from being interpersonal, this ad is also textual. The use of endophoric marker is visible. The picture of Gary V. and his daughter is put in the middle. It is bigger than the rest of the ad. Gary gives his daughter Alaska and she loves to drink it as manifested in her smile. She is also holding a glass of Alaska milk.

It also uses a directive when he says: “Ngayon nila kailangan ang tulong ng superior nutrition ng Alaska.” (This is the time they need help from Alaska – the most nutritious powdered-filled milk).

2. Jollibee

What is being endorsed in this ad is not really Jollibee as a fast food but its particular product Swirlybitz. This is manifested by a small logo of Jollibee placed at the right side bottom of the ad. The picture of Swirlybits is much bigger than the logo. And the font size of the text is also bigger.

The copywriter uses personal marker yourself and an emphatic delicious which fall under interpersonal. It means that a reader is enticed to taste the delicious mix of swirling vanilla ice cream with bits of chocolate and cookies.

The ad also uses endophoric marker by showing in the picture how delicious and creamy it is. However, the copywriter does not forget to tell where this product could be found and it is in Jollibee. The speech act used is directive when it says, “Treat yourself…”

3. Brand’s

The ad shows a picture of the product. Since it has the essence of the chicken, one can see the two feathers which show that he can do or perform better by using this product. The use of your as person marker and scientific studies from renowned institutions as emphatics help the reader understand the value and the credibility of this product and thus motivated him to buy.

In addition to that, the phrases “have no preservatives, cholesterol-free, all-natural and caffeine- free,” all written in capital letters and bold-faced can get the attention of the reader. The reader is challenged to perform better and that speech act is known as a directive.

4. French Baker

The metaphor is used in this advertisement, “Freshness takes over Sucat”. This is a kind of evidential which means that French Baker opens its branch at SM Sucat.

Also the person marker “you” are used to showing interpersonal relationship between the product and the reader. For textual, it is not only the use of metaphor but also the product and the outlet in forming coherent texts.

It can be seen that the copywriter does not emphasize “French Baker is now open at Sucat”; however, he tries to connect the metaphor to the pictures of bread, pastries and the outlet itself. Then, the reader’s schema now works that these are available only at French Baker by showing the smaller font size of “French Baker opens…” as compared to the “Freshness takes over Sucat!” and the use of smaller logo at the bottom.

The speech act used is also directive when it says “whether you’re shopping … French Baker provides the perfect place”. Emphatics such as fresh, pleasurable, perfect are used.

5. Equal

A very palatable fruit salad is shown in the ad. And the text says, “For sweet cravings during the Christmas season.” Equal targets a specific customers – the diabetics! So the copywriter tries to tempt a diabetic to eat sweet stuff this season without making the level of their blood sugar high and it is only possible by using Equal.

You, or your (person markers) and many doctors recommend it (emphatic) are used in persuading the readers.

Of course, the use of picture (endophoric) helps a lot in stimulating the appetite of a diabetic. It is still directive by saying, “Now, doesn’t that make for a sweeter Christmas?” The reader is asked to use Equal.

6. Visine

This ad uses a cartoon to illustrate how cool is Visine. This is also intensified by putting the word COOL to the face of the caricature and the two Os are used as his eyes. The copywriter is very artistic in persuading the reader that Visine is cool and can wake up tired eyes.

When I asked the media director of a well-known advertising company, why this ad uses a cartoon instead of a model, she said: “Probably the company made some cost-cutting…paying a model or celebrity is more expensive or costly.”

Also, if it is a model or a celebrity, the word COOL cannot be placed on the person’s face! Otherwise, it will become hilarious and unbelievable!

This ad also uses a person marker you. Again, a directive is used when it says, “try and wake up tired eyes.” The person is requested to use the product and emphatics are also used like new, soothing and cool.

7. Anchor

The ad shows how curious the kids are. They discovered many things and so they are prone to get more germs.

In the picture, we can see a boy with a dog and it seems that both of them have just finished licking the ice cream. In effect, the boy gets the germs.

The copywriter establishes a situation wherein parents could not control and, therefore, could not protect their children. In this vein, they are persuaded to buy Anchor because it has with Nutri-care that can protect kids from germs.

The “you” is also used to establish an interpersonal relationship and the endophoric marker (picture) for textual. The speech act used is directive, a command when it says, “give him Anchor.”

8. Lux

The copywriter does not use person marker. Instead, he uses emphatics like new, revitalize, breakthrough, innovation and more beautiful. These move the readers (women) buy what is being offered because they feel that Lux is necessary for today’s modern world.

The picture shows the three different variants of Lux and since each one has a description, a reader may choose which one is best for her. Therefore, the copywriter also uses emphatics and endophoric markers.

9. Marks and Spencer

The person markers our and you (implied) are used to convince the reader. Aside from person markers, the copywriter also uses emphatics like sinful, tempting, luscious, drizzled with, more and very. Not only the emphatics are used but also the irresistibly delicious cake in the picture. The adjective sinful is used to emphasize how tempting the cake is.

And since the target customers are sexy who do not like to get fat, he uses a speech act – directive, when it says, “give in to our….” It means that they need not argue because they will only taste it for this season and thus, they will not really get fat. What matters is, they have tasted it.

10. Popeyes

The use of much bigger font size for “now open” and “popeyes” gets the attention of the reader at one glance. The you (implied) and emphatic world famous are the metadiscourse markers used by a copywriter.

He also tries to convince the reader by providing a picture of a chicken and a drawing of a man and a woman. The man shows his love for the woman by giving her flowers and there is a banner which shows the love for chicken. It means that Popeyes’ chicken is delicious and crispy and one will love it the way a man shows his love for the girl. Again, the directive is used for love that chicken and visit us.

11. Astring.O.Sol

It can be seen that the bottle is filled with ice. But of course, it is not literal. The ad shows how cool the mouthwash is. It is as cold as ice and there is a word chill as the emphatic marker. Now, the copywriter also tries to connect the word “cool” to dining places. The “cool” for dining places does not mean that the place is cold as ice but what the copywriter is trying to put across is that these places are cozy and have a good ambiance.

The person marker “you” (implied) and emphatics like “cool” and “chill” are used. The directive is more of a request than a command because it is only an invitation when it says, “experience instant …”

12. Bocaditos

“As pizza as pizza gets” is a kind of evidential. It shows that Bocaditos chips taste like a real pizza. And also the use of emphatics little and big.

The reader’s schema works that having Bocaditos (pizza flavor) as a snack is like having a slice or a whole of pizza. Aside from that, it is cheaper than to buy a pizza.

So if a reader wants to eat pizza and has no enough money for that, he can buy Bocaditos. Interpersonal and textual metadiscourse are used.

13. Silka Papaya

At the first glance, one cannot see any interpersonal marker but if one will move his eyes at the bottom, he can see in the black background the phrase nature’s radiance. Radiance is emphatic. The copywriter uses endophoric marker by interrelating the picture with words.

The picture of a nude woman or her torso is radiating as manifested by white color surrounding her entire body and the use of yellow-orange as the background. This ad tells that if one will use Silka she will have a whiter, silky skin.

14. Cellasene

The ad shows three models who are nude. And there is a banner at their buttocks which says, “The naked truth!” The naked truth is an idiom and it is under evidential. Evidential is used to develop intertextuality.

In this ad, the three models are connected to the idiom and to the product itself. If one will take Cellasene, she will have a sexy body – no cellulite on the buttocks, hips and thighs.

Since it uses hedges like “may,” the copywriter is still successful in persuading the customer although it weakens the statement. He is able to do it by using the models and the idiom which are much bigger in size. There is a tendency for a reader not to notice the word “may” because she is already deceived by the picture and the idiom.

A directive is used when it says, “take 2-3 capsules a day and see the difference.” The person markers such as you and your and emphatics like clinically-tested, breakthrough, top selling, firmer and ideal are also used.

15. Hugo

The model is alluring, trying to seduce her man and she can do it by using Hugo. The person marker “your” persuades woman that they should wear this perfume to get the attention of their crushes or to attract their men. This ad also has an endophoric marker – a model who looks so seductive by using this perfume.

16. Sunsilk

The ad is trying to compare Sunsilk to another shampoo. At the top are the different bottles of shampoo with different colors and then, there is a text “clear” at the bottom of the bottles. Then, at the right bottom of the page is the bottle of Sunsilk crystal shampoo and there are bubbles as the background. The bubbles are very clear and one can see the flower inside each bubble.

Then, there is a caption, clear and nourishing. The copywriter lets the readers decide which is actually clear. Based on the picture, the answer would be Sunsilk.

The emphatics used are crystal clear, only one, full-bodied and beautiful. The use of the different bottles and Sunsilk is known as an endophoric marker.

17. Beefeater

It can be seen that the copywriter only uses the bottle as the endophoric marker and emphatics like bold and new. A spirit pertains to the gin that it is new and bold. Bold because it is strong – a taste which men look for a dry gin.

The background is black to give life to the bottle which is white. The letters of the phrase “a bold new spirit” are capitalized and bold-faced. However, the background of the ad is black and red is a good color for the text which may symbolize boldness. Thus, if one is looking for a bold and new dry gin, he will buy beefeater.

18. Carl’s Jr.

The copywriter tries to activate the reader’s schema of the Devil’s fork. The Devils would like to temp people and so, they are doing everything just to tempt us. By just looking at the picture, one is informed that the burgers are delicious. They do everything to make it delicious and they are serious about doing it.

Therefore, once a person tastes it, he will come back because of its taste. The person markers “our” and “you” are used and the endophoric marker which is the picture.

At the right bottom, is a small logo of Carl’s which means that you can buy the burgers only at Carl’s. A directive is more on challenge rather than request because the reader’s curiosity is challenged how delicious is the burger at Carl’s and thus, he will try it.

19. Nestle’ Yogurt

This ad is different from the other samples because the page has still a lot of space. It simply means that it is all that they want to say and to be different from others. It is not a typical ad wherein a copywriter uses a celebrity or a bigger picture of the product.

However, he is successful in his aim by using person marker “our” and emphatics like creamy, delicious, healthy, and irresistibly. Then at the middle, there is a caption below the bigger text which says, “After begging the photographer to spare just spoonful.”

This statement connotes that this product is delicious and irresistible. Also, a speech act is used to show the interpersonal function of the language, “but get this…” is a command and a kind of directive.

20. Goldilocks

Noyping-noypi, golding-goldi is a kind of evidential. It is used to make the readers memorize and recall the product. The ad also uses a celebrity and the picture of delicious pork barbecue.

The use of yellow-green as a background gives life to the color of barbecue which is brownish-red. Likewise, the emphatic marker like “sarap” (delicious) is used in showing that it is palatable and by using a celebrity like Jessa.

Now, can you identify the markers that the copywriters used to influence the readers in the discourse analysis? What are those markers? Of these markers, what do you think are most commonly used in newspaper ads?

Reference

Hyland, K. (2005). Metadiscourse. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (September 27, 2015). Discourse Analysis of 20 Newspaper Advertisements. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2015/09/27/discourse-analysis-advertisements/